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In loving memory of
Beverly Ann Zirakian
  • June 27, 1938
  • -
  • April 20, 2021

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Obituary

Beverly Ann (Fee) Zirakian, 82, died peacefully at home, surrounded by her family in the early hours of April 20th, 2021, in Ocala, Florida. Beverly was born June 27, 1938, in Shrewsbury, Vermont, the youngest of three children to William Henry and Myrtle (Weir) Fee.

Born into an Irish-American family, Beverly and her two older siblings learned what hard work was, as they took part in chores of their family’s dairy farm. Beverly’s green eyes always glimmered with joy when she did mischievous things. She was exceptionally close to her brother and adored her father. Her first years of education were spent in a one-room school, where she successfully finished all 8 grades in 7 years. From a young age, Beverly loved academics and the challenge of learning new things. She then graduated from Rutland Senior High School where she excelled in her AP courses and was a proud member of her local National Honor Society. Beverly planned on becoming a Lawyer, but in the end, decided to become a teacher. Beverly first attended Boston University, but later transferred her credits to Castleton College and received her BS degree in Junior High Education in 1960.

After graduation, Beverly married Vincent Zirakian of whom she met at Boston University. Once married, she and Vincent brought home four, healthy baby girls and two handsome baby boys over the next nine years. As a mother, Beverly chose to stay home and care for her growing family. In 1973, Beverly went back into the workforce, working in the reading department of a local Pennsylvania public school system. The next year, in 1974, she began her employment with the Pennsylvania Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (SDA) in the Education Department. In this position, she worked as a grade-school teacher and as a principal throughout her employment, she worked at this placement for ten years. After her decade of work in Pennsylvania, Beverly moved to Florida where she again worked in the SDA Education Department. Her first placement was at Walker Memorial Junior Academy, in Avon Park, Florida, serving for four years (1984-1988) as a teacher. After that placement, she worked two years as a teacher (1988-1990) in Deland, Florida at the Deland SDA School. Following that placement, she moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where she taught and principled at the Sawgrass Adventist School for seven years (1990-1997). During her years at the Sawgrass school, Beverly was awarded the Zapara Award for Teaching Excellence (1996). From Fort Lauderdale, Beverly moved to Miami, where she taught at Greater Miami Academy; in Miami, she worked for five years (1997-2002) and established and coordinated the first honors program at the Academy. At her last placement, Beverly moved to Clearwater Florida where she worked for an additional four years (2002-2006). It was during these four years that she was nominated and her biography was accepted in the “Whose Who in American Teachers.” Beverly finished her teaching career in 2006 celebrating thirty-three years in the Adventist Education System and an additional three years in the public school system, totaling her years in education to thirty-six. In 2010, Beverly took her permanent retirement to Ocala, Florida where she stayed until her death.

Beverly loved teaching and especially enjoyed teaching children how to read. She often would reminisce about her years as a teacher and principal by simply saying, “There is nothing more exciting than to see a child find the keys that unlock learning for himself or herself.” She wasn’t able to keep in close contact with all her students, but with those with whom she was able to stay connected with, she was able to follow them through college, graduate school, and in some cases doctoral school. Two of her previous students taught three of her grandchildren later in their education! She was very proud of her students and always had high expectations for them and their future.

Although Beverly’s teaching career was put in retirement, she never truly quit teaching. As a grandma, she happily taught, tutored, graded, proofread, car-pooled, and bought her seven grandchildren many educational activities. She continued her high standards for her grandchildren as well; out of seven grandchildren, two have graduated college and have secured careers in their field, three are currently in college, and the youngest is in middle school.

Throughout her life, she lived with or near at least one of her children. And as her life began to slow down–and all the grandchildren who lived near were going off to higher education, her youngest daughter came to live with her. Beverly enjoyed her family and loved all her close friends.

Beverly is preceded in death by her parents, William Henry and Myrtle Weir Fee; her brother, William Fee; her two sisters-in-law, Nancy Zirakian DiBoyan, Alice Bryce Fee; her four brothers-in-law, Francis Minogue, Gerard Zirakian, Simone DiBoyan, Carl Kelley; her two nephews, William Fee, Larry Minogue; and her husband, Vincent P. Zirakian.

Beverly is survived by her sister, Edith Kelley; sister-in-law, Elizabeth Assarian Zirakian; four daughters, Nora (Stephen) Watts, Deborah Zirakian, Pamela (Ron) Day, Sarah Zirakian; two sons, Matthew Zirakian-Salovitz, Paul Zirakian; four granddaughters, Ariel (Zackary) Sanderford, Erin Watts, Diana Tanksley, Jewel Day; three grandsons, Daniel Tanksley, Adam Zirakian, Luke Zirakian; four nephews, William Minogue, Patrick Minogue, Greg Zirakian, David (Lori) DiBoyan; and three nieces, Barbara Fee (Richard) Moon, Carol Zirakian (Ed) McDermott, Michelle DiBoyan (Carl) Zitta.

A memorial will be held on Saturday, June 5th, 2021, at four in the afternoon at the Clearwater SDA Church located at, 1445 Lakeview Rd, Clearwater, FL 33756. Please join the family as we celebrate Beverly’s life and legacy.

In lieu of flowers, consider furthering and continuing Beverly’s passion and legacy for educating children by donating to International Children’s Care at ForHisKids.org/Beverly. Contact (423)-647-1826 for any questions or further information.


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  1. Nora lit a candle:
    26 May 2021
    Lit since May 26, 2021 at 5:26:08 AM

  2. Nora posted an image:
    22 May 2021
    Beverly
    Beverly

  3. Nora posted an image:
    22 May 2021
    Beverly’s first baby girl.
    Beverly’s first baby girl.

  4. Nora posted an image:
    22 May 2021
    Zirakian family at Aunt Nancy’s Wedding
    Zirakian family at Aunt Nancy’s Wedding

  5. Pamela Day posted an image:
    21 May 2021
    Mom at Pamela's wedding
    Mom at Pamela's wedding

  6. Pamela Day posted an image:
    21 May 2021
    Mom at Pam's wedding
    Mom at Pam's wedding

  7. Pamela Day posted an image:
    21 May 2021
    Mom and Paul's wedding
    Mom and Paul's wedding

  8. Pamela Day posted an image:
    21 May 2021
    Mom and Danny, Ariel and Erin
    Mom and Danny, Ariel and Erin

  9. Pamela Day posted an image:
    21 May 2021
    Mom and Pamela
    Mom and Pamela

  10. Pamela Day posted an image:
    21 May 2021
    Mom and 3 grandchildren - Ariel, Erin and Danny
    Mom and 3 grandchildren - Ariel, Erin and Danny

  11. Pamela Day posted an image:
    21 May 2021
    Mom and Sarah - graduation
    Mom and Sarah - graduation

  12. Pamela Day posted an image:
    21 May 2021
    Mom, Pamela and her youngest grand daughter - Jewel!
    Mom, Pamela and her youngest grand daughter - Jewel!

  13. Pamela Day posted an image:
    21 May 2021
    Mom and Dad - engagement
    Mom and Dad - engagement

  14. Pamela Day posted an image:
    21 May 2021
    Mother Daughter Banquet - Blue Mtn Academy
    Mother Daughter Banquet - Blue Mtn Academy

  15. Pamela Day posted an image:
    21 May 2021
    Mom, Debi and Pamela
    Mom, Debi and Pamela

  16. Pamela Day posted an image:
    21 May 2021
    Mother daughter banquet at Blue Mountain Academy
    Mother daughter banquet at Blue Mountain Academy

  17. Pamela Day posted an image:
    21 May 2021
    Mom's graduation
    Mom's graduation

  18. Pamela Day posted an image:
    21 May 2021
    1998 - Mom in Family Photo
    1998 - Mom in Family Photo

  19. Pamela Day posted an image:
    21 May 2021
    1998 - Family photo
    1998 - Family photo

  20. Pamela Day posted an image:
    21 May 2021
    Mom and Dad - just married
    Mom and Dad - just married

  21. Pamela Day posted an image:
    21 May 2021
    Mom and her first grandchild - Danny
    Mom and her first grandchild - Danny

  22. Pamela Day posted an image:
    21 May 2021
    Mom at Danny's dedication
    Mom at Danny's dedication

  23. Pamela Day posted an image:
    21 May 2021
    Mom and J. Matthew
    Mom and J. Matthew

  24. Pamela Day posted an image:
    21 May 2021
    Mom and Ariel
    Mom and Ariel

  25. Pamela Day posted an image:
    21 May 2021
    Mom and her brother and sister in law
    Mom and her brother and sister in law

  26. Pamela Day posted an image:
    21 May 2021
    Mom and family at Debi's wedding
    Mom and family at Debi's wedding

  27. Pamela Day posted an image:
    21 May 2021
    Mom as a little girl with her brother and parents
    Mom as a little girl with her brother and parents

  28. Pamela Day posted an image:
    21 May 2021
    Thanksgiving at Disney with Mom and Ariel - lunch at the castle!
    Thanksgiving at Disney with Mom and Ariel - lunch at the castle!

  29. Pamela Day posted an image:
    21 May 2021
    Mom at Cayman Island vacation - petting a stingray
    Mom at Cayman Island vacation - petting a stingray

  30. Pamela Day posted an image:
    21 May 2021
    The family at Dad's funeral
    The family at Dad's funeral

  31. Pamela Day posted an image:
    21 May 2021
    Mom at Dad's funeral
    Mom at Dad's funeral

  32. Pamela Day posted an image:
    21 May 2021
    Mom, Dad and his parents -
    Mom, Dad and his parents -

  33. Pamela Day posted an image:
    21 May 2021
    Family photo in 1984
    Family photo in 1984

  34. Pamela Day posted an image:
    21 May 2021
    1984 picture of Mom and Dad
    1984 picture of Mom and Dad

  35. Pamela Day posted an image:
    21 May 2021
    Mom and Dad again
    Mom and Dad again

  36. Pamela Day posted an image:
    21 May 2021
    Mom and Dad
    Mom and Dad

  37. Pamela Day posted an image:
    21 May 2021
    Mom at Pamela's high school graduation- 1982
    Mom at Pamela's high school graduation- 1982

  38. Pamela Day posted an image:
    21 May 2021
    At Pamela's graduation
    At Pamela's graduation

  39. Pamela Day posted an image:
    21 May 2021
    Mom with Ariel and Erin - her first 2 grandchildren!
    Mom with Ariel and Erin - her first 2 grandchildren!

  40. Deborah Zirakian posted an image:
    20 May 2021
    A special twinkle of Mom with Diana
    A special twinkle of Mom with Diana

  41. Pamela Day posted an image:
    20 May 2021
    Beverly and Vincent Zirakian at their wedding
    Beverly and Vincent Zirakian at their wedding

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