Tallmadge -- His big, welcoming grin and well-known sayings called "Zobbyisms" are among the things for which longtime Tallmadge resident Zobby Miktarian will be remembered.
A Tallmadgeite for more than 40 years, Mr. Miktarian died of natural causes Aug. 28 at the age of 85.
"He was the happiest and most loving and genuine man you could ever meet, our joy and inspiration," said his daughter Patty Spencer, 61. "Dad, we love and miss you terribly, but you are with Mom now jitterbugging your way through eternity."
An Akron native, Mr. Miktarian entered the U.S. Navy at the age of 17 and served during World War II aboard the USS Cavalier APA 37, spending two years in China.
After serving in the military, Mr. Miktarian and his brothers, Mike and Paul, became co-owners of Joe's All Star Cafe on East Market Street in Akron, the bar their father, Joe, started in 1933 when he came to the U.S. from Armenia.
With the help of their family and the bar's patrons over a 20-year span, Mr. Miktarian led the effort to raise $200,000 for multiple sclerosis research through walks, parties at the bar and the national "The UGLY bartender" fundraiser. The acronym couldn't be more fitting for Mr. Miktarian, Spencer said, as it stood for "Understanding, Generous, Loveable, You."
Brother Paul passed away in 2000, and deciding it was time to retire, Mr. Miktarian and brother Mike closed the bar later that year. They sold the property to Summa Health System, which knocked down the building to put in a parking lot.
"I don't know what I'm going to do without seeing that smile ... He could melt a room with that smile," Spencer said about her father. "He could put anybody at ease. If he didn't know you within 30 seconds you would think that you've known him your whole life. He was just that kind of a person. He was just special."
Among his most well-known "Zobbyisms," as his family called them, were "time out" when he needed to stop and regroup and "Chow down, you landlubbers" at mealtime. "Don't get excited," "That's ridiculous," "Don't worry. Be happy," and his consistent telephone greeting of "Haaaaalo" also were among his favorites.
"My dad was quite the character. He had names for everything. If he couldn't remember the name of something, he had a name for it," Spencer said.
A patriotic man who lined the driveway and front yard of his home with American flags for Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day and Veterans Day, Mr. Miktarian remained socially and physically active into his later years. He frequently met a group of veteran friends at Chapel Hill Mall to tell war stories.
Spencer said her father and mother, Peggy Miktarian, who died five years ago, were "the love bugs of the century."
"She was the love of his life, absolutely the love of his life. They were married 57 years when she died. He missed her terribly," Spencer said. "He was a great dad. He picked up where my mom left off; he was a mother and a father. We were truly, truly blessed to have such a great father, great parents."
Mr. Miktarian looked forward to reading newspapers, always starting with the comic strips first before turning his attention to the news. One of his favorites was "Beetle Bailey."
He also found amusement in the TV show "America's Home Videos," especially the videos starring cats doing silly things.
Mr. Miktarian was a member of the Tallmadge United Methodist Church, Adoniram Joppa Lodge 517, Scottish Rite Valley of Akron, Tadmor Shrine; a 56-year member of American Legion Post 209; past "Chef de Gare" of Voiture 40 and 8 and a lifetime member of Firestone VFW Post 3383.
Funeral services were held last week in Tallmadge, with the funeral procession driving by his home and around the Circle. A sign from Joe's All Star Cafe that has been in storage since the bar closed made its way through the city on a trailer as part of the procession. It was displayed during the services and then in the front yard of his home in the following days. Spencer said her family would like to do something special with the sign.
Preceded in death by his parents, Kachig (Joe) and Dicranuhi Miktarian, and brothers Paul and Mike Miktarian, Mr. Miktarian is also survived by his other daughter, Cheryl (Bryan) Esler; son, Zavin (Chris) Miktarian, all of Tallmadge; sister, Margaret Merlesena of Burlington, Mass.; sister-in-law, Wilma Miktarian; grandchildren, Katie Thompson, Kari (Jon) Stanke, Kristen Spencer, Tim Dettling, Keegan Miktarian, Scott Spencer and Michael Esler; two great-granddaughters, Kaylee and Lillianne; many nieces, nephews and friends; and his "gadu," Annie.
Former Twinsburg Police Officer and Tallmadge resident Joshua T. Miktarian was Mr. Miktarian's nephew. Mike Miktarian Jr., owner of Mike's Service Center, located at Tallmadge Circle, is a cousin of Mr. Miktarian and Tallmadge Public Service Director Bryan Esler is his son-in-law.
Memorial donations may be made to the Ohio Buckeye Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 6155 Rockside Road, Suite 202, Independence, OH 44131, or the Joshua T. Miktarian Memorial Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 53 Twinsburg, OH 44087.
Contact this reporter at 330-541-9428 or email@example.com
Facebook: Holly Schoenstein, Record Publishing Co.