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John Michael Janigian
7/16/1920 - 1/10/2014
Resident of Belmont
A memorial service for John Michael Janigian, who died after a full life of 93 years, will be held on Sunday, March 2 at the VA Hospital Chapel in Palo Alto. "Johnny,' as everyone knew him, was a storyteller, a sailor, a Celtics fan, an airplane mechanic, a proud grandfather, and a man who left a legacy at an Armenian youth camp.
Born in Lynn, Mass. on July 16, 1920, the youngest child of Anna and Paul Janigian, Johnny graduated from Lynn Classical High School -- he was a proud Ram for a lifetime -- and went to work in the Massachusetts shipyards.
After joining the Navy during
World War II
, Johnny served as a seaman aboard the USS Lexington. He returned for a second stint during the
, accumulating 30 years in active and reserve duty.
Johnny was one of the founders of Camp Haiastan, an Armenian youth camp in Franklin, Mass. He was an member of the Boston chapter of the Armenian Youth Federation, serving as a speedy guard on its basketball team.
In 1953, Johnny took a job as a mechanic with Capitol Airlines in Washington, D.C., which later merged with United Air Lines. In November that same year, he married Louise Paulian, who died last August.
In 1968, when United shifted some of its operations west, Johnny moved his family to Belmont, settling in the same house for more than 45 years. A gregarious man with a warehouse of stories, Johnny belonged to the Burlingame Masonic Lodge #400, Burlingame Scottish Rite, and the United Airlines Retirees Club.
Johnny died on Jan. 10, his natural hardiness finally succumbing to old age.
He is survived by his daughters Sarah (Scott) and Suzanne; and his son, George (Pam); niece Joanne Wortman, and sister-in-laws Diane Arey (Kenneth) and Gladys Paulian. He also is survived by grandchildren Becky (Joel), Ben, Rachel (Kevin), Zack, Jenny, Megan and John Michael, as well as great-grandsons Alec and Rory. His family thanks Cilda, Nelda, Lucy, and Lyn. Thanks also goes to the staff at Madera Villa for their loving care of Johnny in the last months.
The memorial service will begin at 2 p.m. at Building 101 of the hospital, 3801 Miranda Avenue in Palo Alto. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Camp Haiastan, P.O. Box C, Franklin, Mass. 02038 – Janigian Memorial Fund.
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on Feb. 23, 2014
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