Stephen Carnig Ananian
Stephen Carnig Ananian, 94, of Simpsonville, husband of the late Isabel G. Ananian passed away Wednesday, June 28, 2017.
Born in New York, NY, Stephen was born on Christmas Day 1922 as the youngest of four children. He was an engineering student enrolled at NYU when Pearl Harbor was attacked in December 1941. The next day, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps going on to graduate the Aviation Academy as a Second Lieutenant fighter pilot.
Stephen was assigned to the Eighth Air Force in England flying P-51 Mustangs. On his first combat mission, his aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire and he was forced to parachute into the North Sea. After over an hour in the icy waters, he was rescued and hospitalized. Two days later, he returned to duty and flew an additional 62 combat missions. In February 1945, he was credited with destroying the first German jet in air to air combat. Stephen received a number of medals for his service including the Distinguished Fly Cross with nine oak leaf clusters.
In August 1945, First Lieutenant Ananian was discharged from the Army Air Force. He married his one and only love, Isabel Gefairjian, in April 1946.
Stephen was a skilled photographer and worked for over 35 years in the photoengraving industry and participated in the early use and development of electronic image scanners and digital processing.
He was one of the founders of the St. Thomas Armenian Church in Tenafly, New Jersey and served on the parish council for ten years. He was also active in the local school district and was President of the Regional Board of Education for two years.
In his retirement, Stephen served as president of the 339th Fighter Group Association for eight years and editor of the quarterly newsletter for seventeen years.
He is survived by his two sons, Clifford H. Ananian and wife Pamela, and Stephen C. Ananian, Jr. of Greenville, along with 5 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.
A memorial service will be conducted Sunday, July 9th at 2 PM at Christ Church in the Markley Chapel. Stephen and Isabel's ashes will ultimately be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Announced by The Mackey Mortuary
Published in The Greenville News on Jul. 5, 2017.