Kenneth S. Tashian
Novato - Tashian, Kenneth, 74, of Novato, California, passed peacefully in his sleep on May 19, 2021. Born August 11, 1946, in Washington Heights, New York City to Warren "Pops" Tashian and Theresa Brennan Tashian. Ken lived in Washington Heights until he was 5 years old when the family moved to Paramus, New Jersey.
Ken told extraordinary and seemingly exaggerated stories of his life's adventures that were always verified to be just as he told them. His days at Paramus High School were dear to him. He was on the football and wrestling teams, and was one of the top high school wrestlers in the state. He fondly remembered his first car, a 1947 Plymouth, but he truly enjoyed his Corvettes. When frequenting a restaurant or bar with Ken, he always made sure the table/bar was dry and that all drinks had a coaster, something he attributed to his first job at a soda fountain. Ken served in the United States Coast Guard which had its challenges as he never quite got over getting seasick but while on shore he took every opportunity to make it the most fun and rewarding experience it could be until his honorable discharge.
Ken went to work for New Jersey Bell where he was eager to learn anything and everything about telephone systems, volunteering for all jobs. Through New Jersey Bell, he was offered the opportunity to transfer to Northern California and ended up in Marin County. At the Bell office in San Rafael, he worked on NIKE missile sites throughout the county. Ken's training and experience with telephone systems led him into information technology for several companies, including Fireman's Fund, California Blue Shield, Kaiser Permanente and Ocular Sciences as Director of Global Operations. Ken went on to work for the City and County of San Francisco's Department of Technology and the Port of San Francisco. At the Port for the last ten years he was the Homeland Security Program Manager tasked with keeping San Francisco's waterfront safe.
Ken was curious and a lifelong learner. He attended Sonoma State University, and the College of Marin, graduating with honors. When not working or studying, Ken spent time with his wide assortment of old and new friends going on adventures and creating memories, always with laughter and often with his dog(s) at his side. He was extremely competitive and played many sports. His optimism for the Jets and Mets never waned. He was a skilled diver, sailor, pilot, and designated driver. He shared many wild memories of his time spent going to musical events and traveling with his rock and roll family of friends. He looked forward to his annual trip with childhood friends from Jersey or just a weekend ride on one of his Harleys. His fondest adventure was meeting and falling in love with Tory Smith. On September 6, 2008, in New Jersey, they had a spectacular wedding, after which they enjoyed many years filled with love and laughter.
Ken had the natural ability to enter any social function not knowing anybody and walk out knowing something about everybody. Throughout his life, everywhere he went he developed endearing and lasting friendships. He never forgot these friends and would call them unexpectantly, picking up where they left off like they had spoken the day before. Ken was unique and extraordinary this way. He cared deeply and put every effort into tailoring his time spent with each person to be special. Ken's dad, a B-17 turret gunner in WWII, lived to be 100 years old. Ken hoped he had 'Pops' genes so he could give it a run. And with his youthful energy and physical condition everyone who knew him thought he would make it. He didn't make 100 but he lived life to the fullest.
Ken was predeceased by his father, mother, brother Paul, and several dogs. He is survived by his beloved wife Tory Tashian, nephews Paul (Jr) and David Tashian of New Jersey, his dog Cosmo, and many dear friends.
The location and date of a celebration of life will be announced soon. Private services are being planned, and at Ken's request his ashes will be placed at family sites in New Jersey, New Hampshire, and California.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:
Paramus High School
'Pops Tashian Memorial Fund'
Paramus High School
99 E. Century Road
Paramus, NJ 07652
Here's a snapshot of Ken's and Pops' large photo displayed on the wall at Pop's 100th birthday party.
Dave Samuels (1965)
David Samuels 1965, Ken was a man for all seasons. On the wrestling team at PHS he was a great leader and role model. The way he took charge of the PHS web site is commendable and very appreciated. The world will miss Kenny, we all will RIP my friend
Rosann LeRose (1982)
I am so very sorry for this great loss. Wow the memorabilia and all the wonderful work he put into this site. He will be missed.
Michele See (Simon) (1964)
Hi Everyone - Just to let you all know I've been working with Lou Lanzalotto Jr. who in turn has been working with the principal (Ray Kiem) at PHS. Ray Kiem now has in his possession a bench he ordered for Ken. It is at the school. Mr. Kiem will be talking to the grounds keepers to decide where the bench will be installed. Mr. Kiem did all the wording on the plaque. I had no say in this although Lou Jr. told me he would try to get Mr. Kiem to put the old Sammy Spartan on the plaque. Two dates have been mentioned for the dedication 9/24 and 10/25. the dedication will take place around 4pm just before the Friday night football game. As soon as I know which Friday Mr. Kiem has chosen I will get the word out to you. If you can't attend or wish to make a donation please consider the Warren "Pops" Tashian Scholarship Fund. No donation is too small and would be greatly appreciated. You can add a note saying "In Memory of Ken Tashian". Donations can be sent to:
Michele See (Simon) (1964)
So sorry but I made a typo on my last post the possible Oct date for the Ken Tashian bench dedication is Oct 15th NOT Oct 25th.
Michele See (Simon) (1964)
Hi Everyone - I hope this email finds you all safe and well. I received word early this morning from Lou Lanzalotto Jr. that the bench dedication for Ken Tashian will take place at 4pm on Friday October 15th on the PHS school grounds. Not sure of the exact location but I believe it will be where the former soccer field was. Once I know the exact location I will send out another email.
Sally Gellert (1972)
ACK! for some reason, I had this on my calendar for the 14th—drove over to P.H.S. and couldn’t find anyone—now I know why! I would not have been able to maake it on Friday, cohost Eco-Logic at 2:30 and have a standing meeting at 4:30. Plaque is excellent; thanks to all who made this happen.
Phil Fontana (1964)
Kenny Tashian, August 11, 1946-May 19, 2021. We love you still, Kenny, commemorating the first anniversary of your passing.
Stan Cohen (1974)
A few photos from the July 9, 2022 burial service at George Washington Cementary, Paramas. Very nice luncheon followed at Biagio's by Paul and Dave Tashian.
Kenny's safety vest from the Port of San Francisco
The Tashian Family.
Ken Navarchi (1964)
Kenny, thank you for all you did for the class of 1964! May God keep you in his heart forever!
Larry Lazar (1962)
I was very friendly with the Tashian Family, Pop's was my little league coach and his brother Paul was one of my closest friends.
Ken was just like his Dad and brother and I was fortunate to see him a few times when he was back east. Naturally I was saddened to see him pass.