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In Memory


Ken Tashian

Ken Tashian
August 11, 1946 - May 18, 2021

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 and Tory TashianKen 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'
Attention: Principal
Paramus High School
99 E. Century Road
Paramus, NJ 07652



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06/03/21 08:37 PM #1    

Phil Fontana

06/03/21 08:41 PM #2    

Phil Fontana

     Kenny did more than anyone to bring together Paramus High School students/graduates. He established & ran both websites for Paramus High School & the Class of 1964. He reconnected us in our retirement years & ran our Class Reunions for the Class of 1964. Condolences to his wife Tory & his closest PHS friends. Kenny is etched in our hearts & cannot be replaced. We will love you always, Kenny.

    Kenny passed away in his sleep just like Teddy Roosevelt. And as was said about Teddy, so it can be said about Kenny. It’s a good thing he passed away in his sleep, otherwise, he would not have permitted it!  My friendship with Kenny during our PHS years was, as with many classmates, as class personalities who knew each other without close ties.  We were both on the track team Kenny’s freshman & sophomore years.  That was our closest connection.  It was in our retirement years through Kenny’s work on the two websites & organizing our class reunions for the Class of ’64 that we became close friends.  We discovered our common childhood experiences with Kenny’s childhood home in Paramus near the Rochelle Park border. I lived in Rochelle Park from 1949 to 1957 before my family moved to Paramus.

   And then our exchanges about planning the reunions & Kenny’s website posts really brought us together.  I would feed track & cross country photos & news articles to Kenny from my scrapbook, as well as other photos from our PHS years.  Kenny would always go out of his way to refer to me as “Mr. President,” from student council fame, kind of “tongue & cheek” which fed my ego from days gone by.  Besides Kenny’s website features from Photo of the Month, posting everyone’s birthday from his class, all those old class photos, in-depth features on the history of all PHS sports, & more, Kenny would also post historic events every year.   One such major event was the November 22, 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy.  The loss of JFK was the seminal event of our senior year, 1963-1964, around which everything else revolved.  And Kenny took the loss of JFK to heart as deeply as any of us. When he did a post on our Class of 1964 website about our senior trip to Washington, DC, he gave his greatest care & emphasis to the photos & captions of our visit to JFK’s gravesite.  Kenny also liked to state for the record with ironic pride that our senior class trip to DC was the last senior class trip permitted anywhere!

  My deepest sympathy goes out to Kenny’s wife Tory & those of you who were personally close to Kenny.  I especially single out Kenny’s “Gang of Usual Suspects,” for I know how deep is your loss, your hurt.  I miss you too, Kenny.     Phil

06/04/21 07:08 PM #3    

Joe Kutniewski

It really saddened me when I saw the notice about Ken's passing. I thought about how I would express my feelings. Looking back to the time we played sports together in high school and the daily happenings on and off the fields and wrestling mats. I will always cherish the memories.

Ken was a real treasure-great team mate, great friend and a super human being. I know that everyone will miss him. I surely will. 

God bless to Ken and his family. 

Joe K.

06/05/21 02:42 PM #4    

Charlie Puccia

To his family and closest friends, my words can’t console but I hope my reflection gives solace to your loss.

The day I learned Ken died I thought of the song line, “Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry…. This’ll be the day that I die.” The class of ’64 died on May 18th.

Ken was a Paramus Prometheus. He created our class culling recollections of sprawling malls, hamburger joints, seventh-grade photos, newspaper clippings proclaiming glory to PHS teams, and gossip. Among his aphorisms, he’d cite, “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.” However false that be, he did the same for PHS alumni. He conjured joyous teenage years. Maybe they were, I don’t recall, but accepted Ken’s version whole cloth.

We may or may not have known him at PHS, but if you were on his email list of recent times, you came to know him and he knew you. I reread what he wrote in my yearbook, surprised at his compliment. To be honest, he knew me better than I knew him. His intense stare crisps the atoms to our future.

I was looking forward to reading Ken’s obit about me, as ridiculous as that sounds, convinced he would be the last standing. A well-known author put it best and applies to Ken: “It’s not how long he lived, but how much he was loved that matters.” Ken was loved by many because he made us believe in ourselves.

06/09/21 08:04 AM #5    

Lou Bivona


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08/24/21 07:06 PM #6    

Loretta Hughes (Louviere)

I have always been touched by the passing of all our classmates but none more than this PHS HERO! The guy with the biggest heart in all Paramus and probably the world. He cared for all of us no matter what! I'm with the gang that thought Ken would be the last man standing at our 100 year Reunion. I can't express the shock and saddness I felt when I got the call from Jeanne Shulman. Just crazy! I have so many memories of Kenny all the way back to Paramus Bathing Beach 1958/59...maybe even earlier. My heart goes out to Tory his wife all of his family and especially you...his dearly beloved friends. Wish we had one more time to be with him. RIP Kenny...Thanks for keeping us together in heart and even bring us all together in our senior years of life. Like I've said before...Ken kept us together from Century Road to the 21st Century. You are missed for ever! <3

05/19/22 01:20 PM #7    

Phil Fontana

Kenny Tashian, August 11, 1946-May 19, 2021. We love you still, Kenny, commemorating the first anniversary of your passing.

     Phil Fontana

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