ANTRANIG “ANDY” SHAHINIAN
6.2.18 – 9.24.05
Andrew Antranig Shahinian of Oradell, New Jersey passed away on Saturday, September 24 after a lengthy illness.
Mr. Shahinian was born in Yerevan, Armenia on June 2, 1918 to Vagharshak and Shooshanig Shahinian on the night of his father’s successful return from the Battle of Sardarabad, at which the Turkish Army’s efforts to annihilate the remaining Armenian refugee population which had escaped massacre throughout Turkey were rebuffed. His family emigrated to Syracuse, New York in 1920 and relocated to New York City in 1931.
Mr. Shahinian was an accomplished violinist and was offered a scholarship to the Julliard School of Music in New York City, but he opted instead to pursue the graphic arts. He began his career in photoengraving in the late 1930s and enlisted in the U.S. Army after the United States entered the Second World War. Mr. Shahinian became a pilot and flight instructor, flying B29 bombers. Following the end of the war, he resumed his career as a photoengraver.
In the late 1950s Mr. Shahinian and three partners purchased Master Engraving, combining it soon thereafter with Eagle Engraving to form what became the Master Eagle Family of Companies. With the ultimate acquisition of twelve more companies, Master Eagle grew to become one of the largest graphic arts businesses in the country based in New York City and including photoengraving, typography, rotogravure and lithography. Mr. Shahinian retired in the late 1980s.
Mr. Shahinian was also active in many Armenian-American organizations, serving in leadership positions in the Armenian General Benevolent Union, The Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, The Armenian Library and Museum of America and in various ad hoc committees dedicated to the advancement of Armenian culture and the preservation and development of the fledgling Armenian nation. Among such ad hoc committees was a committee to support and defend the majority Armenian population of the Nagorno Karabagh Autonomous Region which had been placed by Stalin under the control of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Azerbaijan in the early years of the Soviet Union. With the onset of perestroika in the Soviet Union in the late 1980s, the Armenian population of Nagorno Karabagh sought to secede from Azerbaijan, resulting in the massacre of Armenians in Azerbaijan and ethnic cleansing operations by the Azeri Army. Mr. Shahinian led humanitarian fund raising and relief efforts to assist Armenian refugees displaced by violence and to otherwise assist in their defense.
Music and art remained central components of his life. He played the violin and recorded with the Shant Baronian Ensemble in the 1930’s and continued to play at family functions throughout his life. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of Armenian songs taught by his parents and was actively involved in the preservation of Armenian folk music. Mr. Shahinian also served for 13 years as a Director of Tallix, Inc., America’s largest art foundry, located in Beacon, New York. At Tallix the work of many of America’s leading sculptors has been cast and fabricated, as have some of America’s leading monuments such as the Korean War Memorial and the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial.
Mr. Shahinian is survived by his wife Alice Shahinian, his children Steven Shahinian of Midway, Kentucky, Armen Shahinian, Esq. of Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, Virginia Devitre Shahinian, DMD of Cohasset, Massachusetts, Paul Shahinian, DO of Wyckoff, New Jersey, Linda Pedrazzini of Brusino, Switzerland, their spouses, 13 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren, his sisters Virginia Melkonian of North Falmouth, Massachusetts and Arpin Manoogian of Canoga Park, California and many loving nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his beloved brother and partner, George Shahinian, and will join him at his final resting place in the George Washington Memorial Park in Paramus New Jersey.
A wake will be held at St. Leon’s Armenian Church in Fair Lawn, New Jersey on Thursday, September 29 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Funeral services will also be held there on Friday, September 30 at 10 a.m. Donations in lieu of flowers are being directed to the Armenian General Benevolent Union, 55 E. 59 Street, New York, New York, 10022-1112, for the AGBU Centennial Karabagh Repopulation Project.