Arthur Michael Zoidis

PORTLAND – In spite of the strawberry moon illuminating the sky in the first hours of June 25, 2021, the world lost some of its light when Arthur Zoidis took his last breath. Perhaps you knew him as “Nashi,” an Albanian name that as a child he begged his mother not to reveal for fear that it would invite torment from his peers. Or maybe you called him “Little Zig,” a nickname that was a natural evolution from his older brother, Bobby’s “Big Zig.” And if you knew Arthur when he was “Little Zig” you surely ended up calling him “Ziggy,” a moniker that when used in the presence of his children they knew that friendship started a million moons ago.

Arthur Michael Zoidis was born on Oct. 18, 1942 to Stanley and Angeline Zoidis. The middle child of five, Arthur did what middle children have been doing for centuries—found a way to stand out. He was a sharp dresser in spite of his humble economic status; he had movie-star good looks with the charisma to support them and was by all accounts a great dancer.

Nashi was always up for something new and exciting. He was one of the first of his friends to travel beyond New England when he moved to Malibu, Calif. When he returned to Maine he worked for the McDonald’s Corporation and soon after met his first wife, Mary Roy. Arthur and Mary wed in July of 1971. They moved to San Francisco briefly before returning to the East Coast, first to Massachusetts where they had their first child and then later to Portland where they had their second child. In 1980 Arthur and Mary opened Nashi’s City Deli in Portland’s bustling Monument Square.

Still seeking adventure, either fueled by an inner drive (or ADD), Arthur opened a breakfast and lunch spot in Boston’s Quincy Market in the mid-’80s. Around this same time he found sobriety with the help of AA. Through this community he developed an extensive group of friends and supporters from Massachusetts to California. Always generous of spirit, Arthur shared his recovery journey with others to help them find their own sobriety.

Ultimately, Arthur lived his life on his own terms, a free spirit never fully tethered to any one thing. But it was clear Arthur made lasting impacts on the people around him with his kindness, generosity, and zest for life.

In his final days he was fully loved and cared for by his son, Ryan, and daughter, Alysia. This would not have been possible without the help of Paul Aranson who performed the ultimate mitzvah by welcoming Nashi into his Scarborough home. A special thank you to Paulette Zoidis, Lindsley Getchell, and Carol “Lulla” Smith for their unwavering love and support and to the staff of Hospice of Southern Maine for their guidance.

Arthur is survived by his children Ryan Zoidis of Portland, Alysia Zoidis of Portland, Timothy Zoidis of Boston; his granddaughter, Ila Zoidis; and his sisters Francis Fierro, Sandra Harris, and Pamela Zoidis.

A memorial service to celebrate Arthur’s life will be held on August 1, from 12 to 4 p.m. at Halo at the Point in Portland.

Guest Book