Catherine “Kay” Sarkisian, the heart and matriarch of her family, passed away peacefully at age 87 on Wednesday, February 22, 2023.
Kay was born in Boston to Malcolm and Christine Fernald. She was the only daughter of five children. She loved growing up “with the boys” in Arlington Heights, spending her days playing in the nearby creek or ice skating on Spy Pond.
Kay was the beloved wife of the late Joseph Sarkisian. She frequently lit up recounting the story of how she and Joe, known to his friends as the “Silver Fox”, locked eyes at the Jumbo Lounge in Davis Square. She “just knew” he was the one. The couple enjoyed traveling, often visiting Germany while their daughter, Linda, lived abroad. In their later years, trips to Foxwoods with friends were a highlight. The couple was married for over 50 years when Joe passed in 2017. The key to marriage, Kay explained, was “marrying a great man.”
After graduating Arlington High School, she found her career as an administrative assistant in the computer services department of Tufts University. During her 20 years there, she witnessed the University’s transition from typewriters to computers and made several lifelong friends—including her best friend, Peggy Campbell.
Kay considered her greatest role in life to be the caretaker of her family. Throughout her life, her friends and family relied on her as the person with a listening ear and thoughtful advice, always knowing just the right thing to say. She was a devoted mother to her son David and daughter Linda, a wonderful aunt to her many nieces and nephews, a kind-hearted grandmother to her four adult grand-children, a proud great-grandmother to her two great-grandsons.
When she was in her 60’s, she and Joe opened their home to welcome her daughter and two granddaughters to live with them. While living under one roof with two teenage granddaughters must have been taxing, Kay always made the home a warm and inviting place. She prepared home-cooked meals for the family every day, despite reminders to everyone that she hated cooking. She was also a devoted fan of her two grandsons’ many hockey and baseball teams throughout the years, from T-Ball to varsity ice hockey.
In addition to her son David and daughter Linda, she is survived by their partners, Pamela Morrison and Robert Croke. Kay frequently expressed how truly grateful she was that her children had found such wonderful partners.
Kay is survived by many cherished nieces and nephews, who always knew Auntie Kay’s home was open to them. Kay was also the loving sister of Robert Fernald, Malcolm Fernald, the late George Fernald and Charles Fernald.
Kay will be remembered for her kind heart, devotion to her family, and the love she shared with all those who entered her life.
Visiting hours will be held at the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., Burlington on Sunday, February 26th from 3-5 p.m. Graveside services will be held on Monday, February 27th at Mt. Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge, www.mountauburn.org, at 10:30 a.m. For obituary & online guestbook see www.sullivanfuneralhome.net