Glendale News Press, CA
Jan 30 2014

January 29, 2014|By Katherine Yamada

Paul Ignatius as Student Body President at Hoover High... (Courtesy
of the...)

Glendale native Paul Ignatius, retired Secretary of the Navy, will
be honored at this year's Glendale Educational Foundation event as
a distinguished Hoover High alumnus.

Born in 1920, Ignatius grew up on Columbus Avenue in a Spanish-style
house with a red tile roof and five apricot trees in the backyard;
a reminder of a time when the entire area was covered in orchards,
he wrote in his memoirs, published in 2000.

He started school at Field Elementary -- a long walk, he recalled. Then
Keppel opened in 1928 and he walked there with neighborhood friends.

Not only did Ignatius attend Eleanor J. Toll Junior High, the woman for
whom the school was named lived across the street on Columbus Avenue.

Growing up, he gave little thought to his Armenian heritage.

"There were no Armenian kids in our school except us," he said of
himself and his siblings. Nor could he speak the language. It wasn't
until much later that he focused on his family's history and learned
that both parents, Elisa Jamgochian and Hovsep Ignatius, were born
in Armenia.

His maternal grandfather, Avedis Jamgochian, brought his family,
including Elisa, to England in 1893 and they prospered there, but
had to leave for health reasons.

They came to California in 1911. Jamgochian built a large house in
Tropico and eventually invested in a soap factory, along with other
business ventures. Elisa befriended a young photographer, Edward
Weston, and gave him one of his first exhibits, "a small affair for
family and neighbors."

Ignatius' father was 19 when he came to the United States in 1904,
directly from "the old country," with his three brothers. They
settled in Pittsburgh, where they dropped the patronymic "ian" from
their names.

When H.B. Ignatius, as he was later known, attended a Shriners'
Convention in Los Angeles in 1912, he looked up Jamgochian, well
known for writing letters and poems in Armenian newspapers published
in the United States. He was introduced to Elisa, decided to move to
Glendale and they married a few years later.

During the aftermath of the massacres of 1915, H.B. Ignatius was asked
to join the Near East Relief Committee, "the only Armenian in this
distinguished group," his son wrote. "Of all his many fundraising
activities, this one gave him the most satisfaction."