Richard D. Asdourian ’54

Richard D. Asdourian ’54 died on October 24, 2016, in Pittstown, New Jersey.

(The following appeared online at

Beloved father, husband, grandfather & friend Richard D. (Rusty) Asdourian, age 84, of Hampton, NJ, passed away on Monday, October 24, 2016, at Country Arch Care Center, Pittstown, NJ.

Rusty is survived by his wonderful wife of 30 years, Ellen. His two sons, Frank and Jack. His step-children Danny and Eileen, 11 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild.

Born in Niagara Falls, NY, on June 1, 1932, to parents Horian”Jack” Asdourian (1900-1969) and Ashaloose “Arshie” (Hachadoorian) Asdourian (1903-1980) and much-loved Grandmother Anna (1885-1977).

Rusty spent his elementary school years in Niagara Falls, NY, and along with his family moved to Hackensack, NJ, where he attended high school. Rusty was the starting center for the 1950 Hackensack High School State Champion Football Team.

After graduation Rusty attended Bowdoin College in Maine where he graduated with a bachelor of science degree in chemistry and a minor in ornithology in 1954. While at Bowdoin he was the president of his fraternity, Delta Sigma. He served as a scientist in the Army during the Korean War.

Rusty began a very long and successful career at General Cable Corporation in 1956, starting as lab technician in Perth Amboy, NJ. After numerous promotions and transfers he chose to retire early at the age of 55. His last position was in the Woodbridge, NJ, location where he served as the executive vice president since 1987.

Rusty’s retirement was far from quiet. He obtained his pilot’s license in his sixties. Much to the delight of his local grandchildren, he would frequently do “fly-overs” and dip the wings of his Cessna, greeting all of the neighborhood kids where they were waiting for Grandpa to fly by in his plane. Along with his love of flying, Rusty spent many hours devoted to his other passions – nature, wildlife, and travel. Ellen and Rusty spent many weeks a year laughing, drinking, eating, and relaxing in the sun on the beaches and in the pools of Naples and Hawaii with wonderful life-long friends. Rusty volunteered over 3,000 hours to the New Jersey Fish Game and Wildlife program and devoted many hours to the New Jersey Bald Eagle Management Project, where he tracked and monitored eagles and their nests. He loved eagles, but his favorite was always his beloved eastern bluebird. He began a bluebird nesting program, where he personally built and tracked over forty bluebird boxes throughout New Jersey. He would visit the boxes daily, monitoring the birds, their eggs, and when the young would fledge. He also (successfully) relocated quite a few orphan babies to new boxes when they had been abandoned. When life called for Rusty to slow things down, he found yet another new passion, woodcarving. He made many new friends in a local carving club and enjoyed hundreds of hours of pure bliss whistling and carving on his deck in the woods.

Though Rusty had a very successful and exciting life, his happiest moments were always the holidays; chewing on a turkey drumstick, and a nap after dinner surrounded by the chaos of his always-expanding family and circle of friends. Rusty lived his life by example and all who knew him will be forever grateful for what he taught us: to love and respect nature, the value in a man’s handshake, questions could earn you everything you could get, squirrels and blue jays are the enemy, whistle through it all, you’re never too old to learn; be interested and listen to everyone you meet, friends are always welcome, and mostly “to love and be loved is the greatest joy on earth.”


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