Sarkis Leon “Lee” Gazoorian, age, 81, of Haines Falls, NY passed away peacefully on January 24, 2022, surrounded by his children, following a brief illness at Albany Medical Center.
Lee was born in Worcester, Massachusetts on August 10, 1940. He was the son of Sarkis Gazoorian of Malatya, Turkey and Maritza (Babolian) Gazoorian of Haverhill, MA. His father was an Armenian Genocide survivor. During his youth some of his hobbies included running track and playing saxophone in an Armenian band. After graduating from high school at 16, Lee attended Worcester Polytechnic Institute and graduated with a degree in electrical engineering. He was in the ROTC in college and became a First Lieutenant in the 25th Signal Battalion of the US Army. He served from 1962-1967 including active duty from 1961-1963 in Germany. After leaving the Army he moved to New Jersey and worked as an electrical engineer for NJ Public Service while continuing his education. At this time he served as the national president of the Armenian Students’ Association. He also received a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Seton Hall University in NJ. He worked for IBM in Manhattan and later owned a wedding photography business in Hackensack, NJ. Lee eventually settled in Hunter, NY and lived there for the rest of his life. He purchased a restaurant/bar in Tannersville, naming it Cheers and operating it for several years in the 80’s with his former wife Anitra Michaelian Gazoorian. After selling Cheers, he worked as a bartender for local restaurants and began a career in real estate. For many years, Lee worked for his good friend Charlie Thorpe at Thorpe’s Realty. They both shared a strong love of jazz music. Lee would often attend the annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. He loved the ocean and spent many summers with family swimming in Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. Lee had a passion for aviation, had his pilot’s license and loved to fly. He was also a model airplane hobbyist and belonged to a club on Cape Cod. Lee was an enthusiastic educator, substitute teaching at Hunter Tannersville Central High School for many years. He had a healthy appetite for learning and fun. As an adult his many interests and hobbies included photography, poetry, Ingmar Bergman films, and traveling. He also spent many hours reading, doing crossword puzzles, and playing card games. Lee loved to challenge his brain, held a special place in his heart for Jeopardy and Judge Judy, and was always striving to learn more about anything that came up in his life. Lee lived for a good debate. He cherished spending time with his children and grandchildren and it was obvious they were the light of his life. Lee is survived by his children Carli Gazoorian of Elka Park, NY and Christopher Gazoorian, daughter-in-law Sara Eisenberg Gazoorian of Poestenkill, NY, as well as his sisters Natalie Barmakian of Belmont, MA and Marcia Gazoorian of Worcester, MA. He is also survived by his three grandchildren Sasha, Lila, and Ruby Gazoorian. He is predeceased by his parents as well as his sister Rosalie Chorbajian of Bowie, MD. A memorial will be held at a future date for family and friends. Those wishing to honor his life can make a donation in his name to the Armenian Students’ Association of America, Inc., 333 Atlantic Ave. Warwick, RI. 02888, American Heart Association, and/or the Albany Stratton VA Medical Center.
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