October 11, 1935, to June 6, 2023 — Sebouh “Steve” Tashjian, a resident of Los Angeles, California, ended his journey on earth at age 87.
The middle of three brothers, Sebouh was born in Jerusalem, Palestine, to Vartan and Lydia Tashjian, survivors of the Armenian genocide. His brothers are Krikor (predeceased) and Berj Tashjian.
The Tashjian family owned the British Restaurant in Jerusalem, where Sebouh often worked to help his father. In the context of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, his family's destiny was to immigrate to the United States, essentially leaving everything behind.
Sebouh arrived with his family in the Unites States in 1957, and immediately moved to Los Angeles, where he dove into his passion for photography, while attending night classes Los Angeles City College. Ultimately, he completed his professional degrees at both UCLA and USC, graduating with a dual Master’s of Science degree in mechanical engineering. He took great pride in the fact that as an immigrant, he was able to successfully attain his advanced degrees, while never seeing the campus during the day. Education and academic achievement remained a point of emphasis for Sebouh in his own life, and also set the framework with how he would eventually raise his children. In 1968, while visiting London, he met Shake Haroutounian, and after an 8 day courtship and whirlwind romance, they were married, living a happy and full life together for the subsequent 55 years. They had a daughter, Lisa, and son, Vartan, and two precious granddaughters, Sophia and Taylor.
Sebouh enjoyed a long and fruitful career in engineering, at Southern California Edison, and was an important member of the team tasked with building the San Onofre nuclear power plant. Sebouh was also extremely proud of his Armenian Heritage, and was an active participant in many Armenian organizations, schools, churches, and related philanthropic events. Amongst these, were United Armenian Congregations Church (UACC), C & E Merdinian Armenian Evangelical School (where he was a founding member), Armenia earthquake relief, and the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU). After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Sebouh’s professional and personal interests aligned, when he was hand-selected by then President Levon Ter-Petrosyan, to serve as the first Minister of Energy and Fuel for the newly independent Republic of Armenia. He continued working in the Armenian government from 1991 through 1996, ultimately ascending to the role of Deputy Prime Minister. While this calling resulted in periods of long separation from his loving wife and children, Sebouh saw this as an ultimate sacrifice he was compelled to provide, to help usher Armenia into the future of their newly realized independence. Upon return from Armenia, Sebouh thoroughly enjoyed his retirement, and remained occupied, traveling with his wife, spending time with his adult children, and most of all, doting on his most precious granddaughters, Sophia and Taylor. He loved spending time with and talking to his extended family members, including his cousins.
Sebouh was generous with his affection, and quick to shower his loved ones with praise. He constantly told children and granddaughters how much he loved them and how proud he was of them.
Sebouh will be remembered for his warmth, sense of humor, and integrity. He was honest, almost to a fault, and he would always share his true feelings on a subject. He was extremely comfortable in his own skin. He was a proud Christian, proud American, and an even prouder Armenian.
Sebouh was predeceased by his parents Vartan and Lydia Tashjian, and his older brother, and best friend in life, Krikor Tashjian. He is survived by Shake, his loving wife of 55 years, daughter Lisa, son, Vartan, daughter-in-law Jill, and his two precious granddaughters, Sophia and Taylor.
Sebouh is also survived by his sister-in-laws/brother-in-laws: Lucy Tashjian (niece: Aleen), Zarig and Jack Youredjian (niece and nephew: Renee and Haigo), Nora and Haig Bedrossian (nieces: Vinka and Denika), his younger brother and his wife, Berj & Anita Tashjian (nephew: Christopher Tashjian), in addition to many cousins, and grandnephews/ grand nieces, all of whom he adored.
Sebouh took his last breath in the early morning hours of June 6th, 2023. He leaves behind a legacy of faith, hope, and love. His colorful personality will be greatly missed.
Services will be held at the old north church at Forest Lawn Funeral Park, Hollywood Hills CA on June 29th, 2023 at 12:00 pm, with the graveside ceremony immediately following. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Sebouh’s memory to Children of Armenia Fund (coaf.org).
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