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Obituary for Goryun Nigogosyan

Goryun Nigogosyan, 100, a naturalized American citizen born in Istanbul Turkey of Armenian descent, died peacefully on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at the Benedictine Living Community of LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Goryun was born on April 26, 1917 to Armenian parents, and spent his first two decades in Istanbul, Turkey. He evidenced a passion for the study of medicine at an early age, and completed his MD at the University of Istanbul Medical School in 1942. After he contracted tuberculosis during his residency in pathology, Goryun was treated at the Wald Sanatorium in Davos, Switzerland. He stayed on at the Sanatorium and completed a second residency in pulmonary disease. While there, he fell in love with another patient at the sanatorium, Jeannine Bernadine Firre, a Belgian woman who had contracted tuberculosis during her nursing training. Goryun and Jeannine married on March 10, 1952, and enjoyed a loving partnership until Jeannine’s death in 2016. The Nigogosyans emigrated to the United States on November 3, 1954. Dr. Nigogosyan completed additional medical residencies in the U.S., and in 1961 was certified in Pathology. In 1963, Dr. Nigogosyan became Director of Medical Laboratories at St. Joseph Hospital in Elmira, New York, where he remained until his retirement in 1988. Dr. Nigogosyan was a devoted husband and father. He was also a fitness enthusiast who enjoyed tennis and running several times each week. Later in life he competed in the 10K Senior Olympic games at the State, National and World level competitions. His last two gold medals were received at the Louisville, KY National Senior Games in 2007 at the age of 90 and the Empire State Senior Games in Cortland New York at the age of 91. Dr. Nigogosyan is survived by a daughter, Nadine Nigogosyan Payne and her husband Gregory Payne of Hunt Valley, Md., and a son Dr. Mark Nigogosyan and his wife Dr. Judy Klevan and their children Zack and Max Nigogosyan of La Crescent, Minn.. In accordance with his wishes, no services will be held. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to: Benedictine Living Center of LaCrosse Foundation In Memory of Goryun Nigogosyan 2904 East Avenue South LaCrosse, WI 54601. Jandt-Fredrickson Funeral Homes and Crematory, Woodruff Chapel, La Crosse is assisting the family. Online condolences may be sent at