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George Chakoian

June 14, 1924 — August 30, 2023

George Chakoian

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of George Chakoian, age 99, of Lincoln, RI and formerly of Singer Island, FL on August 30, 2023.  He was the beloved husband of Marion (Mahdesian) Chakoian.

George was born and raised in Providence and was the son of Daniel and Margaret (Derderian) Chakoian.  He graduated from Mt. Pleasant High School in 1943 and immediately volunteered to serve in the US Army Air Force.  He completed aviation cadet training, radio school and gunnery training and was assigned as a radio operator and gunner on a B-24 Heavy Bomber at 23rd Bomb Squadron, 13th US Army Air Force.  George flew 46 combat missions during World War II in the Southwest Pacific, including Australia, the Netherlands, East Indies and Philippine Islands.  He received 8 WWII medals from US Senator Jack Reed to recognize his military service.

After completion of his military service at the end of World War II, George returned to Rhode Island and married Marion Mahdesian in 1948.  He graduated from the RI School of Design with a Bachelor of Science degree in Machine Design in 1949.  George and Marion then traveled to Indiana where he attended Tri State College and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1950.  After graduating, George designed and built the house that he and Marion have lived in for over 65 years.

George had an impressive career as a mechanical engineer and an aerospace engineer.  He worked at BIF Industries as a design engineer on pneumatic and electrical control systems, and as an engineer at the US Naval Underwater Ordnance Station designing submarine-launched torpedoes.  His work on torpedoes continued at the US Naval Aircraft Torpedo Unit at Quonset Point, where he was awarded 3 invention patents by the US Navy for research, test and evaluation of aircraft-launched torpedoes.

His work then took him to the US Army Natick Laboratories in Natick, MA where he spent 25 years developing airdrop systems for heavy loads.  He was Chief of the Automated Systems Division, which was equivalent to the rank of full colonel.

George was very active in the international arena.  He traveled worldwide for his job, chairing international NATO conferences, presenting flight safety briefings to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and presenting papers in the USA, England, Belgium, Germany and Canada.  He retired in November 1990.

His work extended beyond his career into his local and church community.  He served as Chairman of the Lincoln School Building Committee, Chairman of the church investment committee for Sts. Sahag Mesrob Armenian Apostolic Church and Chairman of the Board of the Armenian Student Association.

He was a member of the Parish Council for 7 years and was Vice Chairman for 2 years.  He later served as a Diocesan Delegate for 32 years and served on the Diocesan Council for 4 years representing the Eastern Diocese.

George was honored with numerous awards throughout his life.  He was most proud of his induction into the RI Aviation Hall of Fame for his voluntary service in the US Army Air Force, the St. Nerses the Graceful Medal and Pontifical Encyclical presented by the Catholicos of All Armenians for his lifetime service to the Armenian Church, and his nomination for the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

His professional listings include Who’s Who in Aerospace, Who’s Who in the World and Who’s Who of Armenians, among many other publications.

He authored or co-authored 30 technical reports in professional journals and has been featured in publications such as the New York Times, USA Today, Aviation Week, Machine Design and Astronautics and Aeronautics.

George formed the New England Ararat Orchestra in 1955 and served as bandleader.  The band played over 1000 weddings, anniversary parties and social events throughout the Northeast for over 55 years.  He released 3 albums of Armenian and Middle Eastern music.

George is survived by his beloved wife Marion of 75 years, and his daughter Janis Dulgarian and husband Robert of Cumberland, RI, his daughter Cynthia Nahigian and husband Thomas of Lakewood Ranch, FL, and his daughter Laura Chakoian of Cumberland, RI.  He is also survived by his brother Anthony Chakoian of Medford, MA and several nieces and nephews.  He was predeceased by his brother Jack Chakoian of North Providence.

His funeral service will be held on Wednesday, September 6th at 11am at Sts. Sahag & Mesrob Armenian Apostolic Church, Providence, followed by burial with military honors at Swan Point Cemetery, Providence.

Visiting hours are Tuesday at the Nardolillo Funeral Home & Crematory, 1278 Park Ave., Cranston from 4pm to 7pm.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: Sts. Sahag & Mesrob Church, 70 Jefferson St., Providence, RI 02908.

Visit NardolilloFH.com for online condolences.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of George Chakoian, please visit our flower store.

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