Remembering the 1980 Detroit AYF Boosters

By George Sarkisian
Highland, Michigan

With the recent passing of Michael Kajo Kajoian, all of the 1980 Detroit AYF boosters have left us. They truly were the greatest generation.

Vahan Solakian: Born on October 3, 1931. Died in March 1984 (age 52)
Edward Derbabian: Born on April 10, 1929. Died on February 21, 2018 (age 88)
Aram Gavoor: Born on February 25, 1929. Died on June 03, 2018 (age 89)
Manoog Tarpinian: Born on June 23, 1930. Died on July 4, 2013 (age 83)
Don Arslanian: Born on July 23, 1936. Died on October 27, 2014 (age 78)
Daniel Sarafian: Born on April 17, 1929. Died on September 06, 1981 (age 52)
Jack Tian: Born on May 15, 1929. Died on August 16, 2015 (age 86)
Harry Yangouyian: Born in 1932. Died on February 27, 2016 (age 83)
Jerry Zakarian: Born in 1927. Died around 2010 (age around 83)
Cory Tosoian: Born on March 2, 1926. Died in June 1981 (age 55)
Nick Stepanian: Born on June 21, 1930. Died on December 04, 2017 (age 87)
Michael Kajoian: Born on October 19, 1928. Died on September 27, 2019 (age 90)
Larry Avedesian: Born in 1939. Died on June 11, 2017 (age 78)
Harry Sarkisian: Born on February 14, 1925. Died on November 02, 1986 (age 61)
Azad Merian: Born on April 29 1931. Died on July 29, 2010 (age 79)
Barkev Mossoian: Born in 1930. Died on March 15, 2015 (age 84)
Meran Sarafian: Born on April 17, 1929. Died in May 1991 (age 62)

These were the men (as well as their spouses) who organized, rejuvenated, trained and financially supported everything which allowed the Detroit AYF Kopernick Tandourjian Chapter to match and finally defeat those great Providence Varantian Chapter teams beginning in the mid-1970s.

Many of them died way too early. All of them are missed tremendously. God bless and rest their souls.

The team picture from the victorious 1978 Detroit team shows some of the group. 

Back row left to right: Violet Gavoor, Ed Derbabian, Cory and Anna Tosoian, Vahan Solakian, Barkev Mossoian, Harry Sarkisian

The picture with all the men in suits and ties was taken at the 1980 celebration dance in Detroit after the Detroit team retired the Cup after three consecutive victories. 

Back row left to right: Vahan Solakian, Edward Derbabian, Aram Gavoor, Manoog Tarpinian, Don Arslanian, Daniel Sarafian, Jack Tian, Harry Yangouyian. Front row-left to right: Jerry Zakarian, Cory Tosoian, Nick Stepanian, Michael Kajoian, Larry Avedesian, Harry Sarkisian. Missing: Azad Merian, Barkev Mossoian, Meran Sarafian
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