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Dr Arra Steve Avakian
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Birth: Feb. 27, 1912
Suffolk County
Massachusetts, USA
Death: Jun. 30, 2010
Fresno County
California, USA

Arra is the second child of Setrak and Takoohi Avakian of Harput, who came to America in 1909. Born in 1912 in Boston, Arra moved to Fresno in 1920, where his 90 years of service to the Armenian Church began.

At the time of his death on Wednesday, June 30, 2010, he was a Deacon at the St. Paul Armenian Church in Fresno. Arra attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he obtained his Doctor of Science degree in Mathematics in 1935. During World War II, Arra served in ordinance, developing special weapons. He attained the rank of Colonel. In civilian life, he worked in industrial and aerospace technology in the Boston area and in Washington, DC. Always deeply involved in his Armenian heritage, he taught Armenian courses at the University of Massachusetts Extension while in Boston and served as deacon and choirmaster in Watertown and Washington, as well as in Fresno.

In 1970, Dr. Avakian became the first Professor in the Armenian Studies Program at California State University at Fresno. He led Elderhostels and tours to Armenia, gave lectures, and led several Armenian organizations. With two associates, Dr. Avakian founded the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research. As a long-standing member of the national brotherhood of the Knights of Vartan, he became its Grand Commander in 1985-1987.

Dr. Avakian was the author of several books. In 2003 he published a historical novel, "The Eaglet". His important history,"Armenia: A Journey Through History", has served as a textbook. He also translated sixteen books from Armenian to English. His deep erudition and broad knowledge of Armenian matters and church history made him a valuable resource to many.

He married Georgia Keosaian on July 1, 1939. She died in 2004.

Their five children survive, Arsine Peterson of Australia, Armine Mortimer of Illinois, Arra Avakian of Massachusetts, Armen Avakian of Indiana, and Arten Avakian of Texas.

He is also survived by a sister, Armine Elliott; a brother, Seth Armen; as well as seven grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

A Funeral Service will be held at the St. Paul Armenian Church at First and Dakota on Saturday, July 3, 2010, at 2:30 p.m. preceded by a Knights of Vartan Service at 2:00 p.m.

Memorials may be made to a charity of the donor's choice.

Family links: 
  Georgia V. Keosaian Avakian (1918 - 2004)*
*Calculated relationship
Created by: dot
Record added: Jul 20, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 55197884
Dr Arra Steve Avakian
Added by: Lester Letson
Dr Arra Steve Avakian
Added by: dot
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Husband of IRS retiree Georgia Avakian.
- Lester Letson
 Added: Mar. 1, 2013

- dot
 Added: Jul. 20, 2010

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