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In Memoriam: Robert A. Hanamirian, International Tax Lawyer Counsel to Hanamirian Law Firm (1937-2018)

Robert A. Hanamirian, 80, of Fort Washington and New York City, who was the son of Armenian immigrants and rose to become an international tax lawyer, died Monday, June 25, of natural causes at his New York home.

From 2001 until 2018, Mr. Hanamirian was a tax lawyer with the firm of Kranjac Tripodi & Partners LLP on Wall Street. For the last five years, he had also been of counsel at the Moorestown law firm run by his son, John M. Hanamirian.

From 1995 to 2001, Mr. Hanamirian operated a solo law firm from his Fort Washington home.

A first-generation Armenian American, Mr. Hanamirian was born in Philadelphia to Mooshegh and Hratcha Hanamirian, who fled the Ottoman Empire in 1915 in response to the slaughter of Armenian citizens by Turks. The Armenian Genocide resulted in the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians in what is now Turkey.

His parents lived in China before reaching the United States in 1920. Once in Philadelphia, they became the proprietors of the York Market, a general store in Chestnut Hill. They owned and operated a Middle Eastern frozen foods company elsewhere in Philadelphia.

Initially, Mr. Hanamirian spoke only Armenian. He graduated from Cheltenham High School, where he played football. He graduated from Temple University and Temple’s Beasley School of Law, and later completed a master of taxation degree at New York University School of Law.

Although first in his law-school class, Mr. Hanamirian encountered ethnic bias when he applied for work at some of the “white shoe” Philadelphia law firms, his family said.

He responded by emphasizing the paralegal work he had done in law school, and was soon hired as an associate lawyer by the Philadelphia law firm of Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP. He worked for Schnader for 11 years, and for other Philadelphia law firms and in solo practice, before joining Kranjac Tripodi.

“He was known for international tax strategy and planning,” his son said. “He liked the esoteric nature of the different [countries’] laws and treaties, and enjoyed that intellect challenge.”

In 1960, Mr. Hanamirian married Pauline Kash. The couple had two children whom they raised in Fort Washington. The couple divorced in 1980. Pauline Chapjian, as she became after remarrying, survives.

In 1983, he married Sharon M. Hanamirian, who also survives.

Like his father, John M. Hanamirian became a lawyer. Mr. Hanamirian’s daughter, Deborah Nareen Hanamirian, had multiple sclerosis. She lived at Inglis House, where the family visited frequently. She died in 2016 at age 54.

“They were very much alike,” Mr. Hanamirian’s son said of his father and sister. “She was very strong-minded. They were not people who let things defeat them. They were really kindred spirits.”

Mr. Hanamirian loved animals, especially his German shepherd, Toby.

In addition to his son, wife, and former wife, Mr. Hanamirian is survived by two granddaughters and a sister.

Mr. Hanamirian chose cremation. A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, July 23, at Lawnview Cemetery, 500 Huntingdon Pike, Rockledge. The family will receive guests afterward at Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church, 101 Ashmead Rd., Cheltenham.

Memorial donations may be made to the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America via https://mymsaa.org/.

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