Methuen — James (Jim) Derderian of Methuen, Massachusetts passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on January 30, 2013. James was born April 17, 1919 in Armenia to Krikor Derderian and Shoushanig Palanjian Derderian and immigrated to the United States at the age of five with his parents and two sisters, Aghavni and Anahid. The family lived on a farm in Haverhill. James graduated from Haverhill High School in 1937 and went onto The New England Aircraft School where he learned the trade and later taught airplane mechanics and started a flying school in Methuen along the Merrimack River. James was a natural entrepreneur, a talent that would serve him well throughout his life. He created and ran several successful business enterprises, including Merrimack Valley Wood Products, a hotel in Boston, a bank in Worcester, and local retail shops including the Village Mall. Jim was a true American success story.
Jim was an active member of the community. He was a leader in the National Association of Home Builders, a devoted member of St. Gregory the Illuminator Church in Haverhill, and received many honors and awards from these groups throughout his life, including the Home Builder Man of the Year and the Legend of the Industry and the prestigious medal of Saint Gregory the Illuminator.
Jim met his wife Elizabeth while attending the annual church convention in Milwaukee and after a brief courtship they were married on August 6, 1964 in Paris, France. They shared a lifelong love for each other and shared many hobbies including tennis, gardening, beekeeping, and traveling. Jim and Liz spent time at their condo in Marco Island, Florida where they grew their network of friends and hosted an annual Armenian picnic. Jim's proudest accomplishment in his life was his family. He is survived by his wife Elizabeth, his four children, James and Diane Derderian of Windham, NH, Bethany and Andre Garabedian of New Hyde Park, NY, Alison Derderian of Methuen, MA and Christian and Julie Derderian of Methuen, MA, six grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.