Harutun VapurciyanSOUTHFIELD, Mich. — Harutun Vapurciyan passed away on Thursday, September 29, at the age of 87. Metro Detroit Armenians lost a friend, colleague and generous benefactor who donated to humanitarian projects locally and in Armenia. The funeral service took place on Tuesday, October 4, 2016 at St. John Armenian Church in Southfield, officiated by the Very Rev. Aren Jebejian with the participation of a long-time friend of the deceased, Rev. Diran Papazian.
Vapurciyan was eulogized, among others, by his best friend and lifetime colleague, Osep Sarafian. The following are excerpts from his eulogy.
He said, in part, “Harutun, known as “Arto” by his friends, was born in Istanbul Turkey on March 25, 1929 to a modest Armenian family. He received his primary education at the Getronagan Armenian High School, and pursued his higher education at the Istanbul Technical University where he studied architecture. Upon graduation he started his own business and participated in many national architectural design competitions and won many awards. “After fulfilling his mandatory military service as an officer in Turkey, in 1958 Harutun immigrated to the United States and enrolled at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he received a second advanced degree. “Arto was a very successful architect, a good designer and engineer. His landmark projects won the envy of his professional peers, including myself, who had the privilege of collaborating with him on several projects.
“Harutun was a humble man who never bragged about his accomplishments or philanthropies. He always acted quietly and generously. He was involved in the Detroit-Armenian community and was one of the founders of the Cultural Society of Armenians from Istanbul and the Armenian Engineers and Scientists of America. He also worked closely with the late philanthropist Alex Manoogian on the project of opening the AGBU Alex & Marie Manoogian School that Metro Detroiter’s are so proud of today.”
The Vapurciyans were among the first parents to enroll their children in the new school. Harutun was married to Nadya (Kitapcyan) for 56 years and they had two sons, Dr. Garo Vaporciyan (Pam), a chemical engineer who is principal scientist and venture manager for Royal Dutch Shell Company, and Dr. Ara Vaporciyan (Philipa), a renowned thoracic surgeon, who is chairman of the Thoracic Surgery Department at MD Anderson Hospital in Texas. Each couple has three children.
He was an ardent supporter of Armenia’s Cosmic Ray Division’s (CRD). He believed in the intellectual power of the Armenian scientists and trusted the astrophysicists working at the observation facility atop Mount Aragats. He was also was an ardent supporter of ASIF projects to construct and renovate schools, community centers, roads, and irrigations systems in villages and rural areas in Armenia.
Source:The Armenian Mirror-Spectator