OLDKNOW II, William H. (1924-2011) William Henry Oldknow II was born in Atlanta, Georgia on September 3, 1924 to Oscar S. Oldknow and Marian Louise Scruggs. His grandfather, William H. Oldknow, was a motion picture pioneer. Bill's family moved to Los Angeles in 1933, where he attended the Curtis School and Harvard/Westlake. Upon graduation, Bill joined the ROTC, attended college at Harvard University and graduated from the University of Southern California. While at USC, his roommates were the football star and former Los Angeles City Councilman, John Ferraro, and former California Secretary of State, Warren Christopher. Bill went to sea during World War II as a communications officer aboard the U.S.S. Juneau. After the war, he met Constantina D. Skouras (Dina), niece and protegee of Charles P. Skouras, president of Fox West Coast Theatres. They married in January 1949.
In 1948, with the guidance of his father, Bill began a commercial enterprise of building and operating drive-in movie theatres throughout the Southwest. He expanded his interests into larger commercial developments, becoming Chairman and CEO of De Anza Land & Leisure Corporation in 1971. Bill was a leading breeder of thoroughbred racehorses, with more than twenty American and international stakes winners. The most successful was Golden Act. His article, "Aptitudinal Characteristics of the Thoroughbred" was published in The British Racehorse (1979), establishing him as an international expert in the field. Throughout his life, Bill was guided by a deep faith. In his early years, he served on the vestry of St. John's Episcopal Church of Los Angeles, where he was married. For the rest of his life, he joined his wife in her commitment to Greek Orthodox Christianity, and they were guided by a lifelong friendship with His Eminence, Archbishop Iakovos of North and South America. Bill initiated and contributed generously to many building endeavors at Saint Sophia Cathedral in Los Angeles, St. Nicholas Church in Northridge, St. Nicholas Ranch, Visalia, and the Metropolitanate of San Francisco. He was a lifelong member of the board of directors of the Saint Sophia Foundation, honorary lifetime member of the Archdiocesan Council, and a founding member of the Leadership 100. In 1971, Bill was made an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Bill was a member of the Society of the Cincinnati. He was also a founding member of, and philanthropist to, many of Los Angeles' leading cultural institutions. Bill passed away at home in Pasadena on July 19, 2011. He is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Dina; four daughters, Elizabeth, Theodora, Constantina, and Theresa and their spouses; and five grandchildren, Asa and Alyssa Ammarin and Alexandra, Henry, and Louise Huttinger. Trisagion services will be held on Friday, July 22 at 7:30 PM at Saint Sophia Cathedral in Los Angeles. Funeral services will be held at Saint Sophia on Saturday, July 23, at 10:30 AM. In lieu of flowers, please make gifts of remembrance to the Saint Sophia Foundation-Saint Constantine Chapel Fund, 1324 South Normandie Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90006. Cabot & Sons, Pasadena Directors
Published in Los Angeles Times from Jul. 21 to Jul. 22, 2011.