MIDDLEBURY — John A. Kotchian, loving husband of Regina (Fox) Kotchian, died on March 8, 2020, at his home in Middlebury. He was born on Jan. 24, 1951, in Oak Park, Ill., to the late Winifred and John F. Kotchian.
John was the oldest of four children and his youth was filled with good times with sisters, Sally, Nancy and Ann. He played trumpet in school and marching bands, played on his high school’s tennis team, and was president of its chess club. He enjoyed stargazing and learning the constellations. He was happy to go camping, skiing and sailing with his family. Having a beautiful tenor voice, when John got older, he led the annual neighborhood carol sing in his family’s barn. He was active in Boy Scouts and earned the Eagle Scout award. He graduated from North Haven High School and the University of Connecticut.
John’s favorite pastime was hiking; he earned the title of giant master by hiking all the trails at Sleeping Giant State Park and was also a member of the Appalachian Mountain Club. He relished his annual trip to Acadia National Park where some of his favorite hikes were, worked on trail maintenance as a stewardship volunteer for the Friends of Acadia, and biked on Acadia’s Carriage Roads. In addition to visiting other national parks, John traveled to Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada and the Pacific Coast Highway. He loved singing and was a member of the Waterbury Chorale, where he served as president, board member and section leader. He also sang with the Connecticut Master Chorale and the St. John of the Cross choir. At this time last year John was still enjoying skiing and snowshoeing. He started every morning with his Sudoku puzzle and also enjoyed his daily chess puzzle and numbrix. In his last weeks he enjoyed teaching his family to play cribbage, which he had played from his youth. John and Regina adopted four cats and three dogs over the course of their marriage. He was a 3rd degree member of the Knights of Columbus and past grand knight of Father Loftus Council. With the Knights he organized the Summer Slam Against Hunger for 20 years.
John married Regina Fox on Jan. 27, 1973, at St. Margaret Church in Waterbury. Starting in 1980 they were part of the Marriage Encounter community, where they met many lifelong friends. The couple soon moved from Waterbury to their longtime home in Middlebury. They enjoyed attending their four children’s events (sports games, plays, concerts), hiking, birdwatching, playing guitar, singing and reading.
John spent 42 years working as an agent at Prudential Insurance and was a chartered life underwriter and chartered financial consultant. Devoted to his clients’ interests, he continued to work part time so his long-term clients could stay with one agent. He was an excellent cook; his soups were especially delicious, and he contributed them to the annual Lenten soup suppers at St. John of the Cross.
He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Regina; son, William Kotchian and daughter-in-law, Julie Cunningham of San Diego, Calif.; son, Jonathan Kotchian of Bronx, N.Y.; daughter, Elizabeth Giuliano and son-in-law, Brian Giuliano, of New Hope, Pa.; and son, Edwin Kotchian of Cheshire. He also leaves two grandsons who gave him great joy, Charles and Alexander Giuliano. He leaves sister, Sarah Kotchian and her husband, Robert Nellums, of Albuquerque, N.M.; sister, Nancy Prentiss of Farmington, Maine; and sister, Ann Lombard and her husband, Robert, of Bridgton, Maine. He is also survived by his brother-in-law, Peter Fox and his wife, Barbara; as well as many nieces and nephews. John is predeceased by his sister-in-law, Sr. Mary
Elizabeth Fox, CND. We will so miss his love, kindness, gentleness and generosity.
Calling hours will be held on Friday, March 13, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Naugatuck Valley Memorial/Fitzgerald Zembruski Funeral Home, 240 North Main St., Naugatuck. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, March 14, at 11 a.m. at St. John of the Cross Church, 1263 West St., Middlebury. Those attending are asked to please meet at the church at 10:45 a.m. Burial will follow in Lake Elise Cemetery.
Donations may be made to Friends of Acadia, 43 Cottage St., P.O. Box 45, Bar Harbor, ME, 04609.
To send an online condolence, visit www.naugatuckvalleymemorial.com.