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Vale Karekin Simonian

By Ashley McMahon on 23/05/2019


1932 – 2019


Mr. Karekin Simonian, beloved husband, father and a grandfather. Respected International Referee, Engineer and devoted Philanthropist. Peacefully passed away on April 17th.


Karekin Simonian is an internationally recognized Referee in Weightlifting and Bodybuilding sports. He was granted the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness

(I.F.B.B) Gold Medal, International Weightlifting Federation (I.W.F) Gold Medal for 25 years of Service, and I.W.F Golden Plaque for 50 Years of Service as International Referee in Bodybuilding & weightlifting, as well as the Gold Medal for his contribution made towards the development of bodybuilding in Armenia in which he established a Bodybuilding and Weightlifting club.


Mr. Simonian is one of five people in the world, and the first Armenian, whom has been granted the 50 years golden Plaque. He was the International Paralympics Committee Referee Sponsor to NSW-Australian Weightlifting Team and has been the International Federation of Bodybuilding Official Reporter for 50 years.


For more than 50 years Karekin Simonian has dedicated his time and expertise to the betterment of sports in Iraq and other countries in the Middle East, Australia, Armenia, United States of America and Canada, as he was a member of the Weightlifting & Bodybuilding Federation in all those countries. Volunteered at the Sydney Olympics 2000 on the weight lifting team, as a judge and a referee. He has also supported and worked as a committee member of the PCYC (Police Citizens Youth Club) in Sydney-Australia, and worked with many non-profit humanitarian organizations across the globe.


In 2011 he was nominated for Australian Citizen of The Year by the City of Ryde.


In 2000 he was granted the Key to the Historic City of Melaka, by the Chief Minister of Melaka, Malaysia.




Beside his career in sports, he holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from London College of Mechanical Engineering by correspondence, and completed a technical mechanical course from Mercedes-Benz Schulung (Germany) and Renault (France). He practiced mechanical engineering until his retirement.


Mr. Simonian was also one of the founding members of "Homenetmen,  Հ.Մ.Ը.Մ ” an Armenian General Athletic Union and Scouts, in Baghdad-Iraq, in 1961. And an active member of the Armenian “Vaspooragan” Society.


Personal life: Karekin Simonian was born in Iraq on July 13, 1932 of an Armenian family, he holds a dual citizenship (Australian and American), married to Zvart Vartanian, and Educator and Armenian socialite, involved in many humanitarian, social and educational organizations such as The Armenian Relief Society " H.O.M.,  Հ.Օ.Մ and they together have three children (Dr. Margaret Simonian, Sarkis Simonian & Antranik Simonian) and two grandchildren, (Leo and Henry Karekin) Simonian.



Funeral Services Saturday April 27th– 10:00 am


St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church

500 S. Central Avenue

Glendale, CA 91204




Burial Services


Forest Lawn Memorial Park

1712 S. Glendale Avenue

Glendale, CA 91205




Lunch Reception


Phoenecia Restaurant

343 N. Central Avenue

Glendale, CA 91203



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