North Providence - Philip Ovoian gave a lifetime of unconditional love, generosity and kindness to his wife, Rose V. Ovoian (Markarian) and to his family. He loved his friends too, especially those in the Armenian community, and took great pleasure in gathering with them. Philip was full of optimism and charm that served him well in business and with his family life. A resident of North Providence, and formally of South Attleboro, MA, he passed away on January 31, 2021, at age 95.
Philip was born, at home, in Whitinsville, MA, on May 7, 1925, the son of Sarkis and Lucy (Ghougasian) Ovoian, survivors of the Armenian Genocide. Philip was a great gift to his parents after their experience of so much suffering in the old country. Though completely lacking in material wealth, Philip described his Whitinsville boyhood in idyllic terms: he and his friends taking turns sharing one pair of ice skates on the Frog Pond, swimming at the community center, fishing and playing ball on the school playgrounds.
Philip was a member of the Northbridge High School Class D State Championship football team of 1942, graduating in May of 1943. The following month, like so many of his classmates entering military service, Philip enlisted in the Army Air Forces. He was a crew chief on B-24 and B-29 bombers and served his country through the end of World War II. He was issued an Honorable Discharge in March of 1946.
Philip met the love of his life, Rose Markarian, at an Armenian Youth Federation dance in Providence in 1947. He had a car and would drive from Whitinsville to Rhode Island to take her out on her lunch hour. They were married in August of 1947, and were almost never apart for more than a day or two until her death in 2016.
Philip applied his optimism and charm with great success in outside sales in the glass industry for more than forty years. He loved to tell the story of how one of the warehouse workers at the distribution center complained to him to "stop selling so much" so that the worker's warehouse job would be easier. In addition to his sales career, Philip owned and operated Darlington Miniature Golf and the Magic Wand Car Wash in Pawtucket, and the Phil-Mar Auto Wash in South Attleboro. Given all of these ventures, for many years he worked seven days per week.
Philip was a Mason for more than 60 years and was a Past Master of the Barney Merry Lodge No. 29. He was the treasurer of the Armenian Masonic Degree Team for 20 years and was a long-time member of the Kiwanis Club of Pawtucket.
Philip was devoted above all to his loving family. He and Rose delighted in taking their grandchildren and great grandchildren out to eat regularly at the Village Haven Restaurant in Forestdale. He is survived by his daughter, Marjorie L. Sluter and her husband David, of Rumford, RI, his son, Robert S. Ovoian and his wife, Valerie M. Welch, of North Attleboro, MA; his grandsons, Steven D. Sluter and his wife Pamela, of Smithfield; Ethan P. Sluter and his wife Tabitha, of Providence; Matthew A. Sluter and his wife Kimberly, of Seekonk; Daniel M. Ovoian and his wife Stephanie, of Providence; his granddaughter Katherine W. Ovoian, of North Attleboro; and nine great grandchildren: Isabelle, Bethany, Aram, Luke, Gabriella, Gloria, Angelo, Jack and Charlie.
Philip is also survived by his beloved niece, Margie Simonian, of Michigan. He was predeceased by his sister, Arpie Simonian Oskoian, also an Armenian Genocide survivor, his nieces, Florence Jevahirian and Alice Simonian and his nephew Richard Simonian, all of whom he loved dearly.
Relatives and friends are welcome to attend a Funeral Liturgy on Friday, February 12th, 2020 at 11 a.m. in Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church, 402 Broadway, Providence. Burial at Swan Point Cemetery is private. Flowers and are respectfully omitted. Memorial gifts to Sts. Vartanantz Church would be appreciated. Arrangements are entrusted to William W. Tripp Funeral Home, Pawtucket. TRIPPFUNERALHOME.com