By Aram Arkun
FLUSHING, N.Y. — Artist and illustrator Paul Sagsoorian, born on March 26, 1923 in Chelsea, passed away on October 2. Alongside his professional accomplishments, he humbly served nearly all institutions of the Armenian community for many decades, usually for modest remuneration, through his unmistakable style of illustration. His work adorned Armenian books, journals, pamphlets, posters and advertisements.
On the morning of October 5, he was buried in Cedar Grove Cemetery in Queens, in the presence of Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, the pastor of St. Illuminator’s Armenian Apostolic Cathedral, director Jenny Hakobian and caseworker Karine Barsoumian from the New York Armenian Home, Zarmine Boghosian and funeral home director Edward Jamie, Jr. Two young soldiers from the US Department of Veterans Affairs came to honor him as a veteran, and handed the folded flag after his burial to Hakobian on behalf of the president of the United States of America and the veterans of this country.
Never married and without children, Sagsoorian moved to the New York Armenian Home in 2013. The Home held a hokejash or memorial meal for him on October 12.
As Boghosian later exclaimed, “Thank God for the Armenian Home of Flushing, where Armenian forgotten artists have a home and loving care! Their staff were the ones who informed his only relatives and they contacted the Veterans’ office to secure an appropriate final resting place for someone who has done so much for the New York Armenian organizations.”