Charles (Charlie) Calusdian passed peacefully in his Walpole home on February 24 at age 88. He was generous with his time, his love and his sense of humor. Despite his declining health from Alzheimer’s Disease over the past year, he amazed his family with his continuing ability to deliver a witty pun. He had bookshelves filled with tomes from history to chemistry (he had the periodic table memorized), but in his final weeks the books he focused on most were those filled with photos of his beloved family.
He was extraordinarily proud of his family, which included his devoted wife of 56 years, Janet (Holbrook) Calusdian, his son David Calusdian of Foxboro and his wife Barbi, son Dean Calusdian of Attleboro and his partner Jennifer Lyons, his daughter Deborah Calusdian of Greensboro, NC, granddaughters Jordan of Brooklyn, NY, and Regan Calusdian of Foxboro, cousin Audrey Jones-Childs of Watertown, brother-in-law Clifton Holbrook of Needham and his husband Anthony Calilung, and many cousins, nieces and nephews whom he cherished. He was predeceased by his mother Rose Calusdian, father Frank Calusdian, and brother Richard Calusdian.
Charlie was born in Watertown, a hometown about which he often reminisced, and where he frequently returned to visit family and stock up on Armenian food, especially lamajun. The son of an Armenian genocide survivor, he was proud of his Armenian heritage. He delighted his family and friends with stories from his past, including the time his dog Poppy followed him on his walk from Watertown to Cambridge, or the time his teacher unknowingly kept his lunch bag filled with a live snake in her desk.
He graduated from Watertown High School in 1952 and attended Northeastern University, where he received a degree in chemical engineering and an MBA. Following his undergraduate studies, he served in the US army as part of the ROTC program.
After college he would attend young adult activities through the First Baptist Church of Boston where he would meet the love of his life and future wife, Janet. She was his strength and his support throughout the rest of his life.
Charlie spent over 25 years working for Raytheon Corporation as a quality control engineer until retiring in 1991. He spent his retirement years volunteering for his church, spending time with his family, and enjoying photography.
He was a long-time member of the Union Congregational Church, where he participated on various church committees and was the church historian. He was an expert in religious history and taught Sunday school for high schoolers for many years. Sharing his knowledge on a variety of subjects, especially history, was a joy for him and for those whose lives he touched.
He was a lifelong Boston sports fan, particularly the Red Sox, and often told the story of entering Fenway Park for the first time and seeing Ted Williams hit a home run off of Bob Feller.
Charlie had a sweet tooth. Licorice and Mallo Cups were among his favorites. And he never passed up an opportunity to have ice cream. Ever.
He enjoyed traveling and took his family on trips, including camping at their beloved White Lake State Park in New Hampshire, where his children still visit frequently.
His granddaughters were an absolute blessing to him, and it gave him great joy to secretly slip them $20 before they left his house. And he never let them leave without a sandwich bag filled with red licorice.
He was an incredible and supportive father, and was a strong role model, quietly teaching his children to always act on the side of love and compassion. Charles Calusdian was a kind, caring and loving man, and will be greatly missed.
Visiting hours will be held on Tuesday, March 1 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00. p.m. at the Alexander Thomas and Sons Funeral Home at 45 Common Street, Walpole. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Charlie are welcomed to be made to the Union Congregation Church, Rhodes Ave, East Walpole, MA or the Alzheimer’s Association