Karl Vahe Sarajian Wednesday, December 28, 1960 - Monday, May 22, 2017
Karl Vahe Sarajian, 56, of Lompoc, died on May 22, 2017 surrounded by the love of his family and friends.
Karl was born in Fresno, CA on December 28, 1960 to Karnig and Seta Sarajian (Yeramian). He attended Fresno schools, graduating from California State University, Fresno with a BS in Electrical Engineering. After his college graduation, he took a 2-week temporary job with McDonnell Douglas at Vandenberg AFB, which was the beginning of a 30-year career in the aerospace industry. He spent the majority of his career working on the Delta II and IV programs, for Boeing and ULA (United Launch Alliance) in addition to McDonnell Douglas. Most recently he was employed by the Aerospace Corporation as a Senior Project Engineer.
Karl’s interest in rockets began at an early age when he began watching the Star Trek TV series. His path to an engineering degree began when he bought an off-the-shelf rocket model kit which ultimately resulted in a fire in his bedroom. An education in engineering was a good way to prevent future mishaps. He put a lot of value on reading and following instructions, double checking, and finding root causes for problems.
Karl approached his work with fairness, a strong sense of ethics, and professionalism. He willingly took on the role as a mentor to others, supporting them on their paths to reaching their professional objectives.
Karl was a collector of comic books for many years. His greatest fear was that after his death his wife would sell them all at a garage sale for a nickel a piece. We are sure he’s happy knowing his children have taken care to properly store his collection in a safe place. He loved attending the San Diego Comic Con every summer, watching the old Dark Shadows TV series, listening to music by Styx, repairing computers and other types of equipment, and snuggling with his dog, Dax, on the couch. Most of all, he loved his family and friends unconditionally, and spending time among them was his joy and priority.
Karl had a strong faith in God, seeking to live in the present with integrity, honesty, and love. He trusted God to see him through all of life’s joys and challenges. Throughout his 14-month battle with pancreatic cancer he never stopped living or giving up hope, always finding joy in the moment. Karl lived the words, “Be kind, love unconditionally and hold onto your faith even in your darkest hour.”
Karl is survived by his wife of 27 years, Mitzi Sarajian. He is also survived by his daughter, Kylee, and son, Jared; brother Theodore Sofianides; nieces Angela Elia, Jennifer, Christie, and Morgan Dragan; nephews Kevin Elia, Kellen, Rick, Mike, and Joey Dragan; and lifelong friends Milt Medeiros, Ron Medeiros, Dan Evans and Ed Lujano.
Karl was preceded in death by his daughter, Kaela Sarajian, his parents, his stepfather, Avraam Sofianides, and his sister, Karla Elia.
A Rosary will be held Thursday, June 8, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. at Dudley Hoffman Mortuary in Santa Maria.
The Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, June 9, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Louis de Montfort Church in Santa Maria. A reception will follow (12:00 – 4:00 p.m.) at the Santa Maria Country Club. Inurnment at the Dudley-Hoffman Memory Gardens will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.