April 11, 1927 – January 8, 2020
Richard Demirjian passed away peacefully at home on January 8th, 2020 from complications of a heart attack suffered on December 18th.
Richard was born in Byron, Michigan to Sarkis and Kaden Demirjian. He was drafted into the Army at the age of 18 and was a sergeant on General Eisenhower’s staff stationed in Paris. He held the rank of 1st Lieutenant in Military Intelligence when he received an honorable discharge in 1959. Richard received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at Wayne State University. He married the love of his life, Dorothy Vahratian in 1952, and they moved to the Bay Area in 1960 where he established Scientific Platers in Oakland, CA.
Founder of the sports programs at St. Vartan Armenian Church in Oakland, Richard remained active until his passing. His passion was for sports and young athletes and he spent his life promoting both. He was an avid Campolindo High School sports fan for over 40 years and rarely missed a basketball game.
Richard co-founded the Armenian Olympics in 1969 through which he brought together Armenian athletes from all over the world. He was a member of Knights of Vartan and Trex. He truly leaves a legacy and will be missed by many.
Richard was a historian and author of 6 books, the last being published last year at age 91. Armenian-American/Canadian Who’s Who of Outstanding Athletes, Triumph and Glory, The Faces of Courage, Demirjian Family History, Armenian Eagle Scouts in the Bay Area volumes 1 and 2.
Loving husband of 67 years to Dorothy Demirjian and father to Richard Demirjian and wife Aida, Janet Schmid and husband John, proud grandfather of Ara Demirjian and wife Ani, Vahe Demirjian, Conner and Madelyn King, Zachary Schmid and fiancé Emily, Kayleigh and Alayna Schmid and Great Grandfather to Tobias Schmid.
A Vigil service will be held Thursday, Jan. 16 at 6:30 pm at Oak Park Hills Chapel, 3111 N. Main St., Walnut Creek and funeral services will be Friday, Jan. 17 at 11:00 am at St. Vartan Armenian Church, 650 Spruce St., Oakland followed by the graveside service at Oakmont Cemetery at 2099 Reliez Valley Rd., Lafayette.
Donations may be made to a fund that was established in his name in June:
The Richard Demirjian Athletic Fund at St. Vartan Church
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