Artemis Michalopulos

Artemis Michalopulos

1943 - 2024

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Artemis Kehagioglou Michalopulos was born on April 1,1943 in Constantinople, Turkey. Artemis and her older sister Lena (Tekini) were born to a Greek mother, Angeliki (Amfilohiadou) and an Armenian father, Suren Kehagioglou. The family, including their Greek Yiayia (grandmother), lived among other “Polítes” (po-LEE-tes) as Constantinople’s Greek minority were called. The sisters lost their father early in life. Greek was spoken in the home but their school classes also included lessons in Turkish.

WWII and the postwar years were stressful for many Polítes, obliging the sisters to leave school at a young age to help their widowed mother support the household. Lena married and started a family, and Artemis relished being a Thea (aunt). After their mother's untimely death, both sisters continued to live in Constantinople, despite growing anti-Greek sentiment. The negative feelings affected neighboring Cyprus, and when tensions peaked there, Artemis fled to Athens, beginning a new life.

A courageous, self-sufficient woman, Artemis adapted and found a way to support herself while also paving the way for Lena and her family to migrate as well. In the mid-1980s Keti Michalopulos, introduced Artemis to her brother, Constantine “Deno” Michalopulos, a recent widower from the US. After a whirlwind courtship, Deno and Artemis were wed in Greece, and then Artemis made her third international move -- to Tulsa, Oklahoma.

At the age of 43, Artemis arrived in Tulsa with just a smattering of English, and no notion of running an American household. Finding herself now in a completely foreign culture, anxiety set in but she persevered, inching into her new roles as wife, and stepmother to George, Renee, and Gina as well as becoming daughter-in-law to Deno’s first wife’s father, who lived with the family. The extended family (including Deno’s first wife’s family) as well as the local Greek community warmly invited her into the fold, smoothing the transition considerably. Artemis evolved quickly, picked up English, learned to drive and became an American citizen—a particularly proud achievement. She loved everything about her new life in the US.

With so many more skills on board, and with George and Gina expanding their families, Artemis glided into yet another role: Yiayia, a role she cherished and that further rooted her in her new life. With the love and affection befitting any Yiayia, Artemis was a doting one to Constantine “Denny,” Michael, Louka, Marko, and Yianni. Her grandsons enjoyed the enviably unique experience of entering a thoroughly Greek microcosm each time they visited Yiayia and Papou (grandfather). Artemis, most fastidious of housekeepers, would berate Deno if so much as a crumb fell to her spotless floor but her grandchildren could do no wrong, regardless of any chaos they left behind. She took great pride in even their smallest accomplishments and boasted about them tirelessly. She catered to her grandchildren’s every whim by, say, keeping a supply on hand at all times of hand-peeled pomegranate seeds, freshly-baked koulourakia as well as an extensive collection of their favorite VHS movies.

Indeed, food was her love language—she mastered traditional Greek dishes and sprinkled Turkish ones into her extensive repertoire of exotic cuisine. She was proud of her flair in the kitchen and readily showered her labor-intensive delicacies on friends and family alike. Receiving her baklava or spanakopita was an ultimate delight.

Artemis had an impish sense of humor, salted with raunchiness, often delivered with a poker face. She had edgy nicknames for nearly everyone she was close to. She also had a knack for renaming everyday items as well. For example, this timely gem: she referred to an obituary as “bitchonary.” Others are “whiskey shower” for Worcestershire; “Bone Dynasty” for bone density; and “paralyzed parking” for parallel parking. Her grandchildren took great delight (never correcting her) when she commanded, “screw your chair in, open your mao and take a bike.” Many of her charming coinages have been captured on a list of “Artemisisms.”

Through Deno’s job with American Airlines, they enjoyed many years of domestic and international travel. Their most frequent and fondest destination, allowing both of them to visit family, was Greece. There they often traveled to various islands with her nephew Suren, who had his own island-hopping boat, allowing them many freshly-caught fish dinners.

Artemis was active in the Daughters of Penelope women's auxiliary; the Megali Ellas Women’s Society, and was a hardworking volunteer for the local Greek festival. Later in life, she discovered the joys of dog ownership when Bouboulina became part of the home and provided her with delight and purpose. "Boubou" was her coddled companion to the end.

Artemis was a generous, loyal friend who cared greatly for her circle of intimates. Her best friends, Mary Ann VanCuren and Leigh Romanello not only brought doses of fun and celebration into her life, but were unwavering in their support during her many health crises. Indeed, countless friends, much-loved neighbors, and members of her Holy Trinity church family reciprocated her generosity and friendship in various ways during hospital stays. The family remains touched and grateful by the outpouring of love. Most notably, Deno's brother and sister-in-law, Peter and Athena Michalopulos, have for decades been loyal and nurturing family, always looking after her as well as being tireless caregivers.

Artemis was appreciative of the care she received from her St. Francis physicians and healthcare providers and especially the St. Francis Dialysis team for their meticulous and loving care the past two years.

Artemis was predeceased by her sister Lena in 2009. She lost her sweet Deno in 2021. She is survived by her beloved nephew and niece, Suren Kamar and Angeliki Tekini, of Athens, Greece. By children George (Gail) Michalopulos, Renee Michalopulos, Gina (Patrick) Kingsley; daughter-in-law Margaret Michalopulos and grandchildren Constantine “Denny” Michalopulos, Dr. Michael (Dr. Madeline) Michalopulos, Luke Charles Kingsley, Mark Constantine Kingsley (fiancée Emily Fritch) and John Patrick Kingsley. In addition to Peter and Athena, she is also survived by her sisters-in-law, Irini Avrilioni of Athens, Greece and Demetra Morres of St. Louis, Missouri.

The Michalopulos family is grateful to Father George Gartelos who will officiate at the funeral and for providing moral and spiritual support as well as warm friendship during his years as Artemis’s priest.

Pallbearers will be her five adored grandsons.

Following the funeral is a graveside service at Rose Hill Burial Park and a Makaria luncheon at the Holy Trinity Zartaludes Family Community Center.

Memorial donations may be made to the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church Prison Ministry, a cause Artemis supported.

Ninde Brookside | 918-742-5546


Trisagion & Funeral Service

9:30 am
Monday, June 24, 2024
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church
1222 S. Guthrie
Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States
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Artemis Michalopulos

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Artemis Michalopulos

1943 - 2024

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