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John Betar


1911 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
John Betar Obituary
John George Betar, Sr.
John George Betar, Sr., 107, of Fairfield, CT, died of old age on September 12 in Trumbull, CT, surrounded by his wife of 85 years, other loving family, and devoted caregivers.
Born in Soueidieh, Syria (now Samandag, Turkey), on July 20, 1911, to George Michael Betar and Mary Bal, John immigrated to the United States as a ten-year-old with his older brother, Michael George Betar. After a long journey by boat, they landed in Providence, RI, and eventually reunited with their father in Bridgeport, CT. John attended Prospect School through the eighth grade and then began peddling fruit along Connecticut's Gold Coast in the 1920s. He also played baseball for the Polish Falcon League. Around 1930 he met the love of his life, a Bassick High School student named Ann Shawah. Ann's hand had been promised to a distant relation, but John and Ann were determined to be together. They eloped on November 25, 1932, in Harrison, NY, much to the surprise of some relatives, who exclaimed, "This marriage will never last." Just after their 80th wedding anniversary in 2012, John and Ann were honored by the Worldwide Marriage Encounter as one of America's longest married couples. The Betars celebrated their 85th wedding anniversary in November 2017, and prior to John's passing, they were thought to be the world's longest living married couple.
John was the owner of Betar's Market in two sequential locations on Broad Street in Bridgeport and worked there tirelessly from the mid-1930s to 1967, when he took up real estate and passed ownership of the grocery store to his brother Michael. He was a founding father of Saint Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church in Bridgeport and served as Parish Council President from 1957 to 1968.
From 1991 to 2005 the Betars divided their time between Fairfield and West Palm Beach, FL. As a centenarian John continued to grow his own tomatoes, bargain hunt in Fairfield grocery stores, and enjoy Tuesday night poker games. Most of all he thrived on time spent with his wife and family on Fairfield Beach.
John is survived by his wife Ann; three of his five children—Maryann Skelton of Portland, ME, Judith Metro of Washington, DC, and Renee C. Betar of Litchfield, CT; twelve of fourteen grandchildren; and sixteen great-grandchildren. He also leaves behind a nephew, Michael G. Betar Jr., of Huntington, NY. John is predeceased by a son, John G. Betar Jr., and a daughter, Joan B. Mitchell, both of Fairfield. John also lived on after two of his grandchildren, Ruth Skelton of Lewiston, ME, and Andrew Pike of Litchfield, CT.
A funeral service will be held Monday, September 17, 2018, at 1:00 p.m. at Saint Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church, 5458 Park Ave, Bridgeport with the Very Rev. Father Romanos Malouf officiating. Entombment will follow in Mt. Grove Cemetery, Bridgeport. The family will receive friends Monday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the church.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of John George Betar Sr. may be made to Saint Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church or . For information or to offer an online condolence please visit www.SpearMillerFuneralHome.com
Published in Connecticut Post on Sept. 15, 2018
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