Paul Suren Mosesian
April 17, 1938 – November 4, 2019
Paul S. Mosesian
Land developer, noted attorney, and scion of a pioneering farm family in the Central Valley, Paul Suren Mosesian died on Monday November 4, 2019 after a long illness. He was 81. Paul will be remembered as a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, a loyal friend, successful businessman, and by those who confronted him in the courtroom, as a hard-nosed litigant. Mosesian was the namesake of his paternal grandfather Paul Arop Mosesian, an Armenian immigrant who fled persecution in the Anatolian region of Turkey landing first in 1887 Boston to work in a shoe factory, then trying his luck in the 1898 Klondike Gold Rush before coming to Fresno in 1899 to make his fortune in horticultural crops. The deceased was inspired by this smart hard-working grandfather who laid the foundation for what became the Sun Maid Corporation, created noteworthy grape and raisin brands, as well as built a significant land empire doing business with luminaries like George Nees of Nees Avenue, and O.J. Woodward patriarch to the donors of the city's eponymous park.
Paul was a third generation Fresnan, born on Easter Sunday April 17, 1938 to Suren and Marian Mosesian. His family lived on Cornell just off old picturesque Van Ness Boulevard, between Clinton and Shields, not far from where the historic Russ Clements gas station is located. He demonstrated early talent as both a scholar and athlete earning the distinction of valedictorian for Fresno High School's Class of 1956 as well as lettering in wrestling for four years, culminating in State Champion as a senior. He was also a member of the varsity football team offensive line beginning his sophomore year finishing with a knee injury during an appearance in the East-West Shrine Game. This was an era of football without face masks, let alone adequate skull and joint protective gear. Paul was a fierce competitor, one of his defining characteristics. Because of such tenacity he earned accolades both on and off his various fields of endeavor, but it took its toll. Paul chose the University of California for his tertiary education among the multiple scholarships he was offered after high school. He graduated from Berkeley with a Bachelor degree in Business Administration (Finance) in 1960 then a J.D. from UC Berkeley's prestigious Boalt Hall School of Law in 1963.
Family lore says Paul's first case was argued and won before the California Supreme Court the day after he was admitted to practice in 1964, unique in the history of California law. His first decade as a lawyer was spent in general practice and forming a real estate investment and development company with his brother Charles Mosesian in 1966. In the early 1970s Mosesian spearheaded the fundraising and lobbying efforts for the statue of the Armenian folk hero David of Sassoon to be erected in the precincts of Fresno's Courthouse Park. This was followed by a highly successful career specializing in personal injury, wrongful death, product liability and malpractice litigation until the mid 1980s. Paul shifted his primary focus from law to family business interests in the early 1990s. Mosesian is a venerable name in the history of Fresno. It is both old-school and new. The property comprising today's Sunnyside High School in southeast Fresno was sold to the city's Unified School District in 1993 by Paul and his brother Charles, who survives him. Their firm, the Mosesian Land Company, used the proceeds to acquire property in Newport Beach.
Paul is also survived by his wife of 37 years Diane Ashby Mosesian. He is mourned by three children from a first marriage (1959-1975) to Sallie Barents: older son Paul Charles and wife Christy, daughter "Pebbles" Suzanne Marian, and younger son Richard Paul, wife Michele, and grandchildren Caitlin and Dylan. Diane's son Darrin Morkunas, wife Kathryn, and their seven children Cosette, Michele, Ashby, James, John, Paul, and Mary will miss him too. Cosette and her husband Alex Hill made him a very pleased great grandfather with the births of Thaddeus, Titus, and Theophilus. He is also mourned by cousins Patricia Albrecht, William Manoogian, John Manoogian, Tom Mouradick and their families.
The Mosesian family wishes to thank housekeeper Jacky Garzon and the staff St. Agnes Hospital for their wonderful care of Paul in his final transition as well as Anoush Chamlian for her delicious Armenian dinners, Lynne Dalton for her help and support and especially his oldest friend, Albert Lanfranco, for their Sunday brunch bull sessions during his waning years.
Whitehurst Sullivan Burns & Blair Funeral Home (1525 East Saginaw) will serve as host for visitation of remains on Thursday, November 14, from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
After a private family-only graveside service, there will be a public memorial held at the Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church (2226 Ventura) at 11:00 am on Friday, November 15.
Remembrances may be made to the Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church or to your favorite charity.
Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church
2226 Ventura Ave, Fresno, California 93726
- Visitation Thursday, November 14, 2019
- Memorial Service Friday, November 15, 2019
Paul Suren Mosesian
November 12, 2019
For many years we enjoyed our Thanksgiving Celebrations with the combined family’s. The joy of watching children grow, visiting with “family” and extended family is among some of our wonderful memories of him. Uncle Ed truly enjoyed hosting these family reunions and touching bases with all was a gift. Kids playing at Pardinis, adults visiting , great times remembered. Family weddings and just knowing him was a gift. Our sincere condolences to all for your loss.
Sister Emily Demuth, C.S.C.
November 10, 2019
Dear Members of the Paul Mosesian Family please know that my thoughts and prayers have been and will continue to be with you during these days. You are such a devoted family and I know that your deep Faith will sustain you during this time . I am grateful that
the Paul Mosesian's Family's path in life have crossed mine. continued prayers Sister Emily , C.S.C.
November 8, 2019
I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Mosesian as his daughter Suzanne has been one of my best friends going on 27 years. I use to go by her office where she worked with her father and visit, it was then that she introduced me to her father. I noticed he smoked cigars and being a occasional cigar smoker myself the next time I showed up and every time after that I always brought him a good cigar. He would always unwrap the cigar eagerly, light it up, sit back in his chair and say "So how have you been Charlie" and we would have a great visit. Always enjoyed being around Mr. Mosesian, truly a class act. My deepest condolences go out to his children Suzanne, Richard, Paul Charles and the rest of the Mosesian family.
November 7, 2019
Thank you for the lifetime of great times and fun memories. As I look back on my earliest days, you were there - I have so much to be thankful for that you were such a good person to me. You inspired me to study, learn, and have fun in life. I always admired your accomplishments and fantastic abilities. One favorite day was at your Woodson house for a shish kebob pool party - and you proved you could fly. We always loved your bets, and you bet us you could fly... you set the rules, shook on it, and dove across the grass fully in the air and won the bet. The rest of my life will be filled and lifted by such memories, and I will continue to share the lessons you taught us with my own kid and future generations - and it gives me great pride to credit you as a great man, and see the little kids' eyes light up when they hear the tales. Thank you for all, God bless, and I will gladly challenge you to a contest of your choice when I see you again. With love and appreciation - Pan Am Jeff and The Conway Family.