He was born on February 23, 1925 – In
Damascus, Syria. His parents were Garabet and Ashkhen Kizirian and he
had one older brother – Boghos. His family moved from Syria to Zahleh,
Lebanon when Avak was still just a baby.
He grew up in Zahleh and
lived there for the first half of his life. He attended school and
excelled in all his classes, but he had to cut his education short in
order to work and help support his family. He started working as a
teenager in a tailor shop and learned the profession quickly. Eventually
he opened his own tailor shop, where he made custom-made men’s suits.
He was an honest businessman and was well-respected by his peers and
He met and married the love of his life, Marie, in 1957.
They were blessed with three children – Garo, Salpy and Arpi. They
lived a modest and happy life along with his parents. He was a loving,
respectful and devoted husband, as well as a dedicated and protective
father to his children. He was a family man in the true sense of the
word. His family was his pride and joy. He loved spending time with his
family and friends.
In 1976, due to the civil war in Lebanon,
Avak and Marie decided to take a very challenging and brave step of
moving the family, with three teenagers, to the United States –
specifically to San Francisco, California, where they joined Marie’s two
brothers. Everything was new and different than what he knew – the
language, the culture, the lifestyle. But nothing discouraged him or
slowed him down. He got a job and started working right away as a
tailor. With the help of his loving wife, he was able to adjust to the
new life in this new country. After four years in San Francisco, the
family moved again, this time permanently, to the Los Angeles area.
came across many challenges throughout his life, but he handled them
with the quiet confidence that was very unique to him. He led an
exemplary lifestyle. His words and actions, and his positive attitude,
provided a good example to others, especially to his kids and
grand-kids. His motto in life was “do everything, but do it in
moderation”. He loved and adored his family; he respected his relatives
and friends. And in return, he was loved and respected by everyone that
met him. He had a gentle and sweet smile that touched the hearts of
many. He was mostly a quiet person, but when he spoke, you listened. He
was an extraordinary human being who viewed everything in life as a
learning experience. He did not have a college degree, but he was smart.
He read a lot and he was self-educated. He was well-informed about
current events around the world. He knew all about politics and
religion, but he was never one to show off his knowledge.
lived a generally healthy life. He took care of himself and didn’t have
any health issues. In his almost 97 years, he was blessed with five
grand-children, and two great-grand-Children, who loved and adored him
and looked up to him as a role model and a hero. He was happiest when he
was surrounded by his grandchildren and great- grandchildren. His face
lit up every time he saw any of them.
Avak passed away on January
27, 2022 at 9:12am and joined his wife of 63 years. He will be sorely
missed by every member of his family, but we are comforted by knowing
that together they are resting peacefully and watching over us. May his
soul rest in heavenly and eternal peace.