NEW HARTFORD, N.Y. (WWNY) - Mourad K. Tarpinian, age 98, passed away on Monday September 7, 2020, peacefully at the Charles T. Sitrin Health Care Center, in New Hartford, NY where he had been a resident since 2019. Immediate family will hold a private burial for Mourad officiated by the Rev. Sonya Boyce at Pine Grove Cemetery, Massena, NY. The family has entrusted arrangement to the care and direction of the Phillips Memorial Home, Massena. Due to travel and health concerns created by the current pandemic, the family has chosen to not hold a public gathering at this time, and will schedule a Memorial Service and Celebration of Mourad’s life in Massena at a future date.
Mourad was the firstborn son of the late Shmavon “Sam” and Aznive (Hagopian) Tarpinian of Massena. He was born on December 8, 1921 in Massena, where he lived most of his life until he moved to New Hartford, NY in 2012 to be closer to immediate family. He was a graduate of Massena High School, Class of 1940. Mourad received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Metallurgical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy in 1943. He began his service in the United States Navy in 1944 where he served his country proudly for two years during WWII and was Honorably Discharged. Following his time in military service, he was employed by ALCOA in Massena, NY as a Metallurgical Engineer.
Mourad was proud of his Armenian heritage. In 1954 he became the first president of the newly formed Armenian Community Center of Massena. The Center was a place that Armenian families gathered for cultural & educational activities, dinners, dancing and occasional religious services with invited clergy.
Mourad married his beautiful bride, Arpina Dirtadian, on May 19, 1956 at Grace Episcopal Church in Utica, NY. Their wedding was officiated by the late Rev. Stanley Gasek. Arpina had been employed in Utica as a surgical nurse, and after the wedding the couple began their new life together in Massena. Mourad opened a business, the Speed Wash Launder-ama located on East Orvis Street. Years later he opened a retail store, Tarpinian Appliance Center, that he and Arpina operated together; she did sales and he did service until their retirement.
Church life was central to Mourad and Arpi’s lives as individuals, and as a married couple. As lifelong Episcopalians, they were active parishioners at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Massena. They each served on the Vestry, various ministries and committees, and had both been Senior Wardens of the church. Mourad also helped with building-related matters and with risk management at St. John’s. He was the first webmaster for St. John’s and was instrumental in helping to acquire their first computer system.
Mourad embraced computer technology and networking when it was first emerging, and continued that interest into his 90′s. At 92 years old he built his own computer from parts he ordered online. He was a patient problem solver and was fascinated with how things worked. He could fix anything, and was the “go to” person for family and friends for any mechanical, electrical or computer problems.
Mourad’s 73-year participation in Masonic fraternal organizations brought him much joy, many meaningful friendships, and a sense of service and community purpose. He joined Massena Lodge No. 513 in 1947. Brother Tarpinian was awarded “Master Mason of the Year” in 1984 and served as Worshipful Master in 1987. He served as webmaster for the “St. Lawrence Freemason” which he helped to develop. Active in the 2nd St. Lawrence District he was District Deputy Grand Master from 1994-1996. He joined the Valley of Norwood in 1996 and the Valley of Syracuse the same year. He has been Chairman of the Scholarship Selection Committee, served as Thrice Potent Master and was the Valley Secretary for many years. He served as the head of each of the bodies of the York Rite, has been a District Deputy Grand High Priest, District Deputy of the Cryptic Royal Arch Masons, and Zone Commander of the Commandery. He belonged to Cretona Chapter No. 516 O.E.S and Media Shrine Temple and worked with the St. Lawrence Masonic Charities. In 2008 the NYS Council of Deliberation awarded Mourad the Meritorious Service Award for outstanding service, leadership, and dedication. It is the highest honor the Council can award. In 2012, Mourad was very proud to have been awarded the 33rd Degree as a Scottish Rite Mason - the last and highest degree. He continued to hold offices and serve until he was 94. In a beautiful ceremony last year, Mourad was presented his 70-year apron, a symbol of his many loyal years of Masonic service.
Mourad was a kind and gentle man, a responsible son and caring brother, a devoted husband, and a loving father and grandfather. He was adored by his family and friends.
Mourad is survived by his two children: his daughter Susan and husband James Gadbow of Whitesboro, NY, his son Richard and wife Darla Isaacs Tarpinian of Lawrenceville, NJ, and his grandson, Brian Gadbow of Rochester, NY. He is also survived by his three siblings: Zovart Dakesian 97, Gregory Tarpinian 96, and Sally Tarpinian 94, and two sisters-in-law, Marian Amiraian, and Rosie Dirtadian. Mourad leaves behind loving cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. He was predeceased by his cherished wife Arpina in 1992, his father Sam in 1988, and his mother Aznive in 1995.
The family would like to extend heartfelt thanks to the staff of Sequoia House of Sitrin HCC for their kindness and excellent care of Mourad in the last year and 4 months of his life.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to St. Lawrence County Masonic Charities, Lodge 111, 2564 State Highway 68, Canton, NY 13617 or to St. John’s Episcopal Church; P.O Box 15, Massena, NY 13662, or online giving at www.stjohnsmassena.org
Online condolence and memories of Mourad may be shared with the family by visiting www.PhillipsMemorial.com