Massena man celebrates 100th birthday
MASSENA — Sarkis Balukjian of Massena reached the milestone of his 100th birthday on June 28.
He was born in Massena to Karaken and Serpouhi Balukjian on June 28, 1921.Sarkis attended Massena schools and graduated from Massena High School and Clarkson University.
He served in the Army Corps of Engineers during WWII in both the European and Pacific Theaters.
It was during the war that he met his wife of 70 years Alice Balekdjian of Lyon, France.
They were married on Sept. 12, 1948 in Lyon and returned to Massena where Sarkis owned and operated the American
Dry Cleaners for over 40 years.
He was active in many community groups such as the Armenian Community Center, St. John’s Church, the Masons, and the Resource Center for Independent Living.
Alice and Sarkis were also very active in the Square Dance Club of Massena and Cornwall where they had many good friends for years.
Their love of travel led them on many trips to Europe, South America, Egypt, and the Middle East.
They also traveled in the states and enjoyed the beauty of this country.
Sarkis is predeceased by his wife Alice, his brother Albert, and his sister, Margaret Bonner.
He has four children: Sona and Raymond Larzelere, of Clinton, NY, Gregory Balukjian of Massena, Lillian and Jeffery Thompson of Columbus, Ohio, and David Balukjian of Burlington, Vermont.
He also has two grandchildren, Brian and Regina Larzelere of Herkimer, and Sarah and Christopher Wittekind of Dallas, Texas, and four great grandchildren, Cassandra and William Larzelere, and Katherine and Isabelle Wittekind.
A letter commemorating Sarkis’s 100th birthday was sent from Governor Cuomo congratulating him on all he has achieved in his lifetime and his best wishes.
Also, the Today Show will be featuring Sarkis on the Smucker’s Jar for those having a 100 and over birthday.