Richard Saroyan

Born: San Francisco on 06 October 1938

Passed away: Fresno on 13 January 2015

Aged: 76 years


The Story

Throughout my dad's life, he was committed to education and helping young people. He taught high school history and anthropology, later became an assistant principal, and most recently worked at Fresno State University as a master teacher for those earning their teaching credential.

As friends and loved ones have been reaching out to us, I have heard a reoccurring theme: dad was a genuine and nice man. The first time I heard this was during my freshman year at Burlingame High School. It just so happened that dad was one of our assistant principals. Scary, right? One fall morning in 1993, I was walking in the main hall when a senior on the football team stopped me. The guy was huge, about the size of an industrial refrigerator. Wearing his jersey with both sleeves rolled up, he looked down at all one hundred pounds of me and asked "Hey. Are you Saroyan's son?" I had to come clean and see what happened. "Yeah" I sheepishly replied. "Your dad is a good guy!" I can't put into words the relief I felt at that moment.

Years have gone by, and time and time again I have heard the same thing from dozens of people. He was a good guy. I now stand tall, hold my head up high and say this: not only was my dad a nice man and mentor to many, he was a great father.

I love my dad.

We would greatly appreciate if you could take a few moments and share your thoughts, feelings or stories. It would mean the world.

Richard Luke Saroyan
[email protected]
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Though I had a business and tax relationship with Richard and Sharon for many years I did not formally meet Richard until they relocated to Fresno. True to his gentlemanly ways he and Sharon invited my wife and I to dinner at the Manhattan Restaurant. It was love at first sight. I thoroughly enjoyed the sixteen years that we were friends. A friendship that seemed a lifetime. I cannot forget the Rotary meetings, dinners at the Basque Hotel and especially the chicken liver dinners. Who can forget the games of 1-4-24 and Richard's uncanny luck. It seems he took all my expendable cash. I will never forget his willingness to accompany me on day trips to the coast while my house was under construction. He would politely walk away when the contractor and I discussed financial matters. I have missed him and will cherish our friendship forever. God Bless you my friend! - Harvey

Harvey Armas

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Though I had a business and tax relationship with Richard and Sharon for many years I did not formally meet Richard until they relocated to Fresno. True to his gentlemanly ways he and Sharon invited my wife and I to dinner at the Manhattan Restaurant. It was love at first sight. I thoroughly enjoyed the sixteen years that we were friends. A friendship that seemed a lifetime. I cannot forget the Rotary meetings, dinners at the Basque Hotel and especially the chicken liver dinners. Who can forget the games of 1-4-24 and Richard's uncanny luck. It seems he took all my expendable cash. I will never forget his willingness to accompany me on day trips to the coast while my house was under construction. He would politely walk away when the contractor and I discussed financial matters. I have missed him and will cherish our friendship forever. God Bless you my friend! - Harvey

Harvey Armas

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I am so sorry to hear about your dad. He was such a nice man, and I have fond memories of him from BHS. He was the kind of man that was respected and well-liked. My condolences to you and your family. -Melissa Walter Frey

Rich Saroyan

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The best gift you could give to honor your dad was what you just said about him. To have a son say such sweet things about his father speaks volumes. Pay it forward, Rich; be a good dad yourself. -Hollis Logue

Rich Saroyan

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Hey Rich, your dad was one of my favorites at BHS.. A great man.. Who raised a great family.. Wishing you and your family peace during this difficult time. -David Nguyen

Rich Saroyan

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Words cannot express my feeling for your dad. A beautiful soul. Kind, caring, and funny who made me laugh with his corny jokes. He was a wonderful human being, his sense of humor was so much like my dear husband they could have been twins. Neither one would hurt a fly. A humble man he was indeed. He would not tell anyone that he was a graduate of Stanford University and never bragged about anything---had a smile for everyone. He was kind, considerate, and helpful of others. If there were more souls like him in this universe, life would be beautiful. I always told your mom how lucky she was to have him in her life. A great loss it is, you will never forget him but you will eventually learn to live with it. He was the type of human that everyone that knew him would sing the song UNFORGETABLE. He brought joy to those around him. You had to smile when you looked at him, I would say laugh at his expression on his face. He may be laughing it up with Mr. Al. I’m sure they are in a better place surrounded by love and happiness where there is peace and happiness. He was a lucky man to have a son like you-there isn't anyone like you in this universe and a devoted wife to say the least. To say I love you so much Rick, and proud to know you and be with you, and I'm here for you. -Grandma Sandy Schlesinger

Rich Saroyan

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Richard Saroyan was one of the nicest men I've ever known. He was a "gentleman" in the true sense of the word. We've been friends for many years and had spent time together at various functions, mostly dinners with our group of friends. He was the "cream of the crop" and will be greatly missed. I'm glad to have known him and I know he's looking down on all of us with a gentle smile. Sincerely, Lillian Armas

todd armas

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My condolences to the Saroyan family. We lost a true gentleman. I have many fond memories with Richard, including holidays, gatherings with friends, and the several college football tailgates. What I will remember most, however, are the many beautiful gifts Richard and Sharon gave to my daughter after her birth, and in her early years. She will always know him as "Uncle Richard".

todd armas

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Rick, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. My love to Mom and Robyn and Robyn’s family. This tribute site is beautiful and a true sign of your love and admiration for your dad. Your dad and I first met when both of us were on the Aragon High staff. We firmed up a lasting friendship during our time together as partners at BHS. Richard and I worked together for eight years, the longest of any AP during my 15 year tenure at BHS. Different AP’s filled the other positions during the first four years, but the team of Teshara, Saroyan, Linda McDaniel and Paul Richards served together the next four before my “graduation” from BHS in 1997. That was a great team, four unique personalities with different styles. We worked hard, respected each other, and laughed a lot at the situations we faced, and at ourselves. Those were great years. I recall your dad’s pride in your Armenian heritage and the suggestion that we had hired a bus to bring students from the Armenian School to BHS. Not true, but we did bring together quite a clan. Your dad truly loved what he did and it showed. It was his authenticity that connected him with young people. He was the real deal. There is nothing I recall more than the pride of your dad when his son, Rick, was elected senior class president. Our team of four grew to five. I know that had to be a memorable year for you. Your dad will forever be in my heart, and you, my friend, will always be MY senior class president! I hope we can connect soon. - Larry Teshara (Mr. "T")

Rich Saroyan

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When I heard the news this morning, I was truly shocked. I am so sorry for your loss, but grateful you had such a wonderful role model and father. Richard was a wonderful man who had a positive outlook on life every time I spoke with him. My parents loved him as well. I enjoyed my brief conversations with him about our shared experiences in education. He will be missed by his family and everyone who knew him. Our thoughts are with all of you in the days ahead. Love to you all.

Bob Avedesian

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