Mark S. Papazian passed away at the age of 74 on July 1, 2022 surrounded by the overwhelming love of his wife and children. Mark leaves behind his loving wife Debbie, adoring children Todd (Natalie), and Tyler, and cherished grandchildren Hazel and Poppy. Mark was born and raised in Pontiac, Michigan until attending Michigan State University for his bachelor’s degree in political science. After graduating from MSU, Mark attended the Detroit College of Law where he graduated in 1974. His post-graduate work was with the law firm of Dressell, Wright, and Papazian P.C. In 2006, Mark joined the firm of Giarmarco, Mullins, and Horton P.C. in Troy, Michigan, where he remained employed until retirement in 2021. His concentration was in high asset divorce achieving favorable results for his clients. Mark was a dedicated attorney who loved and fought for his clients. One of his clients turned long-time friend, retired auto-executive Pete Pastillo, said Mark was very personable “but in trial, he was very aggressive in cross-examination of witnesses and also with the opposition. He was capable and very thorough. His job was to relieve my stress and cause theirs.”
Mark was well-known throughout Michigan for his outgoing personality, award winning restaurants and nightclubs, and accomplishments in the legal field. Mark was an enthusiastic car-lover, always travelling to car shows and races. He knew the year, make, and model of just about every car ever made. For his 70th birthday, 6-months prior to his cancer diagnosis, his son, Todd, surprised him with a trip to the Monaco Grand Prix, which was one of Mark’s most desired bucket list experiences. His love of motors didn’t stop at fast cars; he also had a fascination with yachts and race boats. When Mark was diagnosed with cancer, he purchased an offshore race boat that he rebuilt and redesigned to hit 100mph with his close friend Joe Sgroi. They named the boat Never 2 Late.
Mark was also well-known for his love of food, stemming from his Armenian background and sharing meals with friends and family. His favorites were cherry pie and donuts, which he claimed he could eat every day for the rest of his life. Some of Mark’s favorite childhood memories were the times he spent at his grandfather’s house, picking fruit from the many trees and bushes in his yard. His love of food and knowledge of business led him to open a number of restaurants and nightclubs, most notably the Hunter House in Birmingham and Detroit, as well as the beloved Jukebox in Royal Oak. Mark’s outgoing, welcoming, and charismatic personality as well as his intelligent entrepreneurship allowed him to become one of the most successful restaurant and club operators in Michigan attracting many celebrities and professional athletes.
Mark’s Armenian heritage was incredibly important to him. He grew up in a strict Armenian household, always eating manti, pilaf, boreg, and lamb, to name a few. He frequently and proudly told the story of his grandfather escaping the Armenian Genocide and settling in Pontiac. Mark and his daughter, Tyler, embraced their Armenian heritage and were baptized together in 2016 at St. John’s Armenian Church.
While Mark had a lifelong list of accomplishments, his proudest accomplishment was his family. Mark welcomed his son, Todd, with then-wife, Sally, in 1979. Mark and Debbie married in 1994 and welcomed daughter, Tyler, in 1995. Mark embraced daughter-in-law, Natalie, in 2006, and several years later became a proud grandparent of two beautiful girls, Hazel and Poppy. Mark and his family ventured on a number of vacations together, their favorite being the annual ski trips to Beaver Creek, Colorado. Mark and Debbie recently purchased a home in Naples, Florida where they were lucky enough to spend the last few years of Mark’s life. He loved spending every day by the pool, bolstering his God-given tan, and making new friendships with his wonderful neighbors.
Mark had more friends than most; his wit, kind heart, and humor drew in friends from all walks of life. His friend and law partner, LeRoy Wulfmeier, described Mark as “a people person” who “treats everyone with respect.” Many describe Mark as larger than life and the man of the hour. Countless people are mourning the loss of Mark and the light that he brought to this world. Those that knew and loved him are blessed beyond measure. May we all relish in his beautiful memory, share stories of his life, and never forget the impact he made on the people that knew him.
Visitation will be held at AJ Desmond & Sons (32515 Woodward Ave, Royal Oak) on Friday, July 8th from 3:00pm-8:00pm with a prayer service at 5:00pm. The funeral will be held at St. John's Armenian Church (22001 Northwestern Highway, Southfield) on Saturday, July 9th with visitation beginning at 10:00am with the funeral service at 11:00am. All friends and family are welcomed to join the procession to White Chapel Cemetery (621 W Long Lake Rd, Troy). The luncheon will be at Birmingham Country Club (1750 Saxon Dr, Birmingham) following burial services.
Donations may be made to Colon Cancer Foundation.
Colon Cancer Foundation
10 Midland Avenue, Suite M-06
Port Chester, NY 10573
If writing a check please make payable to Colon Cancer Foundation and in memo, please write: In Memory of Mark S. Papazian