We are saddened to announce the passing of Ariadne (Skotadi) Coules, beloved mother of one of our longtime members and supporters, Nora Presti, from Baltimore, MD.
Ariadne was born on January 20th in 1927 to Andreas and Panagiota Skotadis in Pylos, Messinia, Greece. She was the youngest of four siblings: Dionysios, Vasilios and Athanasia. Her father died just a few months after she was born, leaving the older siblings to help their mom raise Ariadne.
She frequently said of her brothers that they were more like two fathers, always ensuring she was well watched after and cared for. She grew up very happy and feeling very loved. And although she hated to leave her close, loving family and the beauty of the Peloponnese, young Ariadne craved adventure. In 1951, she boarded the Nea Hellas ship and set sail on a magical journey to visit her aunt in the most charmed place on earth – the United States of America.
Shortly after arriving in New Jersey she attended a wedding where, in true fairy tale fashion, she met her prince charming – Nicholas (“Niko”) Kiriacoules (Coules), the son of parents who came from a village not far from her native Pylos. It was magical; love at first sight. They wed in June of 1952. In 1953 their son Constantine was born and in 1960, their daughter Nora Panagiota. Their family was complete.
Family came first. Always. Every day, Ariadne’s focus was on the health and happiness of her family – from the family in her home, to family near or far; from her nieces across the street or in Michigan or New York, to her family back in Pylos. Her love, enthusiasm and dedication to family were contagious, and eventually inherited by her children and the grandchildren she adored.
In continuing her fairy-tale existence, Ariadne eventually applied for part-time work at Loehmann’s. There were three loves in Ariadne’s life: Family, God and FASHION! She quickly progressed from stockroom clerk, to salesperson, and eventually to Fashion Coordinator. One unforgettable and proud moment was when a stretch limo pulled up to the house to take Ariadne to the airport, so she could assist in the opening of a new store across the country. She was blessed to be living both a happily-ever-after life and the American Dream.
Tragedy struck in 1990 when her beloved son Constantine passed away after a long illness. Two years later, the birth of her granddaughter, Ariadne Nicole, and then in 1996 her grandson, Anthony Constantine, helped to fill the void left in her heart. The smile and sparkle everyone knew to be hers finally returned. Then, in 2008, she lost her beloved Niko. They’d been blessed with the marriage dreams are made of for over 55 years.
Ariadne’s greatest legacy will be not from the boundless love she shared with her family, but by the abundance of love she shared – period. She had a kind word and welcoming arms for everyone she encountered in life, regardless of race, religion, social status, or temperament. The smiles she shared were contagious, and everyone she met was left with the imprint of her kindness on their soul.
She is survived by her daughter Nora and son-in-law, William Presti; granddaughter Ariadne Nicole (and husband Ryan) O’Rourke and grandson Anthony Constantine Presti, who all strive to continue her legacy by being the best human beings they can possibly be.
Viewing will take place on Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at St Theodore Greek Orthodox Church at 1:30 pm. A private funeral service, following recommended COVID-19 restrictions, will follow at 2:30 pm. Private interment at Franklin Memorial Park in North Brunswick, NJ is scheduled for Wednesday at 1:00pm.