Nish Nalbandian (1921-2013)

Nish Nalbandian (1921-2013)

Nish Nalbandian, a resident of Orange Blossom Villa in Fillmore, passed away at age 92 on January 16, 2013. Nish was the son of Soghomon Markarian, an Armenia immigrant who came to this country in 1912, and Jacob Nalbandian who she met and married in Massachusetts where Nish was born. The family moved to New Jersey, just outside of New York City, when Nish was very young, and he grew up there in a tight community with immigrant ties. Nish, his mother and father, and older brother Harry and younger sister Catherine moved to Los Angeles when Nish was a teenager.
In L.A. during WWII Nish volunteered for service in the U.S. Army Air Force and was trained as a communications specialist. Nish learned his trade so well that even bedside at Orange Blossom Villa he took pride demonstrating Morse code to his nephew John Nalbandian, John’s spouse, Carol, and Nish’s niece, Terry Hare. During the war, Nish was stationed in India, and he loved to tell stories about his visits to the Taj Mahal and other sites that he marveled at.
Following his discharge, Nish began working for the U.S. Postal Service where he spent his entire career. As he moved up the managerial ladder, he pushed the envelope with his innovations and ideas. He met and married the love of his life, Florence Badalamente Laner in 1949, and they spent 49 years together until Flo’s death in 1998. At that time Nish and Flo lived in the El Dorado Mobile Home Estates in Fillmore where they had retired. Their love truly was eternal, and following Flo’s death, Nish visited her gravesite every day his health permitting. Nish and Flo’s personalities attracted others; and they enjoyed many activities within the park and the many friends they made.
During their retirement, they traveled with Steve and Nella Badalamente, Flo’s brother and his spouse. Nish intermingled remembrances of his travels with his war time tales, entertaining family and friends. Nish was a sportsman growing up in New Jersey, and he loved sports of all types. In the mobile home park in Fillmore, he found his talent at billiards, and enjoyed the time spent around the pool table with friends. When his nephew John moved to Kansas and joined the faculty at the University of Kansas, Nish became a Jayhawk fan, and John marveled at Nish’s knowledge of KU sports even when Nish was in his 90s and his health was failing.
Nish was preceded in death by his step sister and brother, Annie and Hosrov, and by his brother Harry and sister Catherine. Nish leaves his generous and caring daughter and son in law, Pat and Hal Owens, as well as his grandchildren Stephen Owens, his spouse Rhea, and Gregory Owens as well as great grandchildren, Stephen Owens, Jr., Jennifer Owens, and Justin Owens. Nephews John Nalbandian and Jack Bozajian, and niece, Terry Hare, also survive him.
The family wishes to express a special note of appreciation to Manuel and Bea Ruiz and their children Allen, Sandra, and Kimberly. What started as a working relationship with the Ruiz family turned into a lasting friendship with Nish gaining a new set of grandchildren.
Staff at Orange Blossom Villa provided professional and loving care and friendship during his three and half years there. And the family is grateful for the effort of Assisted Home Hospice. In addition to the care they provided, the family is thankful for the spiritual guidance and compassion given to Nish in his final days.
Nish is remembered as a gentleman and a kind hearted man with a vibrant personality, engaging the minds as well as the hearts of family and friends.
A private grave site service will take place at Bardsdale Cemetery at a time to be determined. Nish will join his beloved Flo, and their journey will continue.