Obituary: Jack Papazian (1940-2009)

Jack Papazian entered into his eternal rest on Tues., May 19.

He leaves his beloved wife, Armine; his son, David and wife Carol; his daughter, Cindy and husband Tim; and his grandchildren Eric and Taline Papazian, and Kail and Alexandra McHugh.

Jack was born in Philadelphia on March 11, 1940 to Satenig and Yervant Papazian. He had two brothers, Edward and Gary. Jack was a great athlete and loved playing baseball. He graduated from West Philadelphia High School, where he played baseball. He also played the violin and the oud.

Jack attended Penn State University, majoring in labor management relations and received his MBA from Drexel University.

Jack married Armine Giragosian, the daughter of the legendary Arthur Giragosian, in 1962 at St. Gregory’s Church, 16th and Oxford Streets. They moved to Germany for two years while Jack served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

Jack Papazian
Jack Papazian

After returning to the U.S., Jack worked for Merck Pharmaceuticals for over 35 years and retired as director of administration.

Jack was a mentor to co-workers and also to Armenian organizations and church members. His involvement in community and church organizations included:

Chairman of the St. Gregory’s Board of Trustees, 1994-98 and 2004-07.
(Delegate) at the National Representative Assembly, 1986-94, 1997-2005, and 2008-09.
Elected co-chairman of the NRA Convention, 1999-2005 and 2008 (8 years).
Member of the Philadelphia ARF since 1978.
Member of the Camp Haiastan Board, 1986-2001; board chairman, 1994-2001.
Member of the Board of Directors, Armenian Youth Foundation, Inc., 1987-2009.
Past member and chairman of the Philadelphia AYF; advisor to the chapter for about 20 years.
Member of the Board of Directors, Montgomery County Norristown Public Library, 2004-09.


Jack’s viewing and funeral is scheduled for Fri., May 22, 2009 at St. Gregory’s Church. The viewing is from 9:30-11 a.m. The funeral will be held at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church, 8701 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19128. Contact the church by calling (215) 482-9200 or emailing


  1. Jack will be sorely missed.  He was a tremendous inspiration to me and so many of my peers – Jack epitomized dedication, commitment, principled leadership and pure love for the Armenian Cause and the Armenian American community.  I only hope some in our generation can even come close to carrying the torch.

  2. I read Antranig’s comments.  I don’t know if there is anyone who can carry’s U. Jack’s torch.  He was a community leader – a man who united so many parts of our community – a man respected by so many persons.  I am thankful I had the chance to get to know as well as learn from him.  He is one AYF’er who will be missed.  Asdvadz Hokin Looysavoreh.

  3. I knew Jack for many years as part of a group who played tennis at the Upper Dublin Tennis Club.
    Once I got to know him from tennis, we eventually discussed many subjects, including sports and the stock market.
    Jack was smart and funny — and an excellent tennis player.
    I pray that he finds eternal peace.

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