Memorial for Professor and Poet Leonardo Alishan

Accomplished former University of Utah professor and poet–Leonardo Paul Alishan–53–passed away on January 9–2005 as a result of a horrific house fire.

Nardo was born on March 4–1951 in Tehran–Iran to Armenian parents–Michael and Annette. He married Neli Assadurian on July 19–1974. Three wonderful children was the result of their union–Michael–Ara–and Eileen.

Nardo immigrated to the United States in 1973 and received his doctorate degree in 1978 in comparative literature from the University of Texas at Austin. He moved to Utah and joined the University of Utah’s Middle Eastern Studies’ department the same year.

He enjoyed teaching and spending time with his students–which were his biggest source of inspiration. He left an everlasting impression on everyone who came in contact with him–and made their lives richer and more meaningful. His students admired his knowledge–candidness–humbleness–and warm personality–and rewarded him twice with voting him the most distinguished professor at the university. He also received a faculty award from the University of Utah for the 1994-1995 school year.

Nardo was an accomplished researcher and poet–which received numerous awards for his literary body of work. His love for literature benefited Iranian–Armenian–and English literary communities in different capacities. He authored several articles and papers covering traditional and modern Iranian poets and writers–while becoming one of the top authorities in the world on "David and Sassoun," the Armenian national epic. He was especially proud of his two published poetry books–"Dancing Barefoot on Broken Glass" and "Through a Dewdrop."

Nardo’s legacy lives in his oldest son Micheal–who has inherited his wonderful personality–in Ara–who has inherited his gentle soul and artistic inclinations–and in his youngest child Eileen–his ultimate love–which completes the circle. His legacy will always be alive in every student and individual who came to know this wonderful mind and exceptional literary genius.

He is survived by his children–Michael–Ara–and Eileen; wife–Neli; Nephew–Damian; Preceded in death by father–Michael; mother–Annette; brother–Sacco.

A memorial reception will take place on Saturday–February 5–2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.–at Cabrini Villas–9600 Cabrini Drive–Burbank–CA 91504. For information call (818) 731-3365.


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