AVETIS DARVANAN Lawyer dies at age 80
'A part of Youngstown's political history has passed away,' said one official.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Community leaders who knew Atty. Avetis Darvanan remembered him as a dedicated lawyer, political activist and devoted supporter of the Mill Ceek MetroParks.
Funeral services will be at 9:15 a.m. Monday at the Vaschak-Kirila Funeral Home, and at 10 a.m. in Holy Name Church, for Atty. Darvanan, 80, of Lakeside Road, who died Friday morning in St. Elizabeth Health Center.
Darvanan was born Aug. 1, 1924, in Ellsworth, a son of Arsen and Zarmo Darvanan. Immediately after graduating from The Rayen School in 1943, he enlisted in the Army Air Force and served in Europe during World War II. A member of the 483rd Bombardier Squadron, he fought in four major battles and campaigns, earning an air medal with two bronze clusters. He attended Butler University and earned his undergraduate degree at Youngstown College. He then earned his law degree from the University of Cincinnati Law School in June 1950.
Served his community
During his 54 years of practicing law, he served as city prosecutor and was active in the Mahoning County Democratic Party. He earned a reputation as a fierce and competitive trial lawyer and practiced law in his Canfield office until shortly before his death. He served on the city's civil service commission from 1979-87.
Atty. Don L. Hanni, who was a municipal judge when Darvanan was prosecutor, described Darvanan as "a lifelong friend" and said he was "a very, very hard-working lawyer and a good trial lawyer." Hanni described him as a fair and well-prepared prosecutor.
"If the evidence was there, he'd try to prove you guilty. If the evidence wasn't there, he wouldn't even file charges," Hanni said.
William Carter, city human relations director and charter review commission chairman, described Darvanan as "a consumate politician" who was "very influential in the Democratic Party." Carter said he first met Darvanan when Carter was appointed buildings and grounds commissioner by Mayor Jack Hunter.
"He was aggressive, articulate and intelligent, and he was a person that, especially in a political battle, I would rather have had on my side than against me," Carter recalled. "I think a part of Youngstown's political history has passed away," Carter added.
Darvanan was a member of the church, and a life member of the Mahoning County Bar Association and the Ohio State Bar Association. He took great pride in his Armenian heritage, and was a contributor to the Armenian General Benevolent Union.Darvanan served as a Mill Creek Park commissioner from 1979-98, having been chairman and vice chairman of the board and having led the transition from a city park to a county-wide metroparks system. The Mill Creek Park administrative office building was named for him.
"I thought he was a very special person. He cared so much about the park, and so, he gave a lot to the park," said Jaclynn Ridel of Boardman, who served with Darvanan on the park board during the 1990s.
Ridel called him "a very good asset to the park,'' and said he played a major role in planning for the Mahoning Bikeway and developing the experimental farm in Canfield as an attraction for visitors.
"I thought he was a fine man," she said, adding, "He came across as abrasive, but he wasn't."
Friends may call from 3 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to The Mill Creek Park Foundation, The Canfield Cardinal Gridiron or the Mahoning County Bar Association.