It is with great sadness the family of Serop Vakhordjian announces his passing on Thursday, August 27, 2020, at the age of 91.
Serop, born in Kavala, Greece, in 1928, lived a full and loving life. His life was a testament to perseverance, honor, and devotion. After the loss of his beloved mother, Serop was raised by his father and grandmother in Kavala. Unfortunately, Serop’s grandmother and youngest brother had to relocate to Sofia, Bulgaria. Serop, 12, was heartbroken when they left. His devotion and love for his brother and grandmother led him on a great adventure. He left Kavala (ran away) at the height of winter wearing only his sandals on his feet. He walked and train hopped all the way to Sophia from Kavala, avoiding the hazards of the cold and Nazi soldiers on his path. When he arrived in Sophia, he had no address for his grandmother, but fortunately for him, he was able to find an Armenian Bakery whose owner knew his grandmother. He was joyfully reunited with his grandmother who kept him with her in Sophia, as she and his father knew that his unyielding desire to be with her would end up in another risky trek. In Sophia, he went straight to work. An Armenian shopkeeper, impressed by Serop’s mechanical abilities, offered him a job as an apprentice where he learned shoe repair and design. This marked the beginning of his career as a shoemaker and designer. Soviet propaganda and the desire to return to the motherland, drove his family to Yerevan, Armenia, where he met the love of his life, Marie, started his family, and achieved notoriety as a world-class shoe designer garnering the attention of the big fashion schools and houses in Moscow. He took great pride in his work, but his greatest pride was in his family and all that they, as a family, accomplished together. Life in Armenia was hard, especially under Soviet rule. Wanting a better life for his family, the family defected from the USSR via an interesting and exciting stop in Rome to a new home in the United States where he and his boys fulfilled the American dream.
Serop is survived by his wife, Marie, sons, Bedros (Peter) and Khachik (Chris), and four grandchildren: Michelle, Benjamin, Nicholas, and James. They, and all who knew Serop, will remember him as a talented, charming, benevolent, humorous (ALWAYS cracking a joke), talented magician (weird, tortuous magic), and always thinking of others. He gave his family the gift of laughter, even during hard times, and exemplified devotion, empathy, and respect. He used to joke that the tickets to heaven were too expensive; he must have finally found a discounted price. He will be missed, but his departure is marked by the belief that Serop has reunited with his predeceased son, Avedis, in heaven.
A private family service will take place on Wednesday, September 2, 2020, at 10:00 a.m., at Highland Memory Gardens in Forest City, Florida. In lieu of flowers, please donate to a charity of your choice.
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