Peter Koutoujian Sr.

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Koutoujian

WALTHAM, Mass. — Former Waltham City Clerk Peter Koutoujian died suddenly at his Waltham home on Friday, January 16, 2015. He was 77.

Peter was born in Boston on January 20, 1937, a son of Armenian immigrants Abraham and Sarah (DerBedrosian) Koutoujian, and moved to Waltham as a child. He was a graduate of Waltham High School and Newton Junior College. After that he served with the United States Air Force.

In his early years, Koutoujian worked as a realtor and then in sales with Dunn and Bradstreet and the Research Institute of America. After serving for two terms on the Waltham City Council he became Waltham’s assistant city clerk. Following the retirement of Joseph Trombley, he was selected to head the department, a position that he held for thirty years.

Over time his institutional knowledge of how governance worked earned him a reputation as an expert in the field. He had been a longtime member and a past president of the Massachusetts City Clerks’ Association and enjoyed lifelong friendships with his colleagues from across the state.

In retirement he was always willing to lend a hand at clerk’s offices that needed help at election time or to fill in whenever the need arose. His experience in election procedures earned him a spot internationally when he was selected to be part of a team to oversee the vote during the past decade in Armenia and in Kosovo.

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He met every challenge and opportunity with warmth and wit and a characteristic smile that quickly made friends out of strangers. He was the kind of a guy you were happy to see enter a room; whose genuine care and concern was quick to help solve a problem or to lift a troubled spirit. His longtime affiliation with Boston’s Armenian-American community and ancestral history helped to shape his view of community and of government and how to make both better for those around him.

He was a member of the Armenian Library and Museum of America in Watertown and along with his wife of 54 years, Newton native Cornelia “Connie” (Cassidy) Koutoujian, belonged to the Knights and Ladies of Saint Finbarr and the Eire Society of Boston. He was also the recipient of several local and professional awards for his commitment to local charities and organizations.

In addition to his wife Connie he leaves his children, Middlesex Sherriff Peter J. Koutoujian and his wife, Elizabeth Cerda, of Waltham and Maura F. Koutoujian of Chicago, Illinois; his grandchildren, Peter, Cristian and Isabel Koutoujian; his sister, Mary Minasian and her husband, Hovannes, of Lexington and many nieces and nephews.

He was also a brother of the late Hagop “Jack” Koutoujian and Arsen Koutoujian.

Family and friends gathered at the Waltham City Hall, on Wednesday January 21, and again on Thursday in The Joyce Funeral Home, Waltham from 4 to 8 p.m. His funeral was held from the funeral home on Friday morning before leaving in procession to Our Lady Help of Christians Church, 573 Washington Street, Newton where his Funeral Mass was celebrated. Burial followed in Newton Cemetery.

Memorial donations may be made to the Armenian Heritage Park Foundation, 25 Flanders Road, Belmont, MA 02478 or online at www.armenianheritagepark.org

 

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