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Gabriel Injejikian


1930 - 2019 Obituary Condolences
Gabriel Injejikian Obituary
December 12, 1930 - April 14, 2019 Gabriel Injejikian, founder of the first Armenian day school in the United States, passed away at his home in Northridge on April 14, 2019 surrounded by his loving wife, children, and grandchildren.Gabriel was born on December 12, 1930 to Dr. Avedis and Marie Injejikian in the Armenian village of Kessab, Syria. The youngest of 6 children, Gabriel learned early on the importance of family as well as the value of an education. Dr. Avedis was the only doctor in the region and instilled in his children the importance of serving the community.Gabriel earned his A.A. degree from the American University of Beirut. In 1953, he immigrated to the United States and enrolled at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan where he earned his B.A. and then M.A. in education. In 1957, he moved to Los Angeles and obtained his secondary teaching and administrative credentials at CSULA and UCLA. In due course, he became a proud United States citizen.It was in Los Angeles that he met the love of his life, Rose Davidian, whom he married in 1961. Shortly after their marriage, the couple relocated to Beirut, Lebanon to raise money from the Lebanese-Armenian community in order to fulfill his lifelong dream of starting an Armenian day school in the United States. His goal was preserving the Armenian language and culture in America. During their three-and-a-half year stay in Beirut, Gabriel taught at Haigazian College, and he and his wife were blessed with 3 children, Avedis "Avo", Ara, and Arpy. In September 1964, with the assistance of pledges and support from the Armenian community and a $250,000 endowment from Mateos Ferrahian, Gabriel realized his dream and founded Ferrahian Armenian High School in Encino with 12 students. The school was opened under the umbrella of Holy Martyrs Armenian Church and grew quickly with Gabriel serving as its principal from 1964-1990. He remained active in the community and later served as an advisor to the Armenian Sister's Academy in Montrose. He was also one of the founders of Ararat Charter School in Van Nuys, which was established in 2010. He continued to serve on the Ararat School Board until 2017. True to his rural village roots, Gabriel loved planting and nurturing fruit trees and became quite an accomplished amateur tree surgeon. He was a devoted husband for over 58 years to his wife Rose and was a loving father to his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. In his heart, he considered all Armenians family. He loved to travel and led his family on 3 transcontinental road trips as well as trips abroad to Europe and Armenia.He is survived by his wife Rose, his 3 children, his 7 grandchildren, and his 6 great-grandchildren. He was deeply loved and respected not only by his family, but by the entire Armenian community who regarded him as a pioneer, trailblazer, and leader. The funeral service will be held on Saturday April 27, 2019 at 2:00 pm at Holy Martyrs Armenian Church in Encino. Donations in his memory can be made to either Holy Martyrs Ferrahian Armenian High School, 5300 White Oak Ave, Encino, CA 91316 or to the Kessab Educational Association of Los Angeles, Inc. (KEA of LA) P.O. Box 371507, Reseda, CA 91335.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Apr. 20 to Apr. 21, 2019
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