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Obituaries » Mars "Chich" Eghigian, Sr.

Mars "Chich" Eghigian, Sr.

March 15, 1931 - October 23, 2017

U.S. Veteran

Service Date: October 31, 2017

Mars Eghigian, Sr., 86 Years, popularly known as “Chich” the youngest son of Ara and Esther Eghigian passed away at his residence Monday, October 23, 2017.

Born and raised in East St. Louis, Ill, Mars graduated from East St. Louis High School and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Park College in Parkville, Missouri.  He entered the US Army in 1954 and proudly served with the 82nd AA All-American Airborne Division as a Korean veteran before his honorable discharge in 1956.  After the service, he married the absolute love of his life, Darlene Toppel, whom he met while attending Park College.

Making their home in East St. Louis, and later in Belleville, Mars worked at Master Cleaners, the family dry cleaning business at 13th & Missouri Avenue.  Afterwards he entered into a sales and insurance career as an award winning agent with the Mutual of Omaha and Met Life companies.

Through the years Mars and Darlene loved ice hockey and enjoyed supporting and attending St. Louis Blues hockey games as season ticket holders.

Shortly after the sudden passing of his beloved wife Darlene, Mars retired and enjoyed hosting his neighborhood coffee clutch socials every morning, golfing with friends, coordinating and attending ESL High School and Park College class reunions, spending time with his family, but most of all he enjoyed his woodshop where daily he made trivets, birdhouses, lighthouses, and his famous Christmas sled tree ornaments while listening to classical music.  Freely he gave them out to family, friends, neighbors, and most times, to complete strangers.

Mars was preceded in death by his:

  • Beloved wife: Darlene
  • Parents Ara Eghigian Sr., and Esther nee Vartanian
  • Sisters
    • Ann Eghigian
    • Arpina Stanton
  • Brother: Ara Eghigian Jr.
  • Brother-in-law: Harry Stanton

Surviving are his:

  • Son: Mars Eghigian Jr. and daughter Maresa (William) Wilson
  • Granddaughter: Alesa Wilson
  • Sister-in-law: Frances Eghigian
  • Nephews
    • Ara Eghigian III
    • Dr. David (Jennifer) Eghigian
  • Niece: Syrune Eghigian
  • Great-nieces and great-nephews
  • Many dear friends in the Belleville area, across the country, and especially in the Armenian community.

Special thanks: A special heartfelt thank you to Kendra and the exceptional staff at Family Hospice in Belleville for all their great care, love, and support.

Memorials: Memorials may be made to Family Hospice of Belleville or Holy Virgin Mary & Shoghagat Church in Swansea.

Funeral:  Private services and burial will be held at Mount Hope Cemetery so that Mars will join his dearly beloved wife Darlene.