Born with his twin brother Emmanuel on Jan 3, 1926 in Port Said, Egypt to a Greek expatriate couple with trading and agricultural enterprises. Together the boys, reclaimed land from the desert, developed a high-lift low-cost pump based on the design of the Archimedes screw and planted corn and cotton. They were raised in privilege where mischief, involving chemistry and explosives, was punished lightly.
They were active in Civil Air Defence, Alexandria 1941 but also learned rudimentary German. Later they enjoyed the use of abundant war surplus to build agricultural machinery followed by studies in London. After a brief episode of arms dealing the brothers retraced ancient routes of Roman mineral surveyors in the southern desert. They developed a tungsten Mine for which Dimitri then travelled to Canada to seek a senior partner in INCO.
He began work for INCO as a miner of the lowest kind, was promoted and married the daughter of his boss, H.J. Mutz. Polly and “Jim” as he was now known, started their family of four children in Sudbury where he began a computer consulting business, in 1958. They moved to California where Jim worked for Mattel Toys and often commuted on Los Angeles freeways by bicycle.
The family moved to Quebec City in 1964 and learned French while Jim joined a consultancy with Andre Juneaux to participate in the creation of the Ministry of Education. Moving to Kanata, Ontario he became a private consultant with the Dept. of Finance and then the Canadian International Development Agency for whom he travelled the globe, most importantly, in Egypt and Palestine.
He bought land in Old Glengarry County near St-Isidore, Ontario where Polly and he built a farm estate. Dimitri worked with Alfred College where he met his close friend, Denis Perrault, a vintner and dairy farmer from Navan, Ontario. They would go on to sponsor “farmer to farmer” projects in Ghana and Chad.
Dimitri adopted many bright and promising young people and was considered a “Tree of Great Shade” in the sense that he gave shelter to multitudes. He was kind and spoke gently and truly enjoyed every day of his life. Among his adopted sons and daughters are Heather Cruden of Ottawa, former Ambassador to Pakistan, Garth Franklin of Dunvegan, Custom Farm Services, Rosemary Kralik, Artist and Rancher, Tiraislin, Snow Road Station, Ontario, Robert Curphey, Real Estate agent, Rideau Ferry, Ontario as well as Tyler Down, Stephanie Seguin and their son Raphael of Riceville, Ontario.
He is survived by his eldest daughter Maryanne of Maxville Ontario, his granddaughters Rhianon Cowley-Owen and Gwynnyd Murray both of Glengarry and his great grandsons Owen and Deacon Murray of St Andrews.
His second-eldest Margaret Ellen (“Peggy”) who attended him at the end of his life and his youngest Frances, of Toronto also survive him along with his son George a palaentologist, St-Isidore, Ontario and his nephew George, a trading house owner, Montreal Quebec. His niece Marina of Collingwood and nephews Dimitri Kampouris and Marc Duquette of Montreal have offered their condolences. His beloved twin brother “Mano” lives now on Nun’s Island Quebec and his respected cousin Emmanuel, resides in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
His elder sister Kiki, sadly predeceased him a few weeks ago at the age of 98, in her sleep at her home in Athens. She studied under Freud and Jung in Vienna, married a Greek Admiral and raised her children Marcos and Annoulah. She was lively, happy and vengeful. Villas in Corfu.
Polly died in 1997. Dimitri died in his bed, in the home he built with his own hands, sheltered by forest and gardens he planted and still enjoyed this spring. They are together now.