Panagiota E. Diakoulas, 81, seamstress, dry cleaner

January 12, 2003

Panagiota E. Diakoulas, a seamstress and former owner with her husband of several East Baltimore dry cleaning and tailoring establishments, died of respiratory failure Thursday at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. She was 81 and lived in Perry Hall.

Born Panagiota Sinani in Lindos, Greece, she was raised in Ethiopia where her father, a bridge builder, was working. She attended local schools and learned her craft from a French clothes designer.

In 1943, she was married to Emmanuel Diakoulas, a tailor who went to New York City in 1947 to work for Grue Brothers Tailoring Co.

Two years later, the couple reunited in Baltimore and later opened E & P Dry Cleaning and Tailoring on Eastern Avenue. They opened a second store, P & E Dry Cleaning and Tailoring, several years later on Hudson Street in East Baltimore.

After Mr. Diakoulas had a stroke in 1980, they sold one store and kept the Hudson Street store until closing the business in 1990. He died in 1998.

Mrs. Diakoulas, who was known for her skill and creativity, specialized in women's clothing. After the store's closing, she continued working from her Belair Road home in Perry Hall.

"She loved making gowns and even drew the patterns from which she sewed them," said a son, John E. Diakoulas of Hunt Valley.

Mrs. Diakoulas also enjoyed preparing Greek delicacies for her family and friends.

"She loved her family, and she loved her religion," said Mr. Diakoulas.

She was a member of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation, Maryland Avenue and Preston Street, where funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. tomorrow .

Mrs. Diakoulas is survived by two other sons, Gus E. Diakoulas of Grasonville and Paul E. Diakoulas of Switzerland; a daughter, Chris E. Papavasiliou of Timonium; 16 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

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