Charles J. Keyan, who recently donated $685,000 to the Armenian Community School of Fresno passed away in Coachella Monday. He was 81.
Keyan, a long-time community activist, donated the funds for the purchase of a 2.3 acre lot in Clovis, where the school will be moving its facilities.
Keyan’s commitment to the ACSF dates back to 2004 when he established the $100,000 Charlie Keyan Scholarship Fund, which supports the continued enrollment of students on financial assistance. His interest in the school stems from his own Fresno roots. Born and raised in Fresno, he attended Fresno State College in the 1940s, playing halfback for the Bulldog football squad during the 1945 season. After graduating with a degree in Physical Education and a teaching credential, he opted to move to Southern California where he worked for the Lockheed Corporation and farmed grapes in the Coachella Valley. The ACSF educational board plans to change the name of the school to the “Charlie Keyan Armenian Community School” in honor of the unprecedented donation.
“It’s my hope that the new site will encourage greater community support in this worthy and important institution,” said Keyan at the time of the donation announcement.
“We at the Fresno Armenian School are of course very saddened at Charlie’s passing. Because of his health condition, he was not able to visit Fresno this summer and see first hand how his donation had already benefited students, teachers, and parents. We had hoped he would be able to attend the opening of school this September and the official beginning of the Charlie Keyan Armenian Community School so that the whole school could honor him in person,” said school treasurer Randy Boloian of Keyan’s passing.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Ohan and Jouhar Keyahian; and his brothers-in-law; Kay Kasimian and Bob Margosian. He is survived by his sisters; Rose Kasimian and Agnes Margosian; three nephews; Dr. Dennis Kasimian and his wife Suzanne; Dale Margosian and his wife Caroline and Bruce Margosian and his wife Jeanelle; as well as nine great nieces and nephews and one great-great niece.
A Funeral Service will be held at the Yost & Webb Funeral Home on Saturday, July 28 at 10 a.m. Interment will be at Ararat Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Armenian Community School of Fresno, P. O. Box 4756, Fresno, Ca 93744 or the donor’s favorite charity.