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John "Hovannes" Jamgotchian


1918 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
John "Hovannes" Jamgotchian Obituary
September 5, 1918 - January 19, 2017 After a long and remarkable life, John "Hovannes" Jamgotchian passed away on January 19, 2017, at the age of 98, from complications following hip surgery. He was born on September 5, 1918 in Marash, Turkey, the oldest son of seven children born of parents who survived the Armenian Genocide. As a young child, he moved with his family to Beirut, Lebanon. He helped his father with the grocery store, was involved with the Boy Scouts, and played soccer with the Homenetmen Sports organization. In addition to his native Armenian, John spoke 4 other languages fluently. After he graduated from high school, John went to Tripoli, Lebanon, to work with the British as a French interpreter during WWII. After the war, John returned to Beirut where he met a Frenchman who, impressed by John's intelligence and work ethic, taught him the business of photo engraving and eventually sold his business to John. During this time, John was involved in the Armenian Evangelical Church and the High School Alumni Association where he met Zarouhie "Susie" Yaralian. He was the treasurer and Susie was the secretary. They were married in 1948 and established their home in Beirut. John often traveled to Europe for business and in 1956, he took Susie with him when they visited the United States and Europe. They immediately fell in love with Southern California's Mediterranean climate and considered this new country a possible home for their young family. When they returned to Beirut, they became concerned with the growing violence and instability in the Middle East and decided to emigrate and start a new life half a world away. In 1958, John was granted a visa to America but only to have it lost due to bureaucratic complications. Not willing to wait any longer, he decided to immediately immigrate to Canada and join his older sister, Irene, in Toronto, Canada. They again became involved with the Armenian community; but finding that there was no Armenian Protestant Church, John and four of his newly immigrated friends and their families founded the first Armenian Evangelical Church in Toronto, Canada, in 1960. After 56 years, that church continues to grow and serves the Armenian community in Toronto. In 1962, John's dream of living in Southern California finally came true. Shortly thereafter, John established his own lithography business in Los Angeles. After a year, he and Susie purchased their home in Sherman Oaks where they lived for the next 50 years. He was a member of the United Armenian Congregational Church in Hollywood and served the Church in various offices and committees. He loved to garden, take his family camping, and made time for family trips, especially to the cabin they had built in Frazier Park. At age 62, John sold his business and retired. He and Susie spent their retirement years traveling extensively all over the world, visiting 68 countries on every continent except Antarctica. His one regret was that he did not get a chance to visit India or Tibet. John is survived by Susie, his devoted and dedicated wife of 68 years; his three children, Nora Jamgotchian, Lena (Edward) Marderosian, and John (Diana) Jamgotchian; his five grandchildren, Megan and Nicole Marderosian and Jayna, James and Jessica Jamgotchian; his youngest sister, Sirouhie Lucas, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Funeral services will take place on February 2, 2017, at 2:30 p.m. in the Old North Church at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Jan. 29 to Feb. 1, 2017
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