Homenetmen Leader Kerop Arakelian Dies

GLENDALE–Long-time Homenetmen member and a veteran Armenian Revolutionary Federation member Kerop Arakelian died Tuesday at the Ararat Home in Mission Hills–following a long illness. He was 90.

Arakelian–a survivor of the Armenian Genocide–was one of the first scouts in the ran’s of the Homenetmen. Born on Dec. 6–1909–in Aintab–Arakelian moved to Adana with his family at 2. In 1914 he moved to Aleppo–Syria–by way of Der-Zor–being forcibly deported by the Ottoman Turkish government. In 1918 he returned to Adana. There he was one of the first members of the Armenian boy scouting troop.

During the Kemalist movement which forced the evacuation of Adana–Arakelian and his family moved to Kokinia–Greece in 1922. There–he became one of the organizing members of the Homenetmen in Greece and also became a star soccer player. In 1930–Arakelian and his family relocated to Mexico City where he joined the ran’s of the ARF and founded the "Help Homenetmen" organization which secured major funding for the Homenetmen. In 1964–Arakelian moved to the United States and devoted his time to the establishment of the Homenetmen in the US. He was one of the founding members of the Homenetmen Western Region by the establishment of the Los Angeles chapter in 1968. Arakelian served in numerous leadership positions both on local and regional boards. In 1982 he was awarded the Homenetmen Golden Medal of Valor for his dedication and service to the organization. In 1988–on the 70th anniversary of the Homenetmen–he was awarded the Cilician Knight medal by then Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia Karekin II. Arakelian served as the honorary president of the 18th Navasartian Games and was named a lifetime honorary president of Homenetmen.

He was the husband of the late Nelly Arakelian. He is survived by two daughters–a son and eight grandchildren.

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