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Former UA prof dies at 90

By Dylan McKinley
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
September 13, 1999

Edward Keonjian, a distinguished UA engineering professor in residence, died Sept. 6 from a ruptured artery. He was 90.

Keonjian had more than 100 papers and journals published and 27 U. S. and foreign patents involving transistor circuits and microelectronics.

"He touched everyone in some way or another," said Maria Keonjian, his wife. "He was a wonderful person, a wonderful husband and he will be missed. There are no words to describe it. He was such a genius and was so caring to everyone he knew. He will be missed."

He earned his doctorate of philosophy in 1932 from the Leningrad Institute of Electrical Engineering. He also worked at Grunman Aircraft with Neil Armstrong, as chief of failure analysis on the Apollo 11 project.

He was a member of the Explorer's Club, the Circumnavigators Club and the Archaeological Institute of America.

Last year, he and his wife established the Edward and Maria Keonjian Chair in Microelectronics at the University of Arizona.

Keonjian was born in Tiflis, Georgia in Russia, and came to the United States in 1947. He moved to Green Valley in 1993 from New York.

He is survived by his wife, Maria; three children, Edward Keonjian, Jr., of Portland, Ore., Mikael Safarian of Long Island, N.Y., Asya Safarian of Long Island., N.Y. and three grandchildren.

A wake will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Valley Funeral Home, 2545 N. Tucson Blvd. A funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Holy Resurrection Antiochian Church, 715 W. Vanover Road. Interment will follow at Evergreen Cemetery.

Friends may contribute to the Edward and Maria Keonjian Endowment in Microelectronics. Donations should be made out to the UA Foundation and sent to Dianne Smith, College of Engineering and Mines, Civil Engineering Building Room 100, P.O. Box 210072, the University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721-0072.

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