By Tom Vartabedian
METHUEN, Mass. — You may or may not know Harold Paragamian, depending on where you live. He is surely not a household name unless you visit his Methuen home where he has lived as a bachelor throughout his 85 years.
He is a quiet man, relatively private, and surely not one to shine in any limelight.
He comes to church regularly, sits alone in the rear, and may stop later for a cup of coffee during the social aftermath following Badarak, then is gone as silently as he arrived.
People who attend St. Gregory’s regularly may know his name — or recognize the face —but usually don’t put the two together.
Beneath the surface is a humble Army veteran of World War II, who spent 14 months in the European Theater at places like Normandy and the Rhineland, earning four campaign stars and several anxious moments in the process.
For a 19-year-old fresh out of high school, the experience was a traumatic one, and the fact he’s Armenian through-and-through makes it all the more relevant in our ethnic family.