January 8, 1953 – May 22, 2020
Marin Vat, 67, left this world on May 22, 2020, peacefully with his family by his side at St. Elizabeth Medical Center.
Mr. Vat was born on January 8, 1953 in Kampong Chhnang province to the late Mem Khat and Eam Vorn. While living in Cambodia he practiced Buddhism and served as a Monk. During Khmer Rouge in the 1970’s, he fled his homeland and went to Thailand. From there on, because of the Cambodian Civil War, the United Kingdom helped many refugees including Mr. Vat escape to the United States to find Sanctuary. Mr. Vat was very goal oriented and always had a craving for knowledge. He completed his Electronics/Computer Technology training course at Rise Institute of Electronics in Providence, RI.
Mr. Vat was one of the first Cambodian’s to settle in Fall River. He married his former wife, Chhan Vat in 1984 and they had their first child, Chauncey Vat in 1989. Thereafter, they had another child by the name of Marina Vat in 1996. Marin found a new passion in his new hometown, which was to advocate for the Cambodian Community. He was actively involved in the community and founded the Khmer Family Resource Center which consisted of after school programs, Khmer Art Class and Khmer Traditional Dance Troupe.
Mr. Vat started working for the Fall River Housing Authority from 2005 until the present. He held the title of Minority Community Liaison. He was a beloved co-worker who made everyone around him at ease with his great sense of humor and personality. He always gave great advice to his co-workers and he was loved by the community he served. He served as the Executive Director for the Khmer Resource Center, translator for St. Anne’s Hospital, mentor for the SMILES program, Board of Director for Health First Family Care Center, Board of Director for Citizens for Citizens, Inc. and Board of Directors and founding member of Angkor Plaza. He was a supporter of many events such as; “One People, One Earth Under the Sun” and Peaceful Coalition. He was a founding member of the group that brought the Khmer Buddhist Temple to Fall River.
His interests included family gatherings, gardening, karaoke, reading national geographic magazines, photography and volunteering in the community. He enjoyed exercising along with being active with his two fur-grandkids, Cookie and Parker. He fostered two girls, Sophatra and Ramacy who loved him very dearly. In 2020, his son, Chauncey and his girlfriend Sarina gifted him with a baby girl, Aria. Given the current circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Marin was never able to hold his first grandchild and had only ever met her via FaceTime.
Mr. Vat is survived by his wife, Phon Somphors; former wife, Chhan; son Chauncey and his wife Sarina, daughter; Marina, granddaughter; Aria, niece; Sitha Khat and nephew; Sophorn Kem. Due to current restrictions on public gatherings, his funeral services will be private for the immediate family. Mr. Vat’s funeral arrangements are in the care of Waring-Sullivan Home at Cherry Place, Fall River.
June 3, 2020
Me and my husband John knew Marin only for the past 2 1/2 years when we bought the house next door to him and moved into the neighborhood. We quickly became acquainted and talked to him across the fence about gardening, our dogs or just day to day things. He was quick to offer us food from his family gatherings and was always friendly and helpful. We will miss seeing him and our heartfelt condolences go out to his family. RIP Marin!
June 3, 2020
Shocked to learn that Marin is gone. What a nice man. Always a smile and a kind word. Happy to have known you Marin.
June 1, 2020
Marin was a fantastic person and will be missed. I enjoyed our conversations of how he made it to the U.S.A. He always was there to help. We shared many a laugh. Safe journey, friend.
June 1, 2020
I worked with Marin at the Cambodian Community of Greater Fall River. He was instrumental in the creation of Angkor Plaza. I considered him a friend and he taught me alot about his community and I taught him about mine. He was very devoted to his community and the people around him. I am glad that I was able to meet such a kind and humble man. He will be greatly missed.
May 31, 2020
Marin Vat my co worker at the FRHA and friend. Gentle kind hearted sole and will be sadly missed by all who knew him. RIP so long for now 😘❤️