Society 14:33 06/04/2020 Armenia

Obituary for Past Grand Commander Charles J. Tateosian

Charles J. Tateosian of Walnut Creek, California was born in Reedley, California on July 21, 1922 and grew up on the family farm at the base of Mt. Campbell, later moving to Selma, California. The son of John and Rebecca Tateosian, Charlie was the second of three children. Charlie passed away on March 31, 2020 and was preceded in death by his parents and older sister Virginia Tateosian. Charlie is survived by his wife Mary Tateosian, sister Ruby Topoozian and her husband Joe of Selma, children Cathy Tateosian of Arcata, Lisa Tateosian of Oakland, and David Tateosian and his wife Mae Go and their son Harrison Tateosian of Martinez, the Knights and Daughters of Vartan reported.

When World War II broke out in 1941, Charlie interrupted his college education and enlisted in the US Navy in 1942, serving as a Lieutenant (jg) first in the Atlantic and then the Pacific. After graduating from UC Berkeley in 1947 and joining the ranks of the Cal Bear Alumni, Charlie then began a 40 year career with Pacific Gas & Electric playing a key role in one of PG&E’s great endeavors - bringing natural gas from the Southwest and Canada to serve a growing California. After retiring in 1987 as the Manager of Gas Systems Design, Charlie started his second career as a consultant through Gas System Engineering.  Charlie was a California Registered Professional Engineer (Mechanical) and served on the American Society of Mechanical Engineers B31.8 Code Committee for natural gas piping systems, retiring a few years ago as their longest serving member. 

Charlie was heavily involved in the Bay Area and California Armenian community, serving on the Building Committee and Parish Council for St. John’s Armenian Apostolic Church in San Francisco, as well as the Western Diocese Diocesan Council and Foundation.  Charlie was also very active in the Knights of Vartan, an Armenian fraternal organization. He joined Knights of Vartan Inc. Daron Lodge in 1953. Being an active member he served as the Commander of Daron lodge in 1959-1960, Grand Recorder in 1993-1995, Grand Commander in 1995-1997, and Grand Recorder again in 1999-2000. He was chosen as the Man of the Year of the Knights of Vartan in 2005.

In 1991, Armenia became a free and independent country again and Charlie with his wife Mary undertook many trips to Armenia to support the Knights and Daughters of Vartan school projects, the Bay Area Friends of Armenia soup kitchens, as well as advising on the development of Armenia’s own natural gas infrastructure.

In April 7, 1995 then Grand Recorder Charlie Tateosian joined Past Grand Commanders Everett Berberian and Ara Avakian to the event of renaming the Knights of Vartan school #106 (then #1). Up to these days the Knights and Daughters of Vartan are actively involved in improvements of the Knights of Vartan #106 school building.

In addition to travel to Armenia, Charlie and Mary traveled throughout the United States, Mexico, Europe, Japan, and South America. Charlie’s hobbies included photography, Armenian history, and technology.

A private graveside service will take place on April 8 at Massis Ararat Cemetery in Fresno, CA.  To protect family and friends from the coronavirus, there will be no viewing and the service will be restricted to immediate family only.  A memorial service will be held in the future when conditions allow.

The Knights of Vartan Inc. is a fraternal leadership and service organization of Armenian men dedicated to safeguarding and perpetuating the Armenian heritage and cultural traditions. Its membership represents the spectrum of the leadership of the Armenian community. It was founded in 1916 in Philadelphia and is based the United States with 23 local chapters which support Armenian causes around the world.

For more information about the Knights and Daughters of Vartan, visit

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