Rafi Aghababaian – In Memoriam

Despite several surgeries, clinical trial drugs and best efforts of doctors, Rafi Azad Aghababian, 38, of Calabasas, California, lost his twoyear battle to GIST on Jan. 22, 2005. Rafi was born April 13, 1966, and grew up in northern New Jersey, obtaining his undergraduate degree at Manhattan College and earning his master’s in finance from Rutgers University in 1990. He moved to Rafi Aghababaian - In MemoriamCalifornia in January 1991 and finally settled in Calabasas. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to start two bagel stores. After they closed, he went into integrated technology consulting, working for several years at Big Five consulting firms until the collapse of Arthur Andersen when he found a happy home as practice director for a smaller IT consulting firm, the Nakoma Group. He married Michelle Schardt in December 1995 in Half Moon Bay, Calif. Their two daughters attend Bay Laurel Elementary in Calabasas. Rafi loved to travel, especially to Cabo San Lucas in Mexico, Hawaii and the seaside village of Cambria, Calif. He loved heavy metal and classic rock music since childhood, as well as science fiction and horror movies. “The Lord of the Rings” was one of his favorites. He loved all his cats and his special cat, Nala, never left his side while he was ill. He taught his daughters to always give a portion of their money to the animal shelter, and to love animals and respect them. He was giving and unselfish, and in his last two years of life signed up with Big Brothers of America to be a Big Brother because he wanted to give more and make a difference. His dream was to go to law school to be a patient advocate before the insurance companies that had caused him so much grief over his medical bills. He is survived by his wife and best friend of nine years, Michelle; his daughters, Seta, 7, and Sidra, 6, and his parents, Wahab Aghababian and Madeleine Hilton. Services were held Jan. 29 at St. Peter’s Armenian Church in Van Nuys, Calif. Donations are preferred to either the GIST Cancer Research Fund,www.gistinfo.org, or Valley Cats, www.valleycatsinc.org

Read more from our In Memoriam section here. Also be sure to read the inspirational member stories section.


LRG Team
Author: LRG Team