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John Davidian passed away peacefully on June 7, 2018 in Bainbridge, Ohio. He was born April 7, 1929 in Hamadan, Iran and named Onnig by his parents Levon, an oriental rug buyer, and Helen Davidian, a writer. When he was 7-years-old, his family immigrated to the United States and settled in New Jersey. Upon high school graduation, he worked in various cities in the U.S., selling oriental rugs. After serving in the Army during the Korean War (1951-1952), stationed in Europe, he returned to the oriental rug retail business. Through connections in the Armenian community, he met Anahis Soukiassian, and they married in Chicago on Nov 27, 1954. Anahis, who died unexpectedly much too soon (May 3, 1996), was the love of his life, and he cherished her throughout his life. They had five children.
John spent more than 40 years as an oriental rug retailer, starting in business with the help of his father and as a partner with his brother Victor (deceased) in downtown Cleveland, Ohio at the Halle's Department store, 6th Floor, in 1961.
John applied his expert eye for quality and beautiful things to oriental rug retail with gusto. Watching him on a buying trip was impressive, as he’d flip through a stack of rugs and select just 1 or 2 from more than 100; everyone would agree that the ones he chose were what he would refer to as “very pretty” rugs. His passion for quality in the business led him in 1969 to help found the “Oriental Rug Retailers of America (ORRA),” a rug education association to help bring high standards and ethical practices to the business of selling fine hand knotted and woven rugs.
John had an expert eye in identifying the village of origin, knot count, history of design and color, and history of people for rugs. He offered his expertise in a variety of arenas, educating and presenting to a range of audiences. He often served as an expert witness to identify rugs’ historical origin. He was a self-educated master of the art and history of hand-woven oriental rugs.
In 1972, the brothers’ business moved to 1260 Huron Road in Cleveland and became House of Davidian Oriental Rugs. In 1985, John ventured out on his own, opening House of Davidian rug store in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, which he ran successfully until he retired in 2009 at the age of 80.
He was a member of St. Gregory of Narek Armenian Church in Cleveland and of Federated Church in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.
He was a member of St. Gregory of Narek Armenian Church in Cleveland and of Federated Church in Chagrin Falls, Ohio He was a member of St. Gregory of Narek Armenian Church in Cleveland and of Federated Church in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.
John had a passion for travel, especially for being with his children and grandchildren wherever they were in the world (Alaska, Poland, DC). He loved music and dance, and he had an impressive ability to keep his body in the best shape possible by exercising daily, eating mindfully, and being so attentive and proactive with his medical care.
He effortlessly was able to connect and deepen relationships, old and new. He will be missed by many.
He is survived by his sister, Nora Mackenzie (Chappaqua, NY), and his five children and their families, including five grandchildren. Survivors include his son Steven (Chagrin Falls, OH), wife, Beth, and their daughter Ziazan; son Kenneth (Washington, DC) his wife, Gretchen; daughter Nancy, her husband Chris Dubois (Fairbanks, AK); his daughter Margarite Davidian, her children: Vahagn Yeranossian (Seattle, WA), Aram and Maro Yeranossian (Chagrin Falls, OH); and son Peter (Vancouver, BC), wife Rada, and their daughter Anahis.
There will be a Memorial Reception at South Franklin Circle (16575 S. Franklin Street, Chagrin Falls, OH) on Thursday, June 14 from 2:00-4:00pm in the Chautauqua Room in the Community Center at 16600 Warren Court, valet provided. Arrangements by Stroud-Lawrence Funeral Home Chagrin Falls, OH. www.stroudlawrence.com