John S. Arslen
John S. Arslen, beloved husband, brother, uncle, friend and neighbor, passed away on April 10, 2017, after a brief illness. He was 85.
Six months earlier, John was predeceased by his wife of 47 years, Louise (Donoian), the love of his life. During her last years, she had been confined to a nursing facility where John cared for her devotedly and tirelessly.
Born to Simon and Rachel (Samuel) Arslen on December 28, 1931, John came from a proud Assyrian heritage: his grandfather was an Assyrian priest credited with saving many Armenian lives during the early 20th century; an esteemed traditional musician and vocalist, John’s father worked as a local cobbler.
John lived his entire life in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he attended Classical High School before serving in the Navy aboard the USS Briareus in the early 1950s. He later received a degree in business administration from Northeastern University while working for his father and attending night school. He was a senior buyer in acquisitions at UMass Medical Center until his retirement.
A gentle, inquisitive man who thought things through, John’s notable intellect was matched by a kind and generous spirit. He had a lifelong passion for literature, art — and especially jazz - and was a fan of classic movies. A favorite uncle, he was legendary for his pastime, airplane model-making.
John will be deeply missed and remembered by his sister, Jane (William) Chapman of Little Egg Harbor, NJ; nephews George (Janet) Tashji, David (Susan) Tashji, Peter (Tracey) Tashji, Michael (Judy) Tashji, and Oscar Derderian; niece Jaymie Babaian; sister-in-law Shake Derderian; long-time friend John Namey; and numerous cousins including Phyllis Arslen Saffer and Pamella Saffer and Leslie Saffer who were devoted to him in his later years.
Calling hours will be held Friday, April 21, 4:00 to 6:00pm, at Callahan Fay & Caswell Funeral Home, 61 Myrtle Street, Worcester. In lieu of flowers, donations in John’s memory may be made in support of refugees to the Assyrian Foundation of America, P.O. Box 660, Berkeley, CA 94702. Interment with Navy Funeral Honors will be held at Hope Cemetery at a later date.