Armand Norehad

Businessman and Philanthropist, Tekeyan and ADL Leader Armand Norehad Dies

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CHICAGO — Businessman and philanthropist Armand Orie Norehad, age 85, passed away on Saturday, April 11, 2020. He was born on June 16, 1934 to Christine (née Kashian) and Onnig Norehad (Norhadian), who fled Turkey during the Armenian Genocide. His parents’ immigrant roots and faith in God shaped him into the wonderful man he was.

Armand is survived by his wife of 59 years, Marilyn (née Calderini), and three sons, David, Michael (wife, Michelle), and Steven. He also leaves his grandchildren, Julie, Jennifer, Jessica, John, Peter, and Margot, as well as his sister, Anna Marie, and brother, Ernest.

Armand, a lifelong Chicagoan, attended Kilmer Grammar School, Sullivan High School, Purdue University, and graduated from Northwestern University Business School with a master’s degree in Business Administration.

Following graduate school, he worked for Union Cord Products, an industrial gasket manufacturer founded by his parents during WWII. Armand worked closely with his father for years until he felt the pull of Wall Street. In 1969, he left the family business and moved to New York to pursue a career with Paine, Webber, Jackson & Curtis.

Armand returned to Chicago in 1973 to pursue a position as an institutional salesman with Bear Stearns & Co. He quickly rose in the ranks due to his competitive nature, persistent drive, and thoughtful manner, leading Armand to become a partner at the firm. Over the next twelve years, he successfully managed and built the Chicago office into the highest grossing location outside of the New York Headquarters.

After retiring from Bear Stearns, he and Marilyn traveled the world and retreated to the Boulders in Scottsdale, Ariz. in the winters. This peaceful desert oasis was the gathering place for his entire family, for whom he had unconditional love. Armand was a gifted artist and developed a passion for sculpting after his retirement. He continued to sculpt at the North Shore Senior Center almost to the end of his life.

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Following in his father’s footsteps, Armand continued a tradition of benevolence. He spent much of his life contributing to a variety of charitable organizations throughout the world. As a devoted Armenian and Christian, he served as treasurer of the Tekeyan Cultural Association of the United States and Canada (TCA) and was a member of the Armenian Assembly. He supported the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU), the central board of which he was a member, and turned the AGBU Norehad Center into an important gathering place for Chicago Armenians.

Armand’s father Onnig and uncle Bedros were active leaders in TCA and the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party, and this family tradition now stretches to almost a century with the third generation of Norehads.

In the wake of the 1988 Armenian earthquake, Armand and Marilyn led a team from the Chicago Armenian community to raise funds in order to send much-needed supplies to his ravaged homeland. Throughout Armand’s life, even during the busiest of times, he acted as a mentor to his family and friends, guiding them in key life decisions and struggles. For this he will be remembered by many.

Armand was a devoted and loving husband to his wife, Marilyn, and was an active and supportive father throughout his children’s lives, including: coaching soccer, attending soccer and hockey games, and gymnastics meets. This presence and support continued into the lives of his grandchildren.

Armand’s legacy is his commitment to faith, family, and love. He could light up a room with his charismatic smile, which left an impact on those who were lucky enough to know him.

A celebration of Armand’s life will take place in the summer or fall at the Church of the Holy Comforter in Kenilworth, Illinois, with a reception to follow at Skokie Country Club.

Contributions in memory of Armand may be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (www.alzfdn.org).

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