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ODU BENEFACTOR THEODORE 'TED' CONSTANT DIES

Theodore "Ted" Frank Constant, a longtime benefactor of Old Dominion University, passed away Jan. 31, at his residence at Westminster Canterbury in Virginia Beach.

A native of Norfolk, Mr. Constant was the son of the late Georgia Pappas and Frank Constant, and was the eldest of five children. He is survived by his daughter, Georgette Constant and son-in-law Ray Gregory; daughter, Anne Constant, son-in-law Alan Willsey and grandson, Ted Willsey, of Bethesda, Md.; and by his sister, Joanna Willis of Orange County, Calif. He also leaves behind several nieces, nephews and close friends. He was preceded in death by his wife, Constance, his youngest daughter, Theodora, and his sisters, Sophia Photinos Soltys, Mary Diamond and Bess Lira, all of Norfolk.

Constant was a graduate of Maury High School and of North Carolina State University, where he studied business administration. A lifelong resident of the Hampton Roads area, he was well known for his business accomplishments as well as for his philanthropic activities. He held leadership positions in the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, where he spearheaded the building of the church's social hall in the 1950s, and later the St. Theodore's chapel adjacent to the church. As founder and president of the Norfolk Beverage Company, he was active in the National Beer Wholesalers Association as well as the 21st Street Business Association, and the Norfolk Civitans and Sports Club. An avid boater, he also held leadership positions in the area Power Squadron, and was an enthusiastic supporter of the sports programs at N.C. State University and Old Dominion University.

His name has become iconic in Hampton Roads with its attachment to the Ted Constant Convocation Center, the jewel of the campus' still evolving, 75-acre University Village.

"He was a warm, kind, gentle friend of the university," said Old Dominion President Roseann Runte. "He will be missed by the entire ODU community."

In honor of the support he provided to Old Dominion, both through scholarships and building funds, Mr. Constant was honored with numerous honorary degrees and awards over the past 20 years.

A funeral will be conducted Wednesday at 11 a.m. at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation in Norfolk by the Rev. Fr. Costas G. Christo, Ph.D., Dean, and the Rev. Fr. Constantine Rogakos, Ph.D., followed by a graveside service at Forest Lawn Cemetery. The family will receive friends afterward in the social hall of the Greek Orthodox Church. Funeral arrangements are being handled by H. D. Oliver Funeral Apts., Laskin Road Chapel. Family members request that in lieu of flowers, all donations be made to Westminster-Canterbury Foundation at 3100 Shore Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, and designated for the employee scholarship fund.

This article was posted on: February 2, 2004

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