1943 – 2018
Geraldine Tahajian was born in Fresno on October 26, 1943 to John and Florence Agbashian and sister Janice Andreasian. Geri graduated from Bullard High School in 1961 and Fresno State University in 1965 with a teaching credential. She taught for Fresno Unified before marrying Jerry Tahajian and moving to San Francisco, where she taught as a mentor teacher. Geri returned to Fresno in 1969 after Jerry graduated from law school. While raising her children, Geri tutored students, served as PTA president, served on the Gifted & Talented Education advisory board, and earned the FUSD Volunteer of the Year award in 1985. In 1987, Geri followed her childhood dream and became one of the first female licensed general contractors in Fresno County. She co-founded GeriMel Construction, Inc. with Mel Westover and served as its president for 30 years, building more than 400 custom homes. Geri’s extensive community service included the Junior League, LARCS, and Forum. She served as president for 16 organizations, including Alpha Xi Delta Alumnae, Ani Guild, Daughters of Vartan, Dorcas Guild, Lawyers Auxiliary, CPA Auxiliary, and University of San Francisco Law School Auxiliary Geri was a strong advocate for the CSUF Henry Madden Library, serving on its board from 2003-2016, and was particularly dedicated to the Arne Nixon Center for the Study of Children’s Literature. In 2015, the Library honored her as a “Top Dog” Outstanding Alumna. Geri also served on the CSUF Lecture Series Board from 1991-2001. Geraldine Tahajian passed away at home on Friday, March 2, 2018, after a lengthy battle with cancer. Geri always carried a smile on her face, with a true love for her many family and friends. She saw the good in everyone with her optimistic and positive outlook on life. Geri will be greatly missed. Geri is survived by husband Jerry; and sons, Bradley, Brenton, and Bryce.
In 2015, Geraldine Tahajian was honored with the Outstanding Alumna “Top Dog” Award from the California State University, Fresno Henry Madden Library. As part of that honor, the video below, featuring Geri, was produced.