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Ara A. Katcherian

July 27, 1926 March 3, 2021
Ara  A.  Katcherian
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Obituary for Ara A. Katcherian

Ara Ardavazt Katcherian

It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of another member of the Greatest Generation. He died peacefully on March 3rd, 2021, at the age of 94. He was first generation Armenian-American. He will be missed by all those who knew him and experienced his generosity, caring heart and friendly smile.

He grew up during the Great Depression and an impending world war, and yet he would literally tell happy stories of his childhood for hours. For such a quiet guy, he seemed to get in a lot trouble. He started driving at the age of 11, picking up and delivering clothes for his father’s dry cleaners. He was very mechanically adept and could do almost anything mechanical, electrical, or plumbing long before the internet. He told numerous stories of living in the same house with his cousins, which he thought of as brothers, who also became his lifelong business partners.

He enlisted in the Army as soon as he was eligible. When the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he was on a troop ship approaching Japan. He was only in the Army for 2 years but had 10 years worth of stories of his time as a mechanic and later as a cook.

After the war, he returned to Detroit to work with his father in the cleaning business. He met his future wife, Arpie, at his cousin’s surprise birthday party. After they were married, they moved to Fresno to work with his father in the cleaning business. In Fresno, their first child, David, was born. He made many friends and stories of their misadventures would go on for days. Throughout his life, he remained close to his childhood friends.
After a couple of years, he and Arpie returned to Detroit where he worked as a cab driver and machinist for General Motors. Right before he and his cousins went into the cleaning business, their second child, Rick, was born. After retirement in 1988, he had more free time to spend with his family and took care of his wife. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather who cared deeply for his family.

He was a sucker for a bargain and spent time looking for deals at the Salvage and surplus stores. He loved buying day old pastries and giving them away.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Arpena, and his older sister, Arax. He leaves behind his loving sons David (Dodie) and Rick (Donna), grandchildren, Nicholas (Tracey), Julie (Walt), Christopher, and Kristen (Will), and great grandchildren, Natalya, Andre, and Alyson.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in his memory should be made to St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church.

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