LAS VEGAS—It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of Larry Barnes, main benefactor of St. Garabed Armenian Apostolic Church and Cultural Center, on Friday, July 17, 2015 at the age of 86.
Larry Barnes was born on April 23, 1929 in Moville, Iowa. At the age of 21 he graduated from Iowa State University as a Mechanical Engineer, specializing in aviation hydraulics. In 1956 he relocated to Burbank, California where he began working for Textron Corporation.
Larry met his future wife, Seda Der Garabedian, in 1964, when she had completed her overseas assignment with the State Department and was working for Lockheed Aircraft Company in Burbank. They were married in Las Vegas on December 6, 1965.
In 1971 both Larry and Seda left their corporate careers to start their own company, Tecmefilter, manufacturing stainless steel high-pressure hydraulic filters. In 1980 they established a subsidiary company and moved to Shannon, Ireland to be closer to and provide better service to their European customers. In 1986 they consolidated their manufacturing operation and transferred their headquarters to Las Vegas, Nevada. Larry continued the manufacturing operation until 2011 when he sold his company upon his retirement.
In Las Vegas, both Seda and Larry became actively involved in the local Armenian community and volunteered for various projects within Armenian organizations. Seda Der Garabedian-Barnes was one of the founding members of ARS Las Vegas Chapter and also an active member of the Parish Council.
In 2009, with a generous donation in memory of his late wife Seda, Larry became the catalyst for building the first Armenian Church and Cultural Center in the State of Nevada.
For his dedication and benevolence to the Armenian Church, in May of 2010 His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, bestowed Larry Barnes with the “Knight of Cilicia” medal.
In October of 2011, Larry joined His Holiness Aram I and His Eminence Archbishop Mardirossian for the ground blessing ceremony of St. Garabed Church during the Pontifical Visit of His Holiness to Las Vegas.
One final initiative that we owe to the generosity of Mr. Larry Barnes is the establishment of the “Seda Der Garabedian-Barnes Education Fund” which encourages and promotes learning the Armenian language for Las Vegas students within the ages of 10-16.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, July 25, at St. Garabed Armenian Apostolic Church of Las Vegas located at 2054 East Desert Inn Road, Las Vegas, NV 89169.
The viewing will take place between 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. The funeral service will begin at 10:00 a.m., followed by the graveside service at Palm Mortuary located at 7600 South Eastern Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89123.
A memorial luncheon, “Hokejash,” will follow at St. Garabed Church “Koujakian Hall” hosted by the Parish Council and Ladies Auxiliary.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the “Seda Der Garabedian-Barnes Education Fund.” Mailing Address: St. Garabed Armenian Apostolic Church, 2054 East Desert Inn Road, Las Vegas, NV 89169.
Parish Pastor, Parish Council & Ladies Auxiliary
St. Garabed Armenian Apostolic Church of Las Vegas