Obituary for John Ambatt
John Chacko Ambatt (Johnny) was born in 1948 in Aluva, Kerala, India to A. P. Chacko and Annam Chacko. He was one of five brothers, of which he was the youngest. From an early age, John was an active member of the Thrikkunnathu Seminary Syrian Orthodox Church in Aluva, where he served as a youth league secretary, Sunday School Headmaster & Teacher, acolyte and many other roles. He was also an avid photographer, football (soccer) player, and loved to travel. In 1975, he married Saramma Varkey (Sara) and they had one daughter, Rajy, a year later. During his time in India, he worked as an aeronautical engineer at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, in the Indian state of Odisha. In 1986, he and his family emigrated to the US, settling in Rockland County, New York. He was blessed with the birth of a son, Chris, later that year.
Starting in 1987, John worked for the New York City Transit Authority. He made many friends during his tenure there and retired in 2012. John was known as a kindhearted and passionate person who dedicated a large portion of his life to his family, friends and church. He was a founding member of St. George Syrian Orthodox Church, New Hempstead, NY, and, for nearly 25 years, was the chief acolyte serving on the altar. One of his greatest dreams for the congregation of St. George Church was to have a place that they could call their own. Through God’s grace, he was able to see that dream fulfilled and participated in one of the first services there in 2019.
Throughout his time in the US, John continued to travel the globe with his family, visiting Israel, Turkey, Greece, China, the Bahamas and more. John adored his children and, later, grandchildren. He spent as much time as he could with them and they will forever cherish those memories.
Surrounded by his family and friends, John passed away peacefully at the age of 74. John is survived by his wife, Sara, his daughter Rajy(Eric), his son Chris(Glenis), and his five grandchildren Jonathan, Joseph, Jeremy, Navya and Jiya. He is also survived by two of his brothers in India. John leaves behind several brothers and sisters-in-law, cousins, nephews, nieces and dear friends.
John’s life was characterized by devotion and service to his family and church. He was pure-hearted, kind, and believed in doing things not for the sake of recognition but because they were the right things to do. These are all characteristics that we as a family hope to emulate. We will all miss him dearly – his smile, his laugh, his warmth and his love. We are glad he will be reunited with Christ.