January 30, 1957 - November 22, 2021
Richard “Rick” Gray Magarian Jan. 30, 1957 to Nov. 22, 2021 Resident of Alameda We lost the love and light of our lives. Rick passed peacefully in his sleep at age 64 from complications of recently diagnosed acute leukemia on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021, in Oakland, CA. Rick lived life to the fullest on his own terms, fighting various forms of cancer and health issues since 1982, never letting it define him or even letting many know what he was going through. He had passion for life and was deeply connected with everyone he touched; his family and extended family, his music and his bands, the Armenian community, traveling, and his beloved home and neighborhood in Alameda, where the family has lived for 33 years and became the center of our world. A devoted father to his sons, most beloved husband to his wife, Peggy, and an extraordinary friend and family man that will be deeply missed. Rick was born to Harold Myron (of Fresno, CA) and Isabelle Louise (nee Gray) Magarian (of Detroit MI) in Oakland, CA, on January 30, 1957. He attended John Swett Elementary, Bret Harte Middle School, and graduated from Skyline High School in Oakland, California in 1975. Rick attended California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo where he majored in Environmental Engineering, made many lifelong friends, and met his wife, Peggy. Both moved back to the Bay Area in 1980 where Rick completed his degree in Business Management at St. Mary’s College of California in Moraga. Rick and Peggy were best friends, surprising everyone when they got married in 1984. His son, Nick, born in 1987, and son, Tom, born in 1988, were his pride and joy. He treasured nothing more than his boys. Rick began his professional career in mechanical contracting at large construction companies starting with University Mechanical in 1980, followed by Air Systems, ACCO and finally at Turner Construction, where he worked for more than 16 years. He was well known and respected throughout the industry, making lifelong friends who have remained part of our large extended family. Always the competitive athlete, Rick played football, notably on the Skyline OAL championship team, and basketball, which he continued to play into his thirties with the St. Vartan Armenian adult basketball league team. He coached basketball for both of his sons, Nick and Tom, through their elementary school years at St. Philip Neri, and at St. Vartan through the boys’ high school years. He could be always found at the sideline of Nick & Tom’s football and lacrosse games at Bishop O’Dowd. Music was a lifelong passion, both as a band member, playing both trumpet and keyboards as well as scoring and arranging music for his bands, and as an avid music fan. Rick learned to play piano in kindergarten and trumpet in grade school. Multiple bands have played in his famous home basement bar, and he also was a member of the Alameda Community Band. He attended the Monterey Jazz Festival every year since 1978, and many music events here and abroad, large and small, well-known and obscure. Rick loved to travel and was looking forward to spending extended time in Europe with our dear friends in retirement, perfecting “café” culture and finding the ultimate basement nightclub. He was passionate about his Armenian heritage and was actively engaged in the Triple X Armenian Men’s Fraternity since his late teenage years, starting the annual crab feed, now a major fund raiser, and annual camping trip, with the famous shish kebob barbeque. Rick was his Armenian family’s historian, documenting the extended family across the globe and the story of the Armenian genocide and its lasting impact on his family. He also enjoyed doing research on Peg’s family, which follows much of early American history, and created huge family trees for both sides of the family. In family life, he was the master of the kitchen, cooking for family and friends, hosting family and holiday celebrations and everyday cooking for the family. A man who loved the wonders of nature, he took his family & friends camping throughout all parts of California – especially in the Sierras & along the coast. He loved putting on his famous band parties. He was extremely good at backgammon, the favorite family game, and loved playing board games with family and friends, especially with his sons. Rick is pre-deceased by his parents and leaves behind his wife of 37 years, Peggy (Margaret Mary, nee Loos) of Alameda, sons Nicholas James (Nick), of San Francisco, and Thomas Joseph (Tom), of Oakland, and sister, Sheri Furman, of Palo Alto. He also leaves a large extended family throughout California: Aunt Linda Magarian, Aunt Annabelle (Gray) Taylor, cousins James K. Taylor III (Jim) (Leana), Janet Hunt, Doug Taylor, Matthew Lievre, Chris Taylor (Melissa), Cameron, Lucas and Gavin Taylor, Janine (Chooljian) Sanders (Vernon), Barry Chooljian (Carole), Beverly Chooljian and Marlene Minasian, brothers-in-law James E. (Jim) Loos, Jr., Stephen V. (Steve) Loos (Kym), Joseph R. (Joe) Loos (Wendy) and Paul D.(Loos) Callan (Skye), sister-in-law Anne M. Loos, nephews Chris Loos, Brian Loos, Zachary Loos, Braige Callan and nieces Johnnie Callan and Seven Callan, and father-in-law, James E. Loos. He leaves many, many close friends, business associates, and extended family members, all mourning his loss. Friends and family are invited to the final services for Rick: Visitation at the Chapel of the Chimes at 4499 Piedmont Avenue in Oakland from 5 to 8 pm on Monday, December 6, 2021 (private viewing for family from 4 to 5 pm). The funeral will be celebrated at St. Vartan Armenian Apostolic Church, 650 Spruce Street in Oakland at 10 am on Tuesday, December 7, immediately followed by internment at Mountain View Cemetery, 5000 Piedmont Avenue in Oakland. Donations can be made in Rick’s name to the Oakland Red Cross Blood Bank, 6230 Claremont Ave., Oakland, CA 94618, the Athletic Fund at St. Vartan Armenian Church, 650 Spruce Ave., Oakland, CA 94610 and the Armenian Fund, 111 No. Jackson St., Glendale, CA 91206 to support the ongoing recovery of the Armenian homeland and restoration of Armenian cultural centers there. Our family had a miracle of a life together, enjoying it to its fullest, through our many challenges and tragedies, always appreciating each day, each person in our lives, knowing the uncertainty of the future. We were given a gift and we knew it. So raise a glass to a great man, and always stop to smell the roses. Every day you wake up is a good day.
Richard “Rick” Gray Magarian Jan. 30, 1957 to Nov. 22, 2021 Resident of Alameda We lost the love and light of our lives. Rick passed peacefully in his sleep at age 64 from complications of recently diagnosed acute leukemia on Monday,... View Obituary & Service Information
Obituary & Service
Richard “Rick” Gray Magarian
Jan. 30, 1957 to Nov. 22, 2021
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