Irene H. Zartarian, 98, of Warwick, passed away peacefully on January 7, 2013. She was the beloved wife of the late George H. Zartarian.
Mrs. Zartarian was the daughter of George and Mary (Hagopian) Melkonian. Irene was born in Rehoboth, Massachusetts in 1914. When she was very young, her family moved to Providence before they settled in the Shawomet section of Warwick where she grew up on the family farm. In 1931 she graduated from Warwick High School and worked as a switchboard operator at Warwick City Hall before her marriage in 1942. She and her husband lived in Warwick throughout their marriage, eventually settling in the Lakewood section where they raised their three sons. After her husband’s untimely death in 1965, Irene was devoted to commemorating his memory, and did so through charitable donations. She established a student scholarship in his name which is given annually by the Armenian Student’s Association, as well as a donation to St. Vartans Cathedral in New York City in his honor. As a widow, her devotion and life’s work concentrated on raising her three teenage sons. Though she dedicated many hours as a volunteer worker at The Ocean State Center for Independent Living in Warwick, as well as the Rhode Island Hospital Gift Shop, her primary life work was centered on caring for her family and ensuring that her sons were successful in their life endeavors.
She enjoyed traveling, reading, knitting, hook-rugging, and playing cards and games of scrabble with her grandchildren, relatives and friends. She played pinochle for nearly seven decades with her dear friends, the “card group”. She liked cooking, gardening, and entertaining people in her home for special occasions. She was a very giving person and would get upset with herself if she forgot to send a birthday, anniversary, or get well card to the people in her life. Irene was a life-long member of Saint Sahag & Mesrob Armenian Apostolic Church of Providence and a sister in the Daughters of Vartan organization. In 1998, the Ladies Aid of the church honored her as “Mother of the Year”. She was immensely proud of her Armenian heritage and instilled her feelings to her children and grandchildren at every opportunity. Her love of the Armenian Church was a guiding force in her life and she was happiest when attending Divine Liturgies on Sunday mornings. She generously donated a digital music system to the church in honor of her late husband, and her heart filled with pride and love when she would hear the beautiful chimes ring out from the steeple on Sunday mornings. Irene will be dearly missed by all.
She was the loving mother of three sons, David and his wife, Janet of Narragansett, Alan and his wife, Marilyn of Warwick, and Robert of Branford, Conneticut; and the devoted grandmother of Lori and Brian Zartarian, Alison and Adrien Hebert; and great-grandmother of Julian Cepeda. She was predeceased by her loving siblings Albert Melkonian, Harold Melkonian, and Florence Hedison.
Those wishing to pay their respects may do so during calling hours from 4:00-8:00 P.M. on Friday January 11 at Nardolillo Funeral Home & Crematory, Cranston, RI. Funeral services will be held from St Sahag & St Mesrob Armenian Apostolic Church at 10:00 A.M. on Saturday, January 12.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Saints Sahag & Mesrob Armenian Apostolic Church, 70 Jefferson Street, Providence, R.I. 02908