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Edward Halvajian


1935 - 2009 Obituary Condolences
Edward Halvajian Obituary
Edward Halvajian 1935 - 2009 Edward Dikran Halvajian, 73, passed away on November 22 after a long illness complicated by strokes and dementia. He was a prominent, local businessman who was both civically active and a strong supporter of numerous charities. Ed was born and raised on the East Coast and lived in New Jersey. After serving in the US Army and completing a degree at Fairleigh Dickinson University, he became a Certified Public Accountant. In New York City, Ed commenced a Wall Street career with Arthur Anderson and then Lazard Freres, an international investment banking firm. He moved to Bakersfield in the early 1970's as a Lazard executive to take over one of California's largest farms, the Blackwell Land Company. He met and married Joan with whom he moved to Newport Beach to begin a family and a career as an entrepreneur. Ed loved flying and was a licensed pilot. He owned his own plane in which he commuted daily to the farm in Bakersfield. He also loved snow skiing and scuba diving. Ed was on the boards of many local and regional groups but is best known for his many years as a member, President and Chairman of the Philharmonic Society of Orange County. He was also President of Irvine Cove in Laguna Beach, where he and Joan raised their two daughters, Alexis and Andrea. Mr. Halvajian was a well known land developer and citrus farmer. In 1984, he purchased the Corona Lemon Company and took it through the tricky political and planning process for 8000 homes. It was sold and is now the heart of the city of Corona. Ed also owned Thermal Plaza Ranch and Nursery, one of California's largest lemon ranches located in Riverside County. This business was recently sold and the Halvajian citrus farming legacy lives on with their donation of 5000 citrus trees to the Great Park in Orange County. In conjunction with the Thermal operation, Ed was also a Director and Vice Chairman of the Corona College Heights citrus packing house in Riverside. His penchant for innovation led him to introduce the Rio Red grapefruit to California during a period when he was also serving on the UC Riverside Agriculture Advisory Board. He remained an active supporter of the Armenian Church throughout his lifetime. Ed will be remembered for his generous help in being the principal benefactor for the new Armenian Church being built in Rancho Mirage, CA. The Church will be named "St. Garabed Armenian Church of the Desert" in honor of his father and Grandfather. Edward Halvajian is survived by his daughters, Alexis and Andrea (Will) Martin, former wife and business partner Joan Halvajian, sister Alyce Parseghian and brother Arthur Halvajian. A small private memorial service will be held locally for close friends, followed by a traditional and family service on January 10, 2010, at St. Vartan (Armenian) Cathedral in New York City. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to (Breast Cancer Foundation) or a . www.bakersfield.com
Published in Bakersfield Californian on Nov. 26, 2009
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