Harry Koumjian Obituary


koumjianObitARLINGTON, Mass. — Harry Koumjian of Arlington and Falmouth died on Wednesday, August 5, 2015 in the comfort of his home. He was one month shy of his 92nd birthday.

In 1941, he graduated from Watertown High School, where he enjoyed performing in musicals and Gilbert and Sullivan shows and excelled academically, gaining membership into the National Honors Society.

At Boston University, he majored in physics and graduated cum laude in 1946. He continued onto graduate school at MIT.

Professionally, he developed and manufactured the ultraviolet microscope at Scientific Specialties Corporation. At Northrop Corporation he developed the radiometric sextant and Type 11 periscope, which were used for the navigation systems of atomic submarines. At Itek Corporation and Honeywell he developed cameras for US satellites for earth photography. Even in retirement, Koumjian developed a computer software office system for his daughter’s optometry practice.

In addition to succeeding professionally, he held many leadership positions in the community. In the 1970s, he was president of the National Association of  Armenian Studies and Research and in the 1980s he held the position of Commander of the Knights of Vartan.

He also soloed in the St. James Armenian Church Choir of Watertown from 1958 to 1973.  He was the lead male in the Armenian musical Kharabaghee Melikner in 1960 and recorded the Divine Liturgy of the Armenian Church as the tenor soloist under Dr. Arra Avakian in the 1960s.

He frequently sang at weddings, and was a member of the Arlington Philharmonic and Lexington Pops.

He loved classical music and was an avid opera fan. A tenor himself, he especially adored the voices of other tenors, such as Caruso, Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti.

Koumjian passed down his interests of music, science, and higher education, as well as his values of integrity and compassion to his family. He was able to travel with his wife and three of his children to Armenia in 2006 with the St. James Armenian Apostolic Church.

He is preceded by his father, Toros Kouyoumjian, mother, Haiganoush Dadidian Kouyoumjian, , Step-mother, Paris Sohigian Kouyoumjian, and Sister Lucy Johnson.

He is survived by his wife, Madeline Dadourian Koumjian with whom he recently celebrated 63 years of marriage; his sister Anahid (Diane) Kouyoumjian, his children (Karen, Kevin, Lauren, Pamela, and Andrea), his 10 grandchildren (Alec, Evan, Duncan, Lara, Alexis, Melissa, Wilson, Sophie, Lauren, and Eric), and many loving nieces and nephews.

Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the Knights of Vartan Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 400, Belmont, MA 02478, or to the Armenian Heritage Park, 25 Flanders Rd., Belmont, MA 02478, or St. James Armenian Church, 465 Mt. Auburn St., Watertown, MA 02472

Services were held at St. James Armenian Apostolic Church, on Tuesday, August 11.  Interment was at the Evergreen Cemetery, Brighton.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Giragosian Funeral Home, Watertown.