Kaloust Karakelian

June 28, 2022


Kaloust Karakelian 

September 1, 1929 - June 28, 2022

Kaloust Karakelian, beloved husband, father, and grandfather, passed away Tuesday, June 28, 2022. He was 92.

Kaloust was born in Baghdad, Iraq on September 1, 1929, to the late Karnig and Siranoush Karakelian. Growing up, he was an active Boy Scout and track athlete. He attended the leading Armenian and then public educational institutions in Iraq before starting a successful import/export business. In 1957 he married his love,  Kanarik (Shnorik) Vartanian. While in Iraq, the young couple were blessed with two children, Vartan and Silva. 

In 1966, Kaloust emigrated to Philadelphia after spending a few years in Beirut. Once in Philadelphia, he attended The College of Textile & Science and earned an accounting degree. He took a position as an accountant with the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. In 1967, his daughter Mary was born in Philadelphia. Kaloust then took employment with the City Service Oil Company (CITGO) before going out on his own, acquiring and operating gas stations and convenience stores in the greater Philadelphia area.

Kaloust was passionate about education and about the organizations he was a part of; he was a Freemason and a member of the Ararat Square Club and the St. Gregory’s Men’s Club. He loved playing tavloo and listening to his favorite Armenian and Arabic singers. He took every opportunity to celebrate his Armenian heritage and often shared fond memories of his homeland. 

In his retirement years, Kaloust enjoyed traveling the world with his wife. He expressed his creative side in a renewed passion for painting and art. But his most cherished passion was time with his children and being “Poppop” to his seven grandchildren. Kaloust was a devout believer, reading his Bible daily, and attending Badarak (Sunday services) regularly, where he would attend to the candles and distribution of maahs (blessed bread). He loved to read, tend his garden, and above all, make a daily trip to Soprano’s to spend time with his nephew Aram.

In life, Kaloust was pre-deceased by his older brothers, Sarkis and Markar, and sister, Angel. In addition to his wife, Shnorik, Kaloust is survived by his son, Vartan Karakelian (Haigoush) and their children, Tsoline and Tomas; his daughter, Silva Santerian (Mark) and their children Kristen (Dimitri), Mark and Lindsey; and his daughter, Mary Boyajian (Armen) and their children Talia and Alec. He is also survived by his brother Garabet Karakelian (Constance); his sister-in-law Anahid Karagelian; his brother-in-law Hayasdan Vartanian (Perouz); his sister-in-law Valanten Kazanjian; and many nephews and nieces.

Funeral service of the Armenian rite will be performed at St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church, 8701 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, on Friday morning, July 1st at 11 a.m., with visitation beginning at 9:30 a.m. Burial will be private.

Memorial donations may be made to the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church’s St. Gregory of Datev Institute.  Checks should be made payable to Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church, 138 East 39th Street, New York, NY 10016.  Please reference on the check Kaloust Karakelian and St. Gregory of Datev Institute.

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July 1, 2022

9:30 AM to 11:00 AM
St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church

Funeral Service
July 1, 2022

11:00 AM
St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church

Private Interment

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