Ara H. Eloian passed away peacefully on Sunday, February 26th, 2023. He was survived by his wife Zumrut (Proodian), his two children Jeffrey Eloian (Rikki), Ardis Goodson (Rodney) and his grandchildren: Isabella, Maryna, Alexandra, Savanna, Gabriela, and Alex. Sister, Rosette Anoush Proodian (Eloian)
Ara was born on January 10th,1936 to Araxie (Tourigian) and Paul Eloian in Philadelphia, Pa. He later resided in Marlton, New Jersey with his family.
Ara at a young age was the organist and choirmaster of St. Gregory’s 16th and Oxford Street location. His piano training with Krikor Suni (a student of Rimsky-Korsakoff) and continued with Araxie Samuelian (a student of the Maestro). He continued his studies at the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music with Joseph Arcaro. He began his organ training also at the Conservatory with Robert Elmore and Robert Browne, where he received his B. Muaic. For 17 years he was an organist and Master of the Choirsters at the Church of the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Collingswood, New Jersey.
He studied at the Philadelphia Divinity School to extend his knowledge of music in the Episcopal Church with guest instructors Dr. Leo Sowerby, Alec Wyton Cathedral of St. John the Divine, NY and Newell Robinson of the Divinity School. He was also awarded the St. Dunstan Award by the Bishop and New Jersey dedication to the Episcopal Church. During the administration of Richard Nixon, the choir of Holy Trinity sang for the TREE Lighting ceremony in Washington.
Ara was also an accompanist-organist and associate conductor of the Delaware Country Choral Society (which performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra presenting Handel’s Messiah and Mendelssohn’s Elijah.)
Choral and organ compositions were dedicated to Ara by prominent composer Edward H. Wetherill. He was also the Conductor of Camden-Woodbury Convocation Junior and Adult Choir Festivals, and the Armenian Community Signers and is a member of the American Guild of Organists.
Ara has been the organ recitalist on the John Wannamaker Grand Court organ, Philadelphia; in Trinity Cathedral, Trenton, New Jersey, in the National Cathedral, Washington, DC and others. For 33 years he held the position of Director of Music and Organist Lehman Memorial United Methodist Church, Hatboro, PA where he was responsible for their extensive music program. He also worked in Advertising at The American College of Physicians before his retirement. He was a devoted and loving husband, an incredible father and grandfather. Ara will be greatly missed by the lives he touched, and his musical talent will live in our hearts forever.
Family and friends are invited to view 10am Thursday March 9, 2023 at St. Greogory The Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church, 8701 Ridge Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19128. His funeral service will begin promptly at 11am. Interment in Locustwood Cemetery, Cherry Hill, NJ.. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to the church.
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St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church
8701 Ridge Ave., Philadelphia PA 19128