Charles Vahan Zahigian, 72 of South Yarmouth passed away peacefully on October 3, 2015. Charles was born on January 30, 1943 at Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro, MA. He was the son of the late Garabed Zahigian and Tholinda (Anelunde) Zahigian.
He will forever be remembered by his four children, Debra Bird and her husband James of South Yarmouth, Dawn Vincent and her husband Raymond of West Yarmouth, Barrie Slingerland and her husband Wesley of West Yarmouth, and Michael V. Zahigian of South Yarmouth. He will be greatly missed by his sister Beatrice Bears and her husband Bob of Oldsmar, FL, his nephew Robert Bears of Tampa FL, and niece Lisa Bears of Rehoboth, MA as well as his cousin and best friend Ernie Dalpe and his wife Donna of West Yarmouth. He was lovingly known as “Papa” to his ten cherished grandchildren, Alec, Morgyn, Madison, Sophia, William, Jacob, Brooke, Jack, Logan, and Ryan. He was predeceased by his beloved Aunt Beatrice (Zahigian) Gilmore of Attleboro, MA and his devoted partner of twenty six years Dianna Panesis with whom he traveled extensively to Europe, The Carribean, Middle East, Greece, and Egypt. He is survived by his partner Kathy Waite of Sandwich and many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
Charles attended school at Tiffany Elementary and Peter Thacher Junior High and graduated from Attleboro High School in 1961. In 1967 He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from UMass Amherst. Charles was married in September of 1967 to Susan Croteau of Attleboro, MA and moved to Long Island, NY and a year later moved to Chatham MA where he worked as a summer reserve police officer. He settled in South Yarmouth, MA and worked as the manager at The Windjammer Motel where he started his family as well as a career in Real Estate with Nickerson Real Estate. He also worked as an assistant Harbor Master for Yarmouth and was a volunteer for twenty five years for the Figawi Race of Nantucket. For the past twenty seven years Charles worked diligently and with great pride as the owner/publisher of The Real Estate Book of Cape Cod. He was devoted to the book and cherished the relationships he formed with his customers and fellow colleagues throughout the years. From 1979 to 2002 Charles proudly served as a reserve police officer for the Town of Yarmouth.
He loved working in the yard and creating beautiful flower and prosperous vegetable gardens. He also enjoyed boating, fishing, watching the birds, and the Red Sox. He traveled to many places around the world and especially enjoyed sitting on the beach in Aruba with a kahlua colada. His pride of his Armenian, Italian, and Portuguese roots was evident in his many stories of his ancestors and their family traditions such as spending every Sunday at Ocean Grove in Swansea, MA with his parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins where his Grandmother Estrella (Torres) Anelunde would make her famous “malasadas” (Portuguese fried dough). He carried on the traditions with his own family cooking many family recipes, Portuguese clam bakes, and trips to Watertown, MA for Armenian food. Charles was a charismatic man, a very hard worker with a strong will, generous heart, great sense of humor, and love for life who took great pride in his business and family life. In the last year of his life he was especially appreciative of the outstanding care he received from Dr. Chryssanthi S. Kournioti and her colleagues of Newton Wellesley Hospital.
Visitation will be held on Thursday October 8th from 1-4 and 6-9 pm at Morris, O’Connor & Blute Funeral Home, 58 Long Pond Drive, S. Yarmouth, MA. A funeral Mass will be held on Friday October 9th at 10 am at St. Pius X Church, Station Ave., S. Yarmouth burial will follow at Woodside Cemetery, Yarmouthport.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Armenian Eyecare Project @ www.eyecareproject.com.