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Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Annandale loses a beloved doctor: Farewell Steve Perez

Dr. Perez with the employees at the Medical Center of Annandale.
Dr. Steven John Perez, a long-time Annandale doctor, who died on May 7 from COVID-19, is fondly remembered by his many patients. 

There are more than 100 comments and messages of condolence posted on Nextdoor. Patients praised his kindness, wit, listening skills, and ability to put patients at ease. As one former patient put it, Dr. Perez was “a caring and empathetic doctor that always made you feel special.”

In addition to serving the Annandale community as a doctor of internal medicine, Perez served as a military physician to presidents Ronald Reagan and H.W. Bush from 1986 to 1990.

The following is from an obituary by his daughter-in-law, Christine Perez of Annandale:

Steve Perez was born in London, England, on March 12, 1952, to parents Ernie and Stella Perez. An Air Force brat, he moved from place to place until he graduated from Sacramento State University in 1974 and the University of Southern California School of Medicine in 1978. He completed his residency in Phoenix in 1981. 

From there, he served as a flight surgeon and medical director in the Air Force Medical Service Corps in Japan and Spain. 

After a stint as an Air Force physician to two presidents, he realized he couldn’t do better than that, so he went into private practice in San Antonio, Texas (which he always called God’s country). 

Perez moved back to Virginia and opened the Medical Center of Annandale, which he ran from 1995 until his untimely death from COVID-19. 

He was also an associate professor of medicine at the University of Virginia and mentored medical students from UVA, Georgetown University, and George Washington University for more than a decade. Never forgetting a promise he made to God, he never refused medical aid to the poor who came to his office, even accepting yams as payment on occasion.

He is survived by his wife, three sons and their wives, a stepson, three siblings, a previous wife, and his father. He has three grandchildren with two more on the way. He was often found reading to, cheering for, or bragging about his grandchildren. 

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America or Catholic Mission Trips Inc. 

Because the family has been receiving so many stories, they set up an email address to share messages and memories.

22 comments:

  1. Dr. Perez had a very calm nature and I loved the way he would sit right in the middle of "the action"... not tucked away behind a closed door separated from staff and patients. You felt like his office, staff and patients were so important to him and he made you feel he was easily accessible and "available" and cared for with his post and position in the midst of it all! Wonderful man.
    He will be missed 😢 My heart ❤ goes out to his loving staff, patients, family and friends. May he rest in peace.
    Ina Monahan

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  2. I'll always remember this man as he helped me through a challenging time in my life. RIP Doc Perez.

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  3. Dr. Perez is a class act. I've got the utmost respect for him and his practice. The Med Center is a bastion of caring and hardworking folks. My condolences and sympathy go out to his friends, family, and coworkers.

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  4. Edward Hale5/13/20, 8:15 AM

    Simply put...the best GP doctor i ever had....saw him in January. You could count on him and his staff to be there for you...i will miss him.

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  5. Dr. Perez was more than a excellent doctor to my husband, daughter and myself.
    Every time we were in his office we felt like we were with a friend. I will miss the conversations about family and life events that always preceded the reason for my appointment.
    He was also my dad's doctor. They were both fellow U.S. Air Force Officer retirees, so of course there wasn't a better doctor to be found. I'm sure in the last few days they've had a nice long talk to catch up on the last 3 years sense my dad's passing.
    I can't imagine finding an other doctor that compares to Dr. Perez.
    My heart and prayers go out to his family, Staff and friends.
    Until we meet again.

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  6. Paula Lassiter called me and told me about Dr Perez passing. I will be in prayer for the family as well. Many Blessings and Thanks for his service to both America and Mankind as a physician. Isabella K. Hale Christian and friend

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  7. Dr Perez was such a kind man and caring physician. He will be missed. God bless him and his family.

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  8. I was shocked and saddened to hear about Dr. Perez's passing. NBC4 had a nice segment on him tonight and that was the first I had heard of his untimely passing. I will miss seeing him for my annual check up, where we would talk about his kids and now grandkids along with my kids. I am terribly sorry for his family's loss and I wish them peace in this time of sadness.

    Jeff

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  9. I have been a patient for approx. 24 yrs and always thought the world of Dr Perez and his very capable and caring staff! You could always get in to see him or his PA's quickly when you didn't feel well. My kids and several friends went to his practice and we are all devastated to hear of his passing from Covid-19. Wonderful man and excellent doctor. He will be missed by many and my heartfelt sympathies go out to his dear family and his wonderful staff. Linda S.

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  10. Dr. Perez will be fondly remembered as a Doc who went out of his way to help anybody in need. As the Clinical Director of Harrison House for many years, he saw most if not all of our clients for physicals, TB tests and assorted medical issues, sometimes without payment if the client couldn't pay or didn't have insurance. I saw him myself several times before establishing a PCP when I moved back here in 2014. He was the PCP to my friend and former employer, Steve Crow and many other s. He was the 'staff doc' to our staff at Harrison House and he never failed to squeeze someone in if they needed to be seen. His work ethic, knowledge as a physician and just plain old human kindness is something we will all sorely miss. Rest In Peace, Doc, you did your job here well....

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  11. I was shocked to learn of Dr Steven's passing. He was so good to me in his care, he listened and paid great attention to smallest details. An incredible advocate. He is deeply missed, so sad to not have had a chance to let him know how much he was appreciated.

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  12. I was stunned to hear Dr. Perez had died. His kindness, humanity, and yet attention to detail were outstanding. He was my doctor for 20+ years. He mentored so many medical school students and cultivated excellent physician assistants. May God rest his soul and keep safe his family to whom he was devoted. And especially keep and comfort his father, age 90+, who now bears a parent's worst pain - the loss of a child.

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  13. So sad to have heard the news, a really incredible person that took great care of my family when they were sick.

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  14. I STILL CAN'T BELIEVE DR. PEREZ IS NOT WITH US ANYMORE,HE WAS ALWAYS
    THERE IIN MY TIME OF NEED.

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  15. I am so sorry for your loss. Dr. Perez has been my primary physician since he first opened his practice in 1995. He was a great man and an excellent doctor, always seeing me when I needed him; friendly, personal, effective in so many ways over the decades. He was my friend always taking time to chat and make me feel special and important to him. I will sorely miss him. God bless him, his family, friends, and colleagues. JohnR

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  16. My mom, stepfather, sister and I are all heartbroken. He was more than our doctor. He (and staff) are like family. We've gone to his practice since the 90s. He helped to heal us with his medical knowledge, but his wit and kindness were also soothing to our souls. We feel privileged to have had such a wonderful PCP and our hearts ache along with those of his family and staff. Holding you all closely in our thoughts and prayers. Tanya E.

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  17. I was first referred to Dr Perez by the Ft Belvoir CHAMPUS advisor in Nov 1995. At that time his office was in Lorton. I stopped the same day I got the referral but was told he was at the Alexandria Hospital. After telling the nurse why I wanted to see him she said I could to Alexandria ER and they could call him. Because I was just in ER at Belvoir I decided not that day. Next morning Dr Perez found me in fetal position at his office door. My husband was trying get an emergency number for him. After a few questions that I answered he immediately said it was my gall bladder. Later than day I had surgery to remove my gall bladder.Over the years he was more like a friend who just happened to be an awesome doctor. I was in total shock to get to his office today to see first a sign on the door then inside to see the memorial and photos of him,. I'm sure I stood there crying for at least 15 minutes if not longer. I know I will never find another doctor to I will like as much as I liked Dr Perez. My heart is broken as I know his family has broken hearts as well. My thoughts and prayers are for them. I know he is in a much better place now, but he will always be missed.
    Dee Spraker

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  18. As a colleague and fellow internist I know that Dr. Perez was very dedicated to his patients and to his profession and he will be greatly missed by everyone who had the good fortune to be touched by his kindness and medical expertise. May the love that he gave to his family, friends and patients be passed on to future generations so that his memory will live on!
    Dr. M.A.R.

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  19. A great doctor and a wonderful person. We were so saddened by his passing and will miss him. He always made you feel better emotionally and medically. The nicest and best doctor ever. Joed

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  20. Dear Dr. Perez family, friends and colleagues,
    I am so sad to hear about the passing of Dr. Perez. May warm memories comfort you in your time of loss. He was a very special soul and talented physician. He will be missed.

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  21. Just found out of the loss of
    Dr. Perez. My sympathy the his family and staff.

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  22. I just heard of Dr. Perez death on July 2, 2020 via a mutual patient of my current medical practice employer.I had the opportunity to work in Dr. Perez's practice periodically from September 2010-May 2011 as a phlebotomist for Quest Diagnostic. He was absolutely a gentlemen and a scholar. I found it to be joyful to talk him about our military experiences in medicine. My prayers goes out to his family and his staff. May God comfort you all in this tremendous lost.

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