In Memoriam: Cleo Cafesjian

Published: Wednesday March 13, 2013

Cleo Cafesjian in the 1940s.

Cleo T. Cafesjian, of Naples, Florida and Roseville, Minnesota, passed away Thursday, March 7, 2013, after bravely fighting without complaint, a prolonged illness.  Cleo was born to the late Harry and Margaret Thomas on October 9, 1925. Cleo was from Forty Fort, Pennsylvania.  She graduated from Roosevelt Hospital Nursing School in New York City as a Registered Nurse.  She met Gerard L. Cafesjian during World War II when she was a nurse and he was in the US Navy.  Cleo and Gerry were married after the war on July 4, 1947.

Cleo was a Registered Nurse, and was passionate about caring for the sick and needy. She was active with one of the earliest Meals on Wheels program in Minnesota in1961, and was tireless in her volunteer efforts well into her eighties.. An avid Bridge player and blessed with a mischievous sense of humor, Cleo was a uniquely kind, generous and loving soul who touched the hearts of everyone she met.  With her red hair and blue eyes, she was strikingly beautiful in every sense, both inside and outside.

Cleo is survived by her husband, Gerard L. Cafesjian; her daughter Kathleen and son in law Jaff Baradaran; her son Thomas G. Cafesjian; her granddaughter Carrie, Carrie's husband Ben Jones; and her great-grandchildren Sam, Eli and Jack Jones; and her brother George Thomas.  She was predeceased by her first child, Gerard L. Cafesjian, Jr., her sister Peggy Williams and her brother Harry Thomas.

No Memorial Service has been scheduled. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made on line at:  to the Orran Home in Yerevan, Armenia, in her memory, an organization that cares for orphaned Armenian children, a cause close to Cleo's heart.

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Carolann Najarian. Courtesy image

Calendar of Events

Veteran Armenian American activist Carolann Najarian will present her father's memoirs on surviving the genocide and settling in America, at a Boston area event on October 30; for details about this and other upcoming Armenian happenings in America consult the Calendar of Events.

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