Arakel Bozyan, a stalwart supporter of Newport Congregational Church and the La Farge Restoration Fund, passed away on July 28, 2015 at his home in Lakeway, Texas.
In 2013, Arakel and his wife, Liz, moved from their long-time home in Middletown to be near children and grandchildren in Texas. We at the La Farge Restoration Fund missed Arakel and Liz terribly when they moved but understood how important the move was for them. We have kept them informed of the restoration.
Arakel’s allegiance to Newport Congregational Church went back decades. As I knew Arakel, he served as Treasurer of the congregation for a number of years. He was a very good friend of my dad, A. Curtis LaFrance, also a congregant at NCC for 30 of his 99 years. He and Liz have been strong supporters of the Fund from the earliest days.
Arakel and Liz attended many of the early planning meetings on restoration issues. They also attended Board meetings of the Fund, offering advice and the historical perspective. In the past ten years, as I have travelled to and from Phoenix and Newport to be with my dad, and after his passing, to continue work on the restoration, Arakel and Liz generously opened their Middletown home to me.
When I would come to Newport, in the evenings, if we didn’t go to get fish sandwiches down the street, we watched the Boston Red Sox games—and I might add, amid the great interest and enthusiasm of my hosts. Between innings, we peered through Arakel’s enormous binoculars spying on the specks across the bay—Arakel told me they were cows—whose flanks changed colors as the sun set. In the mornings, while Liz and I did crossword puzzles or talked about many things Newport, Arakel fixed his breakfast and watched the birds, including a wily Cooper’s Hawk, that frequented the kitchen window bird feeder.
Arakel, as an astronomer, and Liz as well, had very interesting stories about their careers. Arakel had lived abroad, in India, I believe, in early days of modern astronomical research and exploration. I read Sky and Telescope in the Bozyans’ kitchen for the first time since my teen years when I fancied I would be an astronomer. Arakel could answer my amateurish questions and we enjoyed talking about volcanoes and our various travels.
A Board member of the Fund said: “…he was such a nice soul and added so much to our conversations about NCC.” With a heavy heart, I wish my friend farewell.
Arakel’s obituary can be found on line at: http://www.beckchapels.com/memsol.cgi?user_id=1634990.