Constantina Skouras Oldknow
February 20, 1925 - October 28, 2014
Constantina Skouras Oldknow, known to her many friends as Dina, was born in Skourohorion, Greece on February 20, 1925, sixth child of Athanasios Dimitrios Skouras and Sophia Karianos. She died in Los Angeles on October 28, 2014.
Her father and his brothers were raised to be shepherds. In 1910, the brothers emigrated to America. Settling first in St. Louis, Charles, George, and Spyros Skouras worked as busboys, saving money to invest in nickelodeons. In a classic rags to riches story, the Skourases rose to become top movie industry executives with Warner Brothers and 20th-Century Fox in New York and Los Angeles. Influential innovators, they are among the 20th century's most celebrated Greek-American personalities.
In 1928, Dina's family moved to Athens, where her father became a pioneer of the Greek movie industry. Dina lived through the Second World War in Athens, often helping her favorite brother, Athanasios D. Skouras, with his political activities. A graduate of Amherst College and Yale University, Skouras co-founded the Greek resistance movement, PEAN (Panhellenic Union of Fighting Youths). Tragically, he was arrested and executed by the Nazis in Athens in 1943 for his leadership in the Greek resistance.
Dina emigrated to the United States aboard one of the first Liberty ships in 1946, arriving at the Beverly Hills home of her uncle, Charles P. Skouras, where she attended Scripps College in Claremont. Dina married William Henry (Bill) Oldknow at St. John's Episcopal Church in Los Angeles on January 15, 1949. In 1959, they were married again in the Greek Orthodox Church by His All Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras of Constantinople. Dina and Bill shared an adventurous life together for 62 years, until Bill's death in July 2011. They were energetically involved for decades in numerous philanthropic and civic pursuits in Los Angeles.
Dina was appointed to the national board of directors of the Greek Orthodox Ladies' Philoptochos Society in 1977. She served as the national president of Philoptochos from 1990 to 1994. During her presidency, the Children's Medical Fund and the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) were launched. From 2007 to 2011, she was President of the L.A. Chapter of the Philoptochos at Saint Sophia Cathedral, the cathedral conceived and built by her uncle Charles Skouras in 1952.
Dina is survived by four daughters, Elizabeth (Frank Huttinger), Theodora (John McLean), Constantina (Peter Herzberg), and Theresa (David Sutton); and five grandchildren, Asa and Alyssa Ammarin; and Alexandra, Henry (m. Elizabeth Meeker Jensen), and Louise Huttinger.
Trisagion service will be held on Monday, November 3 at 7:30 PM at Saint Sophia Cathedral in Los Angeles. Funeral services will be held at Saint Sophia on Tuesday, November 4, at 10:30 AM. In lieu of flowers, please make gifts of remembrance to the Saint Sophia Foundation-St. Constantine Chapel Fund, 1324 So. Normandie Ave., Los Angeles, CA 9006 or Keck Medical Center of USC, 1500 San Pablo Street, Los Angeles, CA 90033. Email Condolences to www.ChapmanFuneralDirectors.com.
Terry & Mary Harmon, Directors, Chapman Funeral Homes. (855)628-0447