|Death: ||May 28, 2011|
New York, USA
Ohannes John Avdoian, 87, of Niagara Falls, NY passed away peacefully at home on Saturday May 28, 2011.
Born aboard the SS Mexico, he was the son of Sahag and Gulizar (Der Ohanesian) Avdoian who had left their ancestral homeland of Van, Armenia, in the aftermath of the Armenian Genocide.
With his family he came to Niagara Falls. He attended local schools, graduating from Niagara Falls High School in 1942.
He began taking aviation lessons in order to fulfill his desire to become an airline pilot and in 1943 enlisted in the Army Air Force with the rank of aviation cadet. He became an aerial gunner, receiving his aviation badge as a member of the 3701st Army Air Force Base Unit. He was awarded the American Theatre Service Medal and the World War II Victory Medal and was honorably discharged in November of 1945.
He considered his years as a pilot his life's highest accomplishment and a source of honor and pride for the rest of his life. He then went to Cleveland, OH to become a licensed Master Butcher.
Returning to Niagara Falls, he with his brothers opened Avdoian Bros. Groceries at the corner of 7th St. and Pine Ave. The store was a fixture there for 47 years where many citizens of the city to this day remember going for their penny candies and other treats. True to the generous spirit instilled in them by their father, Sahag, many were the times the Ohannes and his brothers filled needy customers' grocery bags with much more than the money tended accounted for. As he and his brothers took turns working the store,
he also became a full time employee of the U.S. Postal service as a mailman, retiring in 1986 after 25 years of service.
On May 3, 1950 he married Lucille Lucia Kakligian. She predeceased him on January 11, 2008 after 57 years of marriage. He was a very proud and loving grandfather to his five grandchildren who made his eyes light up with joy when they visited or called.
In his retirement he and his wife enjoyed spending the winter with their daughter in Las Vegas. In his mid 70's he enrolled at U.N.L.V. taking aviation courses, giving him the opportunity to once again soar through the air piloting an airplane.
Even as illness confined him to a wheelchair he thoroughly enjoyed his frequent visits to OTB on Main St. to join his buddies in seeing how the ponies were doing. He was a Buffalo Bills fan and an avid sports fan, rarely missing the chance to wager a small bet on a game.
John is survived by his son Richard (Nancy) Avdoian of Fairview Heights, IL., daughters, Deborah (Albert) Amato of Niagara Falls, and Pamela Avdoian of Las Vegas, NV; five grandchildren Alexan Avedis Amato, Esq., Karine Lucia Amato, Gregory Ara Avdoian, John Nishan Avdoian and James Sahag Avdoian. He is also survived by his brother Arthur (Mary) Avdoian of Niagara Falls, NY, two sisters Margaret Avdoian of Niagara Falls, NY, and Rosalind (late Michael) Mashoian of California. Also survived by loving sister-in-law Shamiram (late Hrant) Kezirian, and special cousin-in-law Takouhie Kakligian of Illinois; also survived by many cousins, nieces, nephews, one great-nephew and one newborn great niece.
In addition to his wife and and parents, he was predeceased by infant twin sister Margrid; brother Arsen (Alice of Niagara Falls, NY) Avdoian, and beloved nephew Gregg Avdoian.
He was a member of the American Legion and the Armenian Veterans Organization. He was also a devoted communicant member of both St. Sarkis and St. Hagop Armenian Churches in Niagara Falls.
Visitation will be on Wednesday from 4 - 8 p.m. at the M.J.COLUCCI & SON NIAGARA FUNERAL CHAPEL, 2730 MILITARY ROAD, NIAGARA FALLS, NY. In addition to officiating at the funeral, prayers for the repose of his soul will be at 7:30 pm led by the Very Rev. Fr. Keghart Kosbakian, Rev. Fr. Serop Azarian and Rev. Fr. Datev Melingitchian, and assisted by his son-in-law Deacon Albert Amato. The funeral service will be held on Thursday June 2nd at 10:30 AM at St. Sarkis Armenian Church, 300 Ninth St. Niagara Falls, NY. EVERYONE PLEASE ASSEMBLE AT CHURCH. Interment with Military Honors in Riverdale Cemetery, Lewiston, NY.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that to honor his wish memorial donations may be made to St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, 150 Stratton Rd. New Rochelle, NY 10804 to be used for the education of future priests of the Armenian Apostolic Church in America.
New York, USA
Created by: Juanda
Record added: Feb 04, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 84470394