Artemis (Rita) Constantine
February 4, 1939 – November 14, 2023

Beloved in the Lord,

It with sadness, yet with hope in the Resurrection, I share with you that Mrs. Artemis (Rita) Constantine fell asleep in the Lord on November 14, 2023. She is the mother of our Metropolis Chancellor, His Grace Bishop Ioannis of Phocaea. Mrs. Constantine was 84 years old and resided in Richmond, Virginia.

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.

The Trisagion Service will be held on Sunday, November 19 at Bliley’s Funeral Home, 8510 Staples Mill Road, Richmond, VA, at 6:00 p.m., with visitation beginning at 5:00 p.m. The Funeral Service will be prayed on Monday, November 20 at 11:00 a.m. at Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 30 Malvern Avenue, Richmond, VA 23221, immediately followed by the Makaria. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Richmond Cathedral Icon Fund and sent directly to Saints Constantine and Helen Cathedral.

May her memory be eternal!

With Love in Christ,
+ G E R A S I M O S
Metropolitan of San Francisco

Obituary for Artemis (Rita) Constantine

Artemis (Rita) Constantine, 84, of Richmond, Virginia peacefully reposed in the Lord on November 14, 2023. Born in Thessaloniki, Greece 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 1960’s.

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, 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.

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 family will receive visitors at Bliley’s Funeral Home, 8510 Staples Mill Road on Sunday, November 19, 2023 from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM. The Trisagion will be prayed at 6:00 PM. The Funeral Service will be held at Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 30 Malvern Ave, Richmond Virginia on Monday, November 20, 2023 at 11:00 AM followed by the Makaria Meal of Remembrance. Burial will be private on Tuesday, November 21, 2023 at Westhampton Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Richmond Cathedral Icon Fund.