Zakis, Charles

June 16, 2018

ALBANY-Charles Zakis of Federal St., passed away Saturday, June 16, 2018 after a struggle with cancer which he handled with grace and dignity, interspersed with humor.

He was born in Passau, Germany on Dec. 6, 1944 (he always added that he was conceived in Latvia). He existed in refugee camps in Germany with his mother and two brothers until they immigrated to America in 1949, finally settling in Albany in 1951. He graduated from Albany High School and earned his B.A. from Wichita University.

Charlie was born the master of his own soul. He had a heart of gold and shared constantly with others. He enjoyed his own company, as well as the company of others. He did everything in his own way and in his own time. He had a personal relationship with God, which was based on joy, positive energy and compassion. He was a listener, not a proselytizer. He was a minimalist who was never consumed by consumerism. He was an athlete, excelling in basketball and enjoying golf. You couldn’t have asked for a better brother.

Charles was predeceased by his eldest brother, Peter Zakis (USN) and his two half-brothers, Juris and Andrej Zakis of Riga, Latvia. He is survived by his brother, Martin Zakis of Albany; nephews Peter Zakis, his wife Cristina and sons Ricki and Paul of Atlanta, Georgia, Mark Zakis and Tim Buckley of Ventura, California; his sister-in-law, Valerie Buckley and her husband Timothy; and his four nieces of Riga, Latvia and London, England-Anda, Laura, Baiba and Zane.

To paraphrase a friend-“Charlie will be at one with the universe, just as he was all his life”.

Contributions in Charlie’s memory may be made to the Community Hospice, Gift Processing Center, 310 So. Manning Blvd., Albany, NY 12208-a remarkable health care service, staffed by extraordinary individuals; or you might simply give a couple of dollars to the next person you see on the street who seems to need a helping hand; or even better, you might do both.

In keeping with Charles’ wishes, there will be no services.