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Thursday August 27, 2009

New York - Haig Nargizian, a lifelong member of the New York Armenian
community, died on July 25, 2009, at the age of 66.

He was a highly respected stamp dealer, one of the few who could look
at a collection and calculate its value.

His brother Ray remembers him as a gentle person who always welcomed
you with a smile. "Haig was a kind, generous family man who loved
life. He had a lot of compassion, loved to laugh and was always a
gentleman, but he also liked to speak his mind," Ray said.

"Haig had a collection of over 500 Armenian books and was a walking
encyclopedia of Armenian history. He taught himself how to play the
oud, dumbek, and piano. He wanted to make sure our family continued our
Armenian heritage so he sent his nephew and niece to Camp Nubar. Both
my children married Armenians and now we have three grandchildren
who speak Armenian, which made him very proud."

At his wake he was remembered by his nephew, Steve Nargizian, as a
source of joy to the family with his great sense of humor, forgiving
spirit, and patriotic fervor. "Haig just loved being Armenian,"
said Steve. "He was always going to picnics, Armenian restaurants,
and dances. He devoured Armenian books, periodicals, and lectures,
took several trips to Armenia, and frequently wrote opinions in
the Armenian Reporter. He religiously marched and fought for the
recognition of the Armenian Genocide and was banned from entering
Turkey, which he wore as a badge of honor."

Bobby Ruchala, his longtime friend and assistant, said, "Haig had a
big heart and was always interested in educating people about Armenian
history. He would make copies of the latest Armenian CDs and videos
for anyone he met. He was considered a force in the stamp business
and many people relied on him."

Haig's father, Albert, was a devoted member of Holy Martyrs Church in
Bayside, N.Y. Its pastor, the Very Reverend Father Vahan Hovanessian,
said that even though Haig had taught himself Armenian, he would
still come to all the Armenian classes and do all the homework. Haig
learned a lot about the Armenian Genocide from the Genocide survivors
who visited his family. A devoted son, he provided the best of care
when his mother, Alice, was ill.

Haig was blessed with a close, loving family for whom he felt great
affection. He is survived by his brother Ray and his wife Theresa,
his nephew Steven and his wife Karen and their children Alex, Gregory,
and Michael, and his niece Diane and her husband Douglas and their
children Nicholas, Julia, and Andrew.

During his illness, to which he succumbed on July 25, 2009, Haig said,
"If I go, don't be sad. I have lived a happy and full life." The family
has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to Armenian Church
of the Holy Martyrs, 209-15 Horace Harding Expressway, Bayside, NY
11364 or Camp Nubar, c/o AGBU, 55 E. 59th St., New York, NY 10022-1112.