Earlier this month ARF and ANC leader from Central California Richard Darmanian passed away. On Wednesday, Rep. Jim Costa, paid tribute to Darmanian in Congress. Below are his remarks:
Madam Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the life of Richard Darmanian of Fresno, California, who recently passed away at 81 years of age. He leaves behind his best friend and loving wife of 59 years, Armon, six children, and several grandchildren.
Mr. Darmanian was born on November 21, 1926, in Sacramento, California, but was raised in the Central Valley. As a youngster, he lived on a farm where his passion for farming came to life.
Upon graduation from Caruthers High School he attended Fresno State College and earned his B.A. degree in history and a master’s degree in guidance and counseling.
Upon graduating from Fresno State in 1952, Mr. Darmanian began his teaching career at Roosevelt High School, where he taught mathematics, history and government. Mr. Darmanian was also counselor and dean of the boys at Roosevelt High School. In 1959 he purchased a small farm in the Sunnyside area, where he built a home and raised a family for many years.
In 1969 he became the assistant principal at Edison High School and then moved on to become the principal in 1972. He was also the principal at Hoover High School, and he served as district administrator in the Instruction Division from 1984 until 1988, where he was responsible for all the Fresno Unified School District’s high schools.
Mr. Darmanian not only had a passion for education but also for his Armenian community where he was both very active and an influential member. In 1950, he became a member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, ARF, in which he served several terms as a member of the Regional Executive Committee and the Central Executive Committee. From 1952 to 1970 he served as regional secretary of the American Committee for the Independence of Armenia, Armenian National Committee. Also, as one of the founding members of the Armenian Community School that opened its doors in 1976, he served as chairman of the board of education for 6 years.
His strong values and community ties led him to serve as a long-time member of the Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church Board of Trustees, as well as a member of the Executive Council of the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of North America, where he was appointed to the Education Council of the Armenian Schools under the jurisdiction of Western Prelacy during the period of 1990 and 1994. He was also a member of the California State University Fresno Armenian Studies Advisory Board.
Richard enjoyed the simple things in life and loved to be surrounded by his family, friends and colleagues from the Armenian community. He was especially proud to see the younger Armenian generation alongside with him engaged in activities that were dear to his heart. Those who were close to him are better people today thanks to his influence on their lives.
It goes without saying that Mr. Richard Darmanian was an honorable man with a commitment to family, friends and the Armenian community that will forever live in the lives of the people he so graciously touched. His passion for family, education, and the Armenian culture will be remembered by all who knew him. I am honored and humbled to join his family in celebrating the life of this amazing man who will never be forgotten.