Armen Garo Zartarian

May 8, 2020


 Armen Garo Zartarian passed away, peacefully, on 5/8/2020, in West Chester PA, at the age of 91, after a brief and valiant battle with COVID- 19.

 God has called him back, to be reunited with his beloved wife, of 63 years, Rose Vartouhi.

   He was the devoted father to Karen (Sevag) Panossian, Seeran (Greg, deceased) Mizii and Karl (Nancy). He was the adoring grandfather to 4 grandchildren, Gregory Jr. (Mizii), and Lance, Laura, and Kelly (Zartarian). 

He was born in West Philadelphia to Karl  Zartarian (Harpourt, Armenia) and Makroohie (Gostanian-Harpourt Armenia and Armenian genocide survivor). He was predeceased by his older brother, John Ralph.

Armen was known as “Umbo” by childhood friends.  He attended West Philadelphia High School, where he excelled in basketball, as the Varsity captain of the “Speedboys”, as early as his freshman year. He was “All City” Philadelphia basketball for 3 years.

After high school, his enlisted in the Army, as a private technician grade 5. He was assigned as a typist to the dental clinic of the 361st Station Hospital at Tokyo, Japan.  He received the World War II Victory Medal Army of Occupation Medal of Japan.

 After his service ended, he attended Temple University, as a marketing major on the GI bill. Armen worked as a salesman in the trucking industry, during his career and made lifelong friends during those years.

Armen was very proud of his Armenian heritage and a devoted member of St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church, in Philadelphia. He met Rose, while singing in the church choir and where they continued to sing for 64 years. They also sang together in the Philadelphia Knar Armenian Choral group during its inception.  Really, music of all diversity, always brought him great joy; he loved Ray Charles and Willie Nelson.

While wintering in Sarasota, they attended St. Hagop Armenian Church in Pinellas, FL, and enjoyed singing with its choir. They were able to experience the early spiritual and physical foundation of that church and were able to travel to Armenia with its members.

 A highlight of Armen’s life, was singing with Rose, during the Armenian Genocide Centennial Celebration in 2015, at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. and at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.  While there, he was thrilled to experience conversing, in the elevator, with Both Armenian Catholicos and described it as being “star struck”.

He enjoyed being in organizations and belonged to the Masonic Leonard Freeman Lodge/ Brotherhood Lodge # 126,  in Philadelphia and was a Worshipful Master in 1966.

 At St. Gregory, as a young man, he was also a member of the Ararat Square club.

Armen and Rose enjoyed living in Cherry Hill, NJ, Sea Isle City, NJ and Sarasota, FL and loved all things related to the sea shore and seafood, including cooking shellfish and crabs. Armen was an avid lover of all types of food and spoiled by Rose’s ingenious culinary skills.

Dad LOVED baseball (the Phillies) and college basketball. While wintering in Sarasota, he would watch the Phillies spring training, so that by the time the season started, he was well versed with the players and their stats. He always enjoyed meeting new people, playing pinochle, cribbage, and especially backgammon (tavloo), with his family and friends.

 He was an avid reader and skilled at crosswords pussles.

Armen  was consistently described, as ” having Such a great smile”   and  being  a friendly, gentle and  easy going man, who always  enjoyed meeting new people.

He NEVER complained and was always ready to help anybody.

Even after he was widowed, he was” always a real trooper” and ready to do anything.

As Dad got older, his son- in- law gave him the new nickname of “Superman” because he was always able to beat the medical odds and bounce back.


               We were SO blessed to have Armen as our DEAR AND LOVING Father.

It was OUR Honor to take care of Dad, since Mom’s passing, and to have the opportunity to be in his presence, while he was on this earth, for his 91 years. He will be dearly missed.

We gain comfort in knowing that he and Rose are together and singing again in heaven.


Due to COVID-19 restrictions, services will be private. 

In Lieu of Flowers, DONATIONS May be made to:

St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church

8701 Ridge Ave

Philadelphia, PA   19128

Tel: 215-482-9200

St. Hagop Armenian Church

7020 90th Ave North

Pinellas Park, FL   33782

Tel: 727-545-0380

















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St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church
8701 Ridge Ave., Philadelphia PA 19128
Tel: 1-215-482-9200

St. Hagop Armenian Church
7020 90th Ave, North Pinellas Park FL 33782
Tel: 1-727-545-0380

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