Ardash Mark Keuilian
June 21, 1940 – September 27, 2019
79, after his breathing became labored, Ard opened his eyes wide and looked to Heaven and took his last breath as his daughter, Karin, held his hand and told him how much he was loved and respected, as his son, Chris, was on his way. An Air Force Veteran, Ard was blessed to have wonderful round the clock care and a final military tribute at the Palliative Care Unit of the VA Hospital in La Jolla, San Diego.
Ard was born in Jaifa, Palestine (now Israel) to Manuel and Veronica Keuilian. The family came to the United States, by way of the Bronx, New York in 1956, where Ard finished out his last two years of high school. He met and married Gina Rose Marie Colacino in New York and was stationed in Columbus, Mississippi as an Air Force Air Traffic Controller, where Karin was born. They moved to Orange County, CA, encouraging his brothers to join him and restart their gas station business. He and Gina settled in Garden Grove, CA, where Chris was born. He and his three brothers, Archie, Shavo and Armen, started Archie’s Tires and Towing and then Ard obtained his Real Estate license in order to help the brothers invest in real estate. Ard started Station Sales Real Estate, partnering with Broker, Susan Refahiat, specializing in automotive and commercial properties, also sharing his knowledge and experience as an expert witness, appraiser and consultant.
Under their patriarch, Manuel, Ard and his brothers, and other founding families, began the Armenian Apostalic Church of Orange County. With the Orange County Armenian community, the Keuilian family built Forty Martyrs Church of Orange County, which celebrated it’s 30th Anniversary last September, 2018.
Everyone that knew Ard knew that he loved and lived soccer. He grew up playing soccer as a kid and played and coached soccer his whole life. Karin remembers trips to Montebello for soccer games and playing under the bleachers, on the hay bales and at Airplane Park and years of Dad’s soccer teams coming to the house to swim after games.
Ard coached the United Armenians, Orange County Armenians, HoMenEtMen, and Armenian Youth Federation soccer teams. He coached his son, Chris, and many boys, with the Coast Soccer League; coached boys’ and girls’ teams at Rancho Alamitos High School; and indoor-soccer teams, as well. He went on to coach men through the Phoenix FC Soccer Club, including over 50, over 60 and over 70 teams, winning many Wanderpokal tournaments, including a memorable one in Chicago. He took teams to Hawaii, Las Vegas and Arizona, and even international soccer trips. Most importantly, Ard coached and won the National Veterans Cup in 2012.
Ard was known as "Coach" but, more than anything, he was a very optimistic and generous friend and leader. He led his teams silently but bravely to many honors and recognitions. He was not afraid of lending a hand to those who were in need to see to it that everyone was taken care of. Most of the time he kept it secret only to him and his very close friends. He lived a humble life and expected no recognition for all the good deeds he performed on behalf of friends and colleagues. It is a great trademark that he had everyone's admiration for being an extraordinary human being.
Ard suffered with dementia and Parkinson’s for the last 4 – 5 years of his life. He lived with his daughter, Karin, and her family, in San Diego, since Easter, 2016. When aware, Ard realized and hated what the disease was doing to him. He enjoyed walking up and down his street in San Diego, going to lunch, ice cream and movies with his daughter and her family. He spent holidays and time in the summer with his son, Chris, and his family. He most enjoyed seeing his siblings and going to soccer games and pizza with his soccer buddies.
While his life was cut short by dementia, God blessed Ard with time with those who loved him: his soccer buddies, his siblings and his children and grandchildren. Ard knew Jesus was the way to eternal life and looked forward to God taking him home and healing his body and mind. May he rest in Heaven as he waits for us to join him.
Ard is survived by his two children, Karin De Jauregui and Christopher Keuilian, his brothers, Archie, Shavo, Armen and sister, Zaroug Gugasian; his second wife, Susan Refahiat and her son Sean, Ard’s five grandchildren, Nicholas, Dessa, Jessica, Hannah and Leah and a host of other relatives and friends. Ard was preceded in death by his parents, Manuel and Veronica Keuilian and his first wife, Gina Colacino Keuilian Fauth.
Ard always wanted to be cremated and his ashes spread over his favorite soccer field. And because he so hated his disease, he has donated his body to scientific research in the hope that some good can come out of his suffering.
His siblings and the Forty Martyrs Church of Orange County will hold an Armenian Requiem church service (Hokehankisd) on Sunday, November 3, where we will remember and pray for the soul of our beloved, Ardash Keuilian. 10:30 am - 5315 West McFadden Avenenue, Santa Ana, CA 92704
His children and his soccer friends will honor him by hosting a Celebration of Life at Bell Intermediate School Soccer Field. 12345 Springdale St, Garden Grove. Nov. 16: 9am game, 10 am tribute, 11 am lunch at Magic Mike’s Pizza 6152 Garden Grove Blvd, Westminster