GLENDALE—Long-time Asbarez supporter and benefactor Sako Mardirossian, after whose mother the Asbarez headquarters have been named, passed away Friday after a long illness. He was 93.
Among the many institutions in the community that were the focal point of Mardirossian’s generosity and support, Asbarez occupied a unique place. In recognizing Asbarez’s important role and service in the community, in 1985, Mardirossian made a generous donation of $100,000 to Asbarez, in memory of his mother, Salpi, after whom the Asbarez building on 419 West Colorado Boulevard in Glendale was named. When Asbarez moved its headquarters to its current location in Little Armenia, that building, too, bore the same name, due to Mardirossian’s continued support for Asbarez. On April 15, 1985, Salpi Mardirossian’s name was included on the Asbarez masthead for the first time.
His passing is a loss for the entire Asbarez family, since for decades Mardirossian has been an indelible part of the newspaper and its advancement.
Born on March 6, 1923 in Ghardagh region of Iran, Sako Mardirossian received his elementary education in the regions suburb of Paytakaran. He received his Armenian education in the nurturing bosom of his parents, Salpi and Avetis, who had three other children, two boys and a girl.
In 1935, the entire Mardirossian family moved to Tabriz, and later Tehran. In 1948 Mardirossian married Annik Mikael Karapetian, with who he had four children, Lida, Hilda, Edmund and Roland.
In Tehran, in partnership with his brother, Yervand, Mardirossian established the “Alborz” furniture manufacturing factory, where most of the employees were Armenian, since the Mardirossian’s believed in giving back to the community and helping Armenian families. “Alborz” manufactured all the furniture for the Iranian Air Force.
His success in business translated into his generosity toward his community. In Iran, Mardirossian donated to many ventures, including the renovation of the St. Gevork Church, the Armenian Convalescence Home and the Ararat Stadium.
In 1979, after the revolution in Iran, Mardirossian and his family moved to London and in 1981 the settled in the United States in Glendale.
In 1986, following 38 years marriage, Mardirossian lost his wife, Annik. This loss took a heavy toll on Mardirossian and prompted him to sponsor the construction of the altar at St. Mary’s Church in Glendale in her memory, so that every candle that was lit at the church would brighten his wife’s memory.
Mardirossian’s ultimate dream was to see Armenia. In May, 1999, Mardirossian traveled to Armenia where he spent a month taking in all the sites and visiting Artsakh, where he saw first-hand the heroic people’s resilience and drive.
His love for his homeland was immeasurable and his respect for the Armenian soldier, unwavering. As such, in 2000, Mardirossian assisted in the effort to transport the remains of General Dro to Armenia, where he was reinterred at Bash Abaran, site of many of his victories.
Mardirossian also had his share of loss and sadness. In 1997 he lost his eldest son, Edmund, and while still reeling from that loss, his other son, Roland, passed away in 2014. His pain and loss only furthered him commitment to the well-being of the community and through his generosity he helped the Armenian Library of London, which bears his son, Edmund’s name, to continue its activities.
A Funeral Mass will be said on Friday, March 18 at 10:30 a.m. at St, Mary’s Church, 500 South Central Avenue, Glendale. Burial will follow at Glendale Forest Lawn Cemetery.