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James Demo Zamagias

Cumberland—James Demo Zamagias, 85, of Cumberland, died Saturday, January 26, 2019 at the Western Maryland Health System.  Born July 4, 1933, in Johnstown, PA, he was the son of the late Demo and Anna (Abraham) Zamagias.  He was also preceded in death by his wife, Sally, brother Gus Zamagias, and sisters Kathryn Zamagias and Jessie Jameson.

Jim was a 1952 graduate of Johnstown High School.  He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history at the University of Pittsburgh, where he was a Phi Beta Kappa student.  He took a sabbatical in 1971-1972 to perform doctoral work at Penn State University.

Jim moved to Cumberland with his family in 1963 to own and operate White Oaks Village Dairy, which he sold in 1979.  From 1964 until 2006 he was a professor of English and Philosophy at Allegany College of Maryland, where he served as Chairman of Humanities.  The Student Success Center at Allegany College is named in his memory.  He also assisted for decades at the college admissions office.

Jim published Pool Room Ballads and Other Esoterica in 1967.  He also published textbooks in English Usage and Grammar which were used at Allegany College and other colleges in the country.

Jim was an active supporter of the Allegany County Animal Welfare Society.  He judged numerous speech contests throughout the county and served as a consultant on Robert’s Rules of Order at Allegany College and other local organizations.

Surviving are one son, C. James Zamagias and wife Kathleen, Cumberland; two daughters, Zita Pierce and husband Jeff, Orlando, Florida, and Diane Levine and husband Brad, North Potomac, MD; five grandchildren, Stephen Zamagias and wife Dixie, Athens, Georgia; Elizabeth Rogerson and husband, Scott, Pittsburgh, PA;  Christina Sweeney and husband David, Orlando, Florida; Alexander Levine, New York City; and Andrew Levine, North Potomac, Maryland; great granddaughters Charlotte and Colette Rogerson, Pittsburgh; brother George Zamias, Johnstown, PA; sister Maria Seltzer, San Diego, California; and sister Betsy Commandaros and husband George, Pittsburgh, PA; sister-in-law Gloria Ross, Johnstown; and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family would like to especially thank caregiver Etta Helmstetter, who lovingly cared for Jim for the past year; she was assisted by Kay Canfield and Kim Scarlett.  Outstanding care was also provided at the Lions Center, the High Level Care Unit at Western Maryland Health System, and the Dialysis Unit at the Health System.  The family is also grateful to Dr. Robert Welik and Dr. Sunil Gupta.

Jim was known for his love and devotion to his family, especially his wife, Sally, his fun sense of humor with colleagues at the Village Dairy and  Allegany College, his generosity, and his abiding love of animals.

Friends will be received at the Scarpelli Funeral Home, P.A., 108 Virginia Avenue on Tuesday, January 29, 2019, from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m.  Funeral services will be conducted at the funeral home Wednesday, January 30, 2019, at 11 a.m. with Fr. Gregory Chervenak, O.F.M., Cap. officiating. Interment will be at Grandview Cemetery in Johnstown.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Animal Welfare Society, Allegany College of Maryland, or Bishop Walsh School.

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