George Krikor Karageozian born October 23, 1929, age 92, passed away peacefully on June 8, 2022. Loving husband of the late Lucille Khatchadourian Karageozian, beloved father of Valerie Karageozian and Gregory (Diane) Karageozian. Proud and loving grandfather to all his girls, Tava Chunn, Mara Karageozian and Ani Karageozian. Preceded in death by his loving parents Hampar and Hayghoui Karageozian and his sister Margaret Paulian Benian. He is survived by his younger sister Joyce Karageozian Obenhoff and his sister in law Sonia Toundaian. He is the most beloved of uncles to Brook (Michael Fullagar, Diane (Daniel) Fenech, Arlene (David) Burkhart, Timothy (Martha) Paulian, Peter (Janine) Toundaian, Susan (Don) Turner, Melanie Mikaelian, Kevin Mikaelian, the late Armen Mutafian, Mark Mutafian, and goddaughter Janet Danielian Spann including eight great nieces and nephews: Jackie, Matt, Lia, Matthew, Samantha, Sydney, Adam and Melanie. George was the first born of his family and took the role seriously throughout his life. He loved his family and anyone who came in contact with him felt an immediate connection. His career highlights are in Retail Management and Sales, who could say no to George? George and Lucille moved down to Port Charlotte, FL after retirement and enjoyed many years fishing, biking and making new friends. George is a proud veteran of the United States Army and loved nothing better than packing up the car and going where the road takes him, he could always find his way back. His favorite trip was with his son Gregory, the highlight being the vintage aircraft museums, his obsession with planes was fulfilled. George was known to be gregarious and sociable, and loved getting together with family and friends, popping open a beer, laughing, and telling stories. And just like his father, all he wanted to know is if you were happy, you didn’t get hurt, and that you had a good time. A handsome guy, a debonair dresser, a great dancer, and charming to a fault, George left his mark on everyone.
Visitation Thursday, June 16, 2022 from 10:00 a.m. until the 11:00 a.m. Funeral Service at St. John Armenian Church 22001 Northwestern Highway, Southfield with a luncheon immediately following at Andiamo’s at 38703 W. 7 Mile Rd, Livonia, MI 48152.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations can be made to Autism Speaks (autismspeaks.org).
Two monumental events occurred on October 23, 1929 the first being the official beginning of the Stock Market Crash which led to the Great Depression. The other and much more important and joyous counterpart, was the birth of George Krikor Karageozian to Hampar and Hayghoui Karageozian as the beloved first born and only boy. We will say that George was the highlight of that day. His parents escaped the Armenian Genocide to come to America. His father’s experiences during the Genocide colored his outlook on life which had a lasting impact on George. There was an appreciation of life, love and family that George also embraced. George came from a very arts and culturally expressive family. There was always music in the house and George contributed by playing his beloved violin. His parents had two more children, this time two girls, Margaret and Joyce who was named for bringing so much joy to their family. The two girls were also musically inclined, Joyce carrying her cello everywhere banging into the walls and Margaret, who turned into an accomplished pianist, performing her whole life.
George came down with a child hood ailment which required extensive treatment. During this period, his mother would take him downtown daily on the street car which began his love of traveling. He began taking the bus and street car to go anywhere he wanted, unsupervised. His parents never put any restrictions on him and trusted him to make sound decisions which he almost always did. At the age of 15 he told his parents he was going to Chicago to work for his cousins, the Klujians, and he traveled all by himself. According to his sisters, he got away with everything, the girls got away with nothing.
He graduated from Cooley High School in 1947. He soon went into the United States Army and was stationed at Fort Polk Louisiana and served his country for two years. He took every opportunity to travel during his furloughs. His mother, being the good Armenian mother, would send his favorite food to him. She made the big mistake of mailing Basturma to Louisiana in the height of summer heat. Needless to say, the whole camp smelled like Basturma for weeks after. He was about to be assigned as communications but his Major found out he had experience in a dental lab and requested he remain behind. That decision probably saved his life, with better things to come.
He returned to Detroit where he began a very active social life. George was always the life of the party. His male friends always wanted George to hang out with them because wherever he went, the girls followed. His posse would secure the reservation, ready the night for entertaining, then told George he had only one job to do, bring in the girls. He enjoyed his social life but was also very active in the church and was a member of the ACYOA.
George decided it was time to settle down and he settled on Lucille Khatchadourian whom he met at an Armenian dance. According to Lucille, George acted like he was god’s gift, but she wasn’t having it. Long story short, he won her over and they married in October 1955, the day before his birthday. Shortly thereafter their first child arrived Valerie followed by Gregory two and a half years later. Their family was complete.
George excelled at retail management and sales. Who could say no to George? He always had a positive outlook on life and his employees loved working for him. He treated everyone with respect, no matter their position and his employees would do anything for him. But this wasn’t the most notable characteristic of George.
George took fatherhood seriously and this extended to his nieces and nephews, neighborhood kids, and his children’s friends. George always cared about others and found it unbearable when someone was hurt or something was done to them in an unjust manner. He was very humble, almost too much, never was there an arrogant bone in his body. When he decided to do something, he never needed accolades or credit, but those he touched, knew what a gem of a guy he was. When his children asked to do something, the answer no was not in his vocabulary. George always asked these questions: Did anyone get hurt, did you have a good time, are you happy?
The most notable characteristic of George was that he was a happy go lucky kind of guy. He loved engaging in conversations with total strangers and by the end of the conversation, you felt like you were at a party and those strangers were his best friends. He had a knack for putting people at ease and every contact with him turned unforgettable.
George’s family grew with the addition of his daughter in law Diane and grandbabies soon followed. His first granddaughter Tava, Valerie’s daughter then Mara and Ani, Greg and Diane’s daughters. You couldn’t find a better girl grandpa than George. Just like with his daughter and son, he never said no to his granddaughters. The simplest of tasks turned into a ritual. Grandpa George loved peeling apples for his girls so they could have their evening snacks and he made it into a tradition.
George embraced his retirement as an opportunity to do whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted. Shortly after his retirement, George and Lucille moved to Port Charlotte Florida where they lived for 16 years. Florida was the perfect place for George to indulge in his hobbies such as biking, building furniture at the whim of his wife, fishing and traveling. He enjoyed doing those things solo but also thrilled at having company during those times. He loved when people tagged along. George and his favorite co-pilot, his son, took many short and long excursions together. The highlight being his visits to the aeronautical museums. He was a gifted lensman and many of his pictures grace the walls of those he touched.
George was a reasonable man who saw that his and his wife’s life was changing so he moved back to Michigan to spend the rest of his days closer to his children and grandchildren.
As his daughter in law Diane put it so sweetly and succinctly, “George made it easy to love him.”