America’s Greatest Generation is minus one. Hurant Karibian, born January 31, 1925 passed away at home with his family on Sunday, April 28, 2019. Thank you Daddy-O, for an adventurous, humorous life full of treasured moments, for travels far and wide, with no corner of the globe out of our reach. The self-reliant, pioneer spirit of his generation was evident throughout his life. As a teenager, he sailed his own boat down the Inter-coastal from his home state of Rhode Island to Florida in true Huck Finn style. Truly courageous from a very young age he honored and loved our country, he enlisted in the Navy as a teen during WWII, continued his Naval career and served through the Korean War and retired as a Navy Chief in the mid-1960’s. Retiring from the Navy was not the end of our family’s world travels, Dad and the love of his life, our dynamo Mom packed up and made a home for us in the Middle East and Europe with ease, fully embracing every environment and culture. Their love of family, travel, and adventure never diminished even through their later years. His love affair with the water was only topped by his love of flying. Upon our family returning stateside from living in Iran in the early 1970’s he purchased a single engine Piper Comanche and flew the family the rest of the way home from the West coast to Virginia. In the 1990’s he built his own experimental single engine Thorp T18 aircraft which he flew alone or with Mom (his white-knuckled co-pilot) for many years, to Oshkosh numerous times and eventually to Florida where they relocated to an airpark with his own hangar and shared runway behind their house. There they spent their elder years in the Sandy Creek Airpark flying community, entertaining friends, and making more memories with several fellow aviation enthusiasts in Panama City. Dad’s hangar was his little slice of Heaven on Earth where he built and maintained his own airplanes, custom built parts that even aviation inspectors noted were better than factory built, where fellow pilots would come for advice, parts, “bull sessions” and all things aviation. Born in the north, Mom and Dad became true southerners. Aside from their inability to shed their New England accents, they were completely at home on the Virginia and Florida coasts, happily immersed in the south with all its charm and genuine hospitality.
Dad is pre-deceased by our Mom, Mary Louise Karibian, his father Krikor who immigrated to the US upon his escape from Turkey during the Turkish Genocide of the Armenians in the early 1900’s, his mother Mary (our GG/Groovy Gramma), his sister Roxanne Arzoomanian, and his brother Aram Karibian. He is survived by his son Mike Karibian and daughter B.J. Karibian of VA, daughter Bobbi Karibian of FL, grandchildren Michael Becker of VA, Emily Littrell and husband Lance Littrell of FL, great grandsons Liam and Lex Littrell, niece Sona Arzoomanian and nephew Greg Arzoomanian of RI, sister “Dickie” and nephew Michele Grossman of France, nephew Etienne Grossman of CA, sister-in-law Mikyung Karibian and niece Simone Karibian of NY, and niece Elise Pentz of NC. What lottery of this universe we won to have him as our father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle and brother.
A special thanks to Dr. Alberico and the staff at Virginia Oncology Associates, Dr. Bakhshi of Oceanfront Family Practice, and Rachel, Priestly and Lisa of MediHome Health and Hospice for your exceptional medical attention, care, and compassion throughout Dad’s fight and departure.
A celebration of a full life well lived and loved will be held at the Lesner Inn in Virginia Beach on Sunday 5-8PM June 23, 2019. Altmeyer Funeral Home is preparing for Dad’s and Mom’s ashes to be buried at sea by the US Navy. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the American Cancer Society or your favorite animal welfare organization or shelter. Wheels up Dad, only blue skies and cirrus clouds ahead.
Date: Sunday, June 23, 2019
Time: 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
A celebration of a full life well lived and loved will be held at the Lesner Inn in Virginia Beach on Sunday 5-8PM June 23, 2019.
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