In Memory

Lionel Guregian (Economics /Soc Studies Dept Chairman) VIEW PROFILE

GUREGIAN, Lionel, of Plymouth, MI, was born in Highland Park and died in Livonia on December 11, 2017. He was 97. 
Lionel was the oldest son of Sarkis and Frances (Nahabedian) Gureghian and brother of the late Marguerite (George) Fuller and Richard (Joan) Guregian. He married Carol Florence House on November 26, 1949, and they celebrated 60 years of marriage before her death in 2010. Lionel and Carol were the proud parents of three daughters: Sally Guregian (Robert Witte) of Northbrook, IL, Mary Jenkins (Michael) of Hingham, MA, and Elaine Guregian of Akron, OH. They also had five grandchildren: Christopher Witte, Danielle and Alex Jenkins, and Zoe and Quinn Dong.
Lionel was the oldest grandchild in a close Armenian family that valued education and adored gardening. After graduating from Highland Park High School in 1938 and Highland Park Junior College in 1940, Lionel attended Michigan State Normal College (now Eastern Michigan University). During junior college and college, Lionel participated in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s National Youth Administration (NYA) work study program, which provided him a paid part-time position as an assistant to various professors.
After graduating from MSNC in spring 1942, Lionel entered the military, undergoing Basic Training at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, just south of St. Louis. He served in the Finance Division attached to the Central Technical Training Command of the Army Air Corps and was stationed in Grand Rapids, Michigan; Tomah, Wisconsin; Lake Charles, Louisiana; San Antonio, Texas and Newark, New Jersey. Following his discharge early in 1946, Lionel attended Michigan State University on the GI Bill, studying landscape architecture while working as a landscaper for his parent’s nursery, Fairview Garden Flowers.
Lionel’s teaching career began in 1948 at Oak Ridge Jr. High in Royal Oak. In fall 1950, he began teaching geography, American history, world history and government at Lowrey High School in Dearborn, where Carol was already teaching. Lionel and Carol attended Wayne State University at night and in the summers to complete master of education degrees in 1952. In 1954, Lionel began teaching at Dearborn High School, where he remained for the rest of his career, teaching American and world history, economics and government. For many years he also taught night school at Henry Ford Community College. Studying nights and summers, including an economics seminar at the University of Michigan, Lionel earned an education specialist degree in 1967 from Eastern Michigan University. 
Lionel and Carol moved to rural Plymouth (Superior Township, Washtenaw County) in 1954, built a house and established a nursery called Fairview Gardens, which Lionel ran in the summers along with teaching summer school. In addition to evergreens and shrubs, at its peak the business sold one thousand hybrid tea roses each season, potted on site. 
Lionel was a longtime member and chairman of both the Superior Township Planning Commission and the Superior Township Zoning Board of Review, and also served for a year as Chairman of the Willow Run Zoning Board of Review. 
Gardening at home or fishing during family trips to Black Lake brought Lionel great pleasure. So did his many vacations with Carol to the National Parks, especially in the Southwest. Family came first, and he was never happier than when his children and grandchildren visited. A voracious reader who loved backgammon and poker—and always won at hearts, right until the end—Lionel was fully engaged in life. 
Lionel Guregian was a man of intelligence and unending curiosity about the world, as well as a gentleman and a loving family man of the highest integrity. He will be forever missed. 
Funeral Service Tuesday, December 19, 2017, 11 AM at Vermeulen-Sajewski Funeral Home, 46401 W. Ann Arbor Road, Plymouth (btwn Sheldon and Beck). Visitation Monday, December 18, 2017, 2 – 5 PM and 7 – 9 PM at the funeral home.
Memorial donations may be made to Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy or Gleaners Community Food Bank

Click here to see Lionel's last Profile entry.