Ralph Vahan Hagopian


Ralph Vahan Hagopian died on Oct. 14, 2018, surrounded by family. The family expresses heartfelt gratitude to the hospice nurses who ensured his comfort to the end.

Ralph was born March 20, 1930, in New York City, but developed a lifelong love of the outdoors during family vacations to Connecticut. He graduated from Harvard University in 1951 with a degree in anthropology, and married Liedeke de Haan in 1953 while earning a Doctor of Divinity from Yale University. In 1973, Ralph earned a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Pittsburgh.

Friends and family will remember him as an avid boater, never happier than when sailing the waters near his beloved Swan’s Island. He cherished the island community; the family cabin, built with his wife in 1964, was where he truly felt at home.

Ralph was a talented woodworker and watercolor artist. He shared a love of bird watching with his wife and children.

He embraced lifelong learning, mastering new computer skills and keeping up with current events throughout his life. He knowledgably and happily discussed topics from the theology of Paul Tillich to tractor repair. No one was a bigger fan of Ogden Nash’s poetry.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Liedeke de Haan Hagopian. He is also survived by three daughters, two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his sister, Anne Hagopian Van Buren.

A memorial service will be held in July 2019 on Swan’s Island.

Know when to pay your respects.