Michael Andrew Hagopian was born on Feb. 22, 1951, in Granite City, Ill., to proud parents Andrew and Angeline Hagopian. He was the first of three boys, with brothers Stephen and Jeffrey following.
Michael was raised in Granite City, where he attended elementary and secondary schools before graduating from Granite City Senior High School in 1969. Mike went on the Central Methodist University in Fayette, Mo. He played college tennis, soccer, and rugby, and earned all conference honors in soccer. He graduated from Central Methodist in 1973 with a bachelor of arts in business, then furthered his studies at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, where he completed his education degree and became a teacher.
Michael was a member of the Granite City “Antranig” AYF Chapter. He held various positions of leadership in the chapter, then served on the AYF Midwest Regional Executive, and finally on the AYF Central Executive. Later in life, Mike served on the AYF Governing Body for more than 15 years. Through the AYF he met many of his lifelong friends and, most importantly, his wife, the love of his life Karen Sogoian. They were married in 1977.
Mike and Karen were blessed with three daughters, Taline, who was born in Granite City, and then Sosi and Ani, who were born in Detroit. Soon after Taline was born, Mike took a position as the principal of the ARS Day School in Dearborn, Mich., in 1981, and from there the family moved to Detroit.
After his time at the ARS Day School, Mike joined his in-laws and began working at Ara’s Party Mart for several years before moving on to begin a sales career in the food and beverage industry, and later transitioned into pharmaceuticals.
At St. Gregory Armenian Church in Granite City, Mike served as an altar boy, was ordained an acolyte, and served on the Board of Trustees. Mike continued to be involved after moving to Detroit where, at the St. Sarkis parish, he served as a NRA delegate and on the Board of Trustees, serving as chairman for many years.
Mike’s commitment to the church extended beyond his St. Sarkis parish, as he gave six years of service to the Armenian Prelacy, serving as vice chair of the Executive Council. During that time he traveled extensively to visit the parishes of the Prelacy, always willing to help. Mike, a former ARF member, served both the Granite City “Hrayr” Gomideh and the Detroit “Azadamart” Gomideh, and was the chairman of the Detroit Gomideh for many years.
Mike was blessed to see his children all successfully launch their professional and personal lives, with all three graduating with four-year degrees from Albion College. He was blessed to see two of his daughters marry and begin their own wonderful families.
Taline married Hrag Chalian and moved to New Jersey, where they were blessed with three children, Angele, Sarkis, and Raffi. Sosi married Aram Hovagimian and moved to Philadelphia, where they have been blessed with two children, Vrej and Lucine. Ani is living in Detroit and pursuing her career.
Michael Hagopian passed away on Jan. 10. As the 40 days have just passed, the family extends a heartfelt thank you to all who have reached out to give their condolences.
Source: Armenian Weekly Mid-West