Eve Lynne Donigian of Sandy Hook entered eternal life on Aug. 10, 2015 at the age of 71 after a brave but short six-week battle with brain cancer — glioblastoma multiforme. Her motto throughout her short and courageous battle was always “Let’s kick those tumors!”
Eve celebrated her 71st birthday on May 31, 2015. Eve was known for her always positive attitude, her sparkling smile and warm eyes, and how welcome she made everyone feel.
Born in Staten Island, N.Y., Eve had a wonderful childhood as the oldest of three siblings. Eve loved her time spent on her family’s farm — Chrampanis Farm — where she helped work at the farm stand as a young girl, which would inspire the master gardener in her which she later became. She also loved going to school. She excelled at Port Richmond High School, graduating in 1962 and heading to Elmira College in Elmira, N.Y. She was President of the graduating class of Elmira College in 1966, and has since loved attending and planning the elaborate reunions that the College hosts. The wonderful and everlasting friendships made at Elmira College were something that Eve cherished. She was most looking forward to planning and attending her 50th year reunion, to be held next June, 2016. Her alumni friends said she will have her own special place at the reunion, as she without a doubt, will be there in spirit!
Upon graduation from Elmira College, Eve realized her love of languages. For this reason, she chose to attend Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vt., to earn her Master’s Degree, graduating in 1968. She had the opportunity to travel and live in Spain multiple times through the Middlebury Immersion program and also met the love of her life, David, through the same program. Together, they made many wonderful memories and friendships in Spain.
David and Eve married on July 26, 1970 at Saint George Greek Orthodox Church in Staten Island, N.Y. Their wedding is remembered by many for the wonderful Greek music and dancing and love. This year, 2015, was their 45th wedding anniversary.
Eve’s love of languages brought her on a journey that would inspire the lives of many young students. She loved teaching and looked forward to each new school year. She began her teaching career in Bay Shore, Long Island, before teaching Spanish (and French) as the Department Chair at Wilton High School in Wilton, Conn., for 35 years, retiring in 2005. Her passion for languages and appreciation for different cultures would take her to Greece, Spain, Portugal, France, Russia, Morocco, Mexico and South America. Her students remember her for her kind personality, inviting classroom, and her passion for their success in learning a second language and life. Tributes from her former students, family and friends can be found on Eve’s Caringbridge website: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/evedonigian
Eve looked forward to retiring, for now she had the time to do whatever she felt like doing!
Since retiring, Eve kept a journal detailing all of her accomplishments, including which books she had read, listed year by year, which movies she had seen and other events she had participated in. She said she loved seeing the pages in her retirement journal fill up, as it showed the many different things she absolutely loved to do and had been waiting to do her entire life.
As a voracious reader, she joined multiple book clubs in Newtown, the Newtown Women’s Club, the Philoptochos Women’s club — a philanthropic association at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, her advanced Italian class, volunteered reading to toddlers at Newtown Congregational Church and more recently, helped teach Spanish to Trinity Church congregants who headed to El Salvador this spring. She also ensured that the residents and patients at Masonicare in Newtown had the ability to read, starting a program where large-print books were part of the reading program there. She also volunteered at the Masonicare Café.
She used time in retirement to travel to England with David, work in her gardens, get together with friends and enjoy her grandchildren. Together in their Sandy Hook home, she and David hosted large Thanksgiving dinners for family and friends, retirement parties for colleagues, birthday parties, bridal showers and baby showers. Their home was always the destination for celebrating with Armenian and Greek foods, friends and love.
She is survived by her devoted husband, David, two loving children, Christina and Matthew, her son-in-law Thomas and her daughter-in-law Andrea, as well as her adoring grandchildren, two-year-old Olivia, two-year-old Michael and seven-month-old Sophia, who are missing their “Yia-Yia” (Grandmother in Greek) dearly.
Eve is survived by her mother, Fannie Chrampanis of Staten Island, N.Y, her sister Georgia Chrampanis Peterson of Dunellen, N.J., and sister Dessie Henion of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., four nieces, and one nephew as well as several cousins, aunts and uncle, and her many, many friends whom she deeply cherished.
She is also survived by her devoted rescued granddogs.
Waiting for her in the eternal life are her father Louis Chrampanis, and her in-laws, Harry and Elsie Donigian.
The Donigian family will receive visitors at Honan’s Funeral Home in Newtown on Wednesday, Aug. 12, from 5 to 7 p.m. The Greek Trisagion prayer service will take place at 5:30.
A funeral will take place at the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, 30 Clapboard Ridge Road, on Thursday, Aug. 13, at 10:30 a.m., with burial following at Zoar Cemetery, 53 Berkshire Road in Sandy Hook, Conn.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Eve’s name to:
Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, 30 Clapboard Ridge Road, Danbury, CT 06810 and/or Regional Hospice of Western Connecticut, 30 Milestone Road, Danbury, CT 06810.