Vernon Poochigian

1920 - 2019 Obituary Condolences
Vernon Poochigian Obituary

1920 - 2019

A private funeral service will be held to honor the life of Vernon "Varkes" Poochigian who passed away peacefully in the midst of family on March 3, 2019.

Vernon was the youngest of eight children (Vaughn, Ruby, Roxie, Ann, George, Vasken, Grace) born to Bedros and Mary Poochigian who emigrated from Armenia to America in 1915 to escape Turkish oppression with dreams of farming in the Lone Star area of Fresno. Vernon attended Lone Star Elementary and Sanger High School where he excelled in sports and served as the captain of the football team. As a child Vernon was instilled with a strong work ethic and spent much of his non-school hours attending to the needs of the farm. After graduating high school, he began devoting his adult life to the family farming business, although briefly also serving on the crew of men who helped build the Friant Dam. In 1944 he married his sweetheart, Barbara May Jordan, and they began their life together on a grape ranch in Lone Star surrounded by a myriad of cousins and siblings. He served in the military briefly, but was honorably discharged and directed by the army to go home and support the war effort by providing raisins for the troops. Barbara and Vernon's children; Cherye and Craig, grew up watching their dad work long hours on the farm driven by his desire to provide his family with the best possible future. In the 1960's, Vernon expanded his business operations to the Arvin/Lamont area where he became a partner in the Nalbandian Farming Corporation and the family moved to Bakersfield in 1967. Barbara and Vernon were active in the Elks Lodge and the Armenian Cultural Club in Bakersfield. He enjoyed bowling on the Elks bowling team and playing golf with his grandson and with his buddies on Sundays. In 1982 Vernon and Craig developed their own brand and began farming under the "High Caliber" label in Arvin/Lamont. The label was aptly named as the table grapes it represented were considered some of the finest in the county. Vernon actively worked on the farm until he was well in his 80's, often seen shoveling weeds and pruning vines. Even after retirement, he actively provided guidance (solicited or not) to Craig on the farm's management.

Although driven by his work ethic, Vernon was first and foremost a family man who was devoted to his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Vernon was a man of integrity, kindness, and honor, instilling those characteristics into his children and grandchildren simply by example. After suffering a stroke five years ago, Vernon continued to thrive while living at home through the dedicated service and nurturing of his caregivers: Elda La Victoria, Divina Jumawan and their families. Their kindness, love, service and dedication will never be forgotten.

Vernon is survived by his daughter: Cherye Carie (Bob), Son: Craig Poochigian, grandchildren: Vernon (Monique), Garrett (Amy), Tarah Clemence-Poochigian (Jared), great grandchildren: Gwen, Griffin and Moses and daughter-in-law; Cathie Morris.

Words can never express the gratitude of the family for the dedication of his caregivers over these last years. The family would also like to thank the stroke management team at Memorial Hospital and the nursing staff at Hoffman Hospice for their kindness, support and guidance through an agonizing and stressful time.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Vernon's honor to be made with the California Armenian Home in Fresno, California (6720 E Kings Canyon Rd, Fresno, CA 93727).

Published in Bakersfield Californian on Mar. 14, 2019
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