Charlie Kourajian was born in Jamestown, Nov. 15, 1930. He was the fourth of nine children of Vahan and Sarah Kourajian, both Armenian immigrants to the United States from Turkey. His father was a section laborer for then Northern Pacific Railroad. His mother, along with his father, provided a loving and nurturing home to Charlie and his eight brothers and sisters.
In 1941, he started delivering The Jamestown Sun and in 1944 got a part-time job at The Sun in the mail room. While in high school, and in the years following his high school graduation in 1948, he learned the printing and newspaper trade. He served in the United States Army in the mid-1950s and returned to Jamestown where he started his full-time employment with the Jamestown Sun. He was named production manager in the late 1960s and continued in that capacity until 1989, when he left the newspaper after an association of over 45 years. He loved the newspaper business and seldom took vacations or days off.
He joined Don Wilhelm, Inc. as a salesman in 1989 and retired in 1992. He worked part-time as a bus driver for James River Transit in 1995-96. He was a part-time ambassador for the Jamestown Main Street Downtown Association.
He was an active member of the Basilica of St. James.
Charlie’s service to the city of Jamestown spanned more than 40 years. In 1974, he was elected to the Jamestown City Council, and then he served as mayor from 1997-2006. He was also very active in the community. He often could be seen early in the morning watering flowers across the city, in an effort to make Jamestown a beautiful place to raise a family. His passion for the city of Jamestown was unmatched by anyone. He also enjoyed organizing parades and hanging Christmas lights in the city. He loved his family, church, his work, and Jamestown.
In 1955, Charlie married Marcy Skroch at St. James Catholic Church in Jamestown. Marcy died in 1992. In 1993, he married Margaret (Cebula) Falk in Jamestown. They just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on April 30 of this year.
He is survived by his wife, Marge; and four children, Barb (Bud Fisher) Kourajian, Brooksville, Maine, Steven, Harvey, Kevin (Peggy), Sartell, Minn., and Beth (Kyle) DuFault, Fargo; 12 grandchildren; two step-children, Dave (Fay) Falk, Jamestown, and Janet Falk, Fargo; two step-grandsons; and four step-great-grandchildren; seven brothers and sisters, Mary Werner, Jamestown, Helen (Robert) Peterson, St. Paul, Minn., John (Myrna) Kourajian, Waite Park, Minn., Thomas (Bonnie) Kourajian, Prior Lake, Minn., Arthur Kourajian, St. Paul, and Dorothy (Dave) Pokorny, Dickinson.
He was preceded in death by his parents; first wife, Marcy; his brother, Casper; and a sister, Virginia.
Vigil service will be 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 22, at St. James Basilica, Jamestown. Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 23, at St. James Basilica. Inurnment will be in Calvary Cemetery, Jamestown.
Arrangements are in the care of Williams Funeral Home, Jamestown.