In Loving Memory

 John M. Azarian, Sr.
John M. Azarian, Sr.(1928-1976)
Barbara Azarian-McCullough, Ph.D.,
Barbara Azarian-McCullough, Ph.D.,Our Founder (1938-2012)
Martin G. Azarian
Martin G. AzarianProperty Manager (1965-2009)
Paul E. McCullough
Paul E. McCullough(1939-2007)

Remembering Marty

My son Marty passed away on April 18, 2009. As a family we have been working on special ways of keeping Marty’s memory alive and remembering Marty.

Marty grew up in Wyckoff, New Jersey and graduated from Ramapo High School. He graduated in 2000 from St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkhill, New York. He was an assistant property manager for The Azarian Group, L.L.C. and was a fireman with the Wyckoff Fire Department Company #1 for over 20 years.

Marty was a big fan of the Yankees, and enjoyed playing all sports. He also enjoyed visiting firehouses and interacting with other firemen, American History and traveling.

I always tried to instill in my sons to have goals and to work to attain those goals. Marty always had 3 goals in life that he worked to achieve – to graduate college, get married and become a fireman. And I am so proud of Marty for having worked so hard and attaining his goals.

Marty was not physically able to pass the fireman’s test but because he worked so hard and was so dedicated the firemen of Company 1 in Wyckoff made him an Honorary Fireman. Marty wasn’t allowed to go to fires, for liability reasons, but they put Marty in charge of staying at the fire house and directing firemen to fires. Marty took this job very seriously and derived satisfaction from this important role. Marty also helped with Fire Prevention Week at the firehouse.

Marty graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas College in 2000 with a Bachelors of Arts degree. It was difficult, at times, for Marty to complete his courses but he persevered and did graduate. Dr. Margaret Fitzpatrick, President of St. Thomas Aquinas College (STAC ) and a wonderful personal friend personally spent time with Marty helping him complete his courses. Marty was so happy when he graduated!

Chronologically, last but certainly not least, was Marty getting married. Marty was so in love with his wife Gigi and even in his later days when his health was failing he only wanted to be with Gigi. Gigi was a wonderful, loving and supportive wife who endured some difficult times with Marty near the end.

In Marty’s memory John and I have been working on some special things. First is a new, outside patio behind Fire Company 1 in Wyckoff, which will be dedicated to Marty. We have been working closely with the Fire Department on developing the plans for the area. We will be donating the money to build this patio area and it will have a bronze plaque, with Marty’s likeness and name. We anticipate this will be completed by this Fall (see plan below). If you would like to be invited to the ribbon cutting in Marty’s memory please let me know.

The second project we are working on in Marty’s name is a memorial scholarship at St. Thomas Aquinas College. We hope to have this in place for the Fall Semester.

When Marty passed away the Firemen approached us and asked if they could do a special “Firemen’s Service” in Marty’s memory. We had no idea what that entailed but of course we were honored and said yes. The special Firemen’s Service began the evening of Marty’s viewing when at least 30 firemen, in dress uniform, came to the service. That was so touching, but only the beginning. The next morning the firemen arrived with no less than 7 fire trucks (thank God there wasn’t a fire in Wyckoff!) filled with firemen in dress uniforms and placed Marty on the first truck.

We then proceeded from the Funeral Home to St. Leon Armenian Church in Fair Lawn, via back roads. As we passed people on the road they didn’t know if we were a parade or going to a fire! When the church service was over we had about 70 cars (in addition to the 7 fire trucks) which then proceeded to the Cemetery in Wyckoff. On the way the fire trucks went back to the fire house. We didn’t know what was planned or what to expect. They stopped in front of the fire house garage and slowly opened the garage doors. The garages were, of course, empty since the trucks were in our procession, and sitting there in the empty garage was Marty’s Fireman’s uniform propped up. It was incredibly touching! The firemen then came to the cemetery and many ultimately came to the repass lunch. This special “Firemen’s Service” truly was special!

The Dedication of the Marty Azarian Memorial Patio at Company # 1

Marty had three dreams during his short life. First was to become a fireman, something he had dreamed about since he was about five. He accomplished this by being a very important part of Company #1 in Wyckoff, NJ. Second was to graduate college.

He did this in 2000 when he graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkhill, New York. And third was to get married. He did this when he married Geraldine.

We wanted to honor Marty’s memory and his devotion to the firehouse so we donated the cost to erect a new patio behind Company #1, which was dedicated on October 16, 2010.

The Fire Chief pointed out that all 25 members were in attendance for the dedication, and that NEVER HAPPENS. All were there because they had fond and special memories of Marty and wanted to share them with his family and honor Marty’s memory.