Cover photo for Efstratios "Charlie" Zaffery's Obituary
Efstratios "Charlie" Zaffery Profile Photo
1934 Efstratios "Charlie" Zaffery 2023

Efstratios "Charlie" Zaffery

April 27, 1934 — October 30, 2023

We are saddened by the loss of beloved husband, father, grandfather (Papou) and friend, Efstratios "Charlie" Zaffery. Charlie was born on April 27, 1934, in Queens, NY and began following his passion for flying at a very young age. Charlie was a licensed pilot at the age of 14 and co-owner of a plane at 16. After a primary school teacher noticed his intellectual gifts, he was enrolled in Brooklyn High School for boys at 12 years old where he excelled in all subjects, but especially the sciences which undoubtedly led him into engineering.

After his service in the army, he moved to Florida and was a self-proclaimed beach bum. He enjoyed water skiing and rebuilding boat engines, all while pursuing an electrical engineering degree. After marrying Opal in 1961, he and Opal moved to New Mexico to start a life together. Charlie had an extraordinary mind with endless curiosity and a love of science and engineering which led him to have a long, successful career as an electrical engineer with Sandia National Laboratories.

With family being the most important thing to him, Charlie designed and built his first home in 1962, and then he and Opal's dream home in 2000, where his family could gather and make countless memories together. As his family's lives cycled, Charlie was always there no matter what the need, from installing a light switch, building chairs, making crosses, to coming to the aid for those in need.

His passion for flying followed him into his retirement where he built dozens of remote-control model airplanes that he flew with his flying club for many years. Charlie also loved computers and technology and later in life, he enjoyed printing 3D objects as gifts for everyone. He was a great man and role model, not only for his family, but also for the hundreds of children who he inspired while volunteering at the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History, sharing his knowledge of the many events which he had been a part of in his career.

Charlie was a true renaissance man. He was a jeweler, electrician, architect, gardener, Mr. Fixit, pilot, musician, artist, poet, and had many other talents, but no roles were as important to him as husband and father. He had the patience of a saint and a gentle hand. Everyone who knew Charlie loved him very much. His memory will live on within us, and he will be deeply missed. He had a strong faith in God and always said that "everything is going to be alright."

Charlie is survived by his wife, Opal of 62 years; three children, Renee (Chris), Dean (Corin), and Chuck (Collin); and six grandchildren, Strat, Max, Katianna, Alena, Adam, and Ryan.

May his memory be eternal. ☦️

A Funeral Service will be held Thursday, November 9, 2023, 10:00 a.m., at St. George Greek Orthodox Church, 308 High St. SE.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Charlie's name to:

https://www.nuclearmuseum.org/support/donations

https://my.nsta.org/donation/general-fund

https://donate.khanacademy.org/give/419869/#!/donation/checkout?c_src2=Webapp.header

 

To send flowers to the family in memory of Efstratios "Charlie" Zaffery, please visit our flower store.

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Funeral Service

Thursday, November 9, 2023

10:00 - 11:30 am (Mountain time)

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