Vagarshag John Sarkissian was born in Niagara Falls, New York. He was the beloved son of Vahan and Evgina Sarkissian and brother of Ophelia and Vartan.
John graduated from Niagara Falls High School and Niagara County Community College and earned an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration. He worked for the city of Niagara Falls; Niagara Frontier Services in Buffalo; U.S. Census Bureau, Albany; Albany County Hall of Records and W.L. Coughtry, Inc. Albany.
He served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps during the Korean Conflict and was honorably discharged after his tour of duty. He is a member of the Disabled American Veterans and the Niagara Falls Veterans Club.
He received the Air Scout Ace award top medal (highest honor equivalent to the Eagle Scout award) which was awarded to him by the Niagara Falls Rotary Club Air Scout Squadron 66, which recognizes leadership in service to others in air scouting.
He was a member of the St. Sarkis Church in Niagara Falls, New York and served on the parish council as Vice Chairman for 20 years.
His hobbies included collecting “junk” historical items, books, most collectibles. He liked to read, walk, cook, bake, hunt and fish. He liked historical novels and watched “West Wing” and “Jag;” Law and Order; NYPDB and certain soap operas. He enjoyed listening to jazz.
John moved to the Capital District in 1979 when he married the former Lucille Gochigian of Watervliet, New York, on February 11, 1979, at Holy Cross Church in Troy, New York. Their marriage was a commitment of love and respect for each other “until death do us part.” John was a good, kind and decent man; a man of honor and courage; strong and brave in every way and especially during his recent illness he never complained and was one of a kind. We thank all the people who took good care of him and who cared about him, as one medical group said: “he was an amazing man.”
He was an active member and past Commander of the Knights of Vartan Davros Lodge No. 25 and also served on the board of trustees of Holy Cross Church, Troy, New York, as Chairman. He received a beautiful plaque of appreciation and gratitude for his service to the church in 2016. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
In 1994, John and Lucille travelled to Armenia with the Armenian Assembly of America to the geographically beautiful land of historic Armenia where Noah’s Ark settled in the foothills of Mount Ararat.
John and Lucille adopted four children in Armenia and provided for their education and subsistence under a special plan for needy children. They also supported many other worthwhile projects abroad and locally, such as medical outreach for Armenia; WMHT Public TV annual programs, and the Armenian Lecture Series Endowed Fund at the Sage Colleges, Troy/Albany, New York.
Donations may be made to your charity of choice in memory of Vagarshag John Sarkissian. He passed into eternal life on Sunday, January 1, 2017 at 1:50 pm to be with the Lord forever. He was buried at the Gerald B.H. Solomon National Cemetery, with full military honors. Rest in peace, my love.