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United States

Memory Eternal – Artemis (Rita) Constantine

November 29, 2023

RICHMOND, VA – Artemis (Rita) Constantine, 84, of Richmond, VA, beloved mother of Bishop John of Phocaea, chancellor of the Metropolis of San Francisco has reposed in the Lord.

Born in Thessaloniki, to Polycarpos and Anastasia Triantafillidis, she grew up in the shadows of World War II and the Greek civil war. In October 1995, at the age of 16, she married Ernest Constantine of Richmond in Veria, Greece. He predeceased her in 2008 after 52 years of marriage.

Her faith in God was unshakeable and deep. In times of uncertainty and with motherly concern for her children, her constant prayers to our Lord Jesus Christ and the Most Holy Theotokos, gave her the spiritual strength that assured her that all was in God’s hands and that He walked beside her. Her love for family knew no bounds. Her sisters, Vasiliki Dimadi and Aliki Konstant, along with their families joined her in Richmond in the 1960s.

Rita never met a stranger. “To know her was to love her” describes her infectious personality. If by chance, she didn’t know you, she would enthusiastically introduce herself and would instantly become a Mother – or Grandmother – figure. She loved helping others by watching over six grandchildren (at once), cooking at Church, spending time with her sisters, taking meals to the home-bound, and driving people for shopping or to doctor appointments. Anything you asked of her she would do with a smile on her face and kick in her step. She called herself a ‘butterfly’ and thrived on the energy she created around people. The heavens are singing a welcome song to their newest butterfly.

Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco said in a statement that “Rita was a vibrant woman who knew no stranger and lived her life to the fullest. She was an example of faith and was a dedicated wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. She is now in the eternal embrace of Jesus Christ, and reunited with her husband, Ernest, reposed in the Lord in 2008.”

His Grace Bishop John of Phocaea, beloved son of the late Artemis Constantine. (Photo: Courtesy of Metropolis of San Francisco)

She is survived by her son Bishop Ioannis (John) of Phocaea, daughter Frances (Kenny Krushelnisky), and son Paul (Donna), her six grandchildren, Nicholas, Peter and Michelle Krushelnisky, Stephanie (Kenny) Walker, Jennifer Constantine, and Victoria (Andrew) Lough; great-granddaughters Kaleigh and Kenley Walker; her sisters Bessie Dimadi and Aliki Konstant; sister-in-law Mary Trahadias; and numerous nieces and nephews.

The Funeral Service was held at Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 30 Malvern Ave, Richmond Virginia.

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