Attorney Harold J. Geragosian, 94, passed away on Aug. 1. A lifelong New Britain resident, Harold proved that a man's stature can far exceed his physical size. He was born Nov. 8, 1927, the youngest of six children of the late John and Huranoosh (Avedisian) Geragosian. He was the first in his family to finish college, graduating from the University of Connecticut and obtaining his law degree from Boston University. He also served in the U.S. Army for a year.
Harold began practicing law in 1953 and was a one-man general law office for 65 years. Aided by Sandy Clavette and before her, Marion Weber, he practiced criminal and civil law and also helped churches, labor unions and agencies serving the poor. Harold was devoted to legal aid and represented countless individuals regardless of their means. In the 1950s, he helped the Puerto Rican Society draft its charter, and fought discrimination against the community by representing many of its members through the decades.
In 2007, the society honored him as Puerto Rican of the Year. In 1975, Harold was elected president of the New Britain Bar Association. During this time, he took the fight against no-fault insurance (Gentile v Aldermatt) through the state courts to the Connecticut Supreme Court, and appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to hear the appeal. In the early 1980s, Harold represented workers on both sides of the New Britain municipal corruption scandal, those passed over promotion and others who were accused of job-selling.
Harold served on the boards of Connecticut Legal Services and New Britain EMS. He was elected "Armenian-American Man of the Year" in 1967, but others thought of him as the de facto mayor of Charlestown Beach, where he spent long summer days for decades. He was a lifelong aficionado of Pepe's pizza, and delighted in spending time with his granddaughter, Molly.
Harold and his beloved wife, Harriet (Stefanou) celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary in July. He was predeceased by a brother, John H. Geragosian and four sisters, Alice Geragosian, Margaret Geragosian, Rose Martin and Elizabeth "Betty" Michalowski. He is survived by Harriet, his son, John (Audrey) Geragosian, his granddaughter, Molly, and his grandniece, Terra Michalowski.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 5, at Armenian Church of the Holy Resurrection, 1910 Stanley St., New Britain. Calling hours are Thursday, Aug. 4 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Carlson Funeral Home, 45 Franklin Square, New Britain. Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Harold's memory may be made to Connecticut Legal Services, 62 Washington Street, 4th Floor, Middletown, CT 06457. Please share a memory or note of sympathy at www. carlsonfuneralhome.com .