Naissance en 1925 en Belgique, décès le 19 mai 2003 à Washington (USA)
James Mark Keshishian, 78, who for the past 30 years was president of Mark Keshishian & Sons, his family's oriental carpet business in Chevy Chase and who was also a leader in Washington's Armenian community, died May 15 at his daughter's home in McLean. He had cancer.
Mr. Keshishian's business -- started by his father first in London and then in the Washington area in 1931 -- provided carpets to high-profile government clients, including the White House, the State Department and foreign embassies.
He lectured widely about oriental carpets, was a senior appraiser with the American Society of Appraisers and was a founder and former president of the Armenian Rugs Society. His book, "Inscribed Armenian Rugs of Yesteryear," was published in 1994.
He saw his rug collecting as a way of preserving his family's Ottoman Armenian heritage. He also raised funds for Armenian causes and was a founding member of Soorp Khatch Armenian Apostolic Church in Chevy Chase.
Mr. Keshishian, who lived in Chevy Chase, was born in Belgium and raised in Washington. He was a 1943 graduate of Wilson High School. During World War II, he served in the Army in the European and Pacific theaters and received two Bronze Stars. After the war, he graduated from the Ohio Mechanics Institute in Cincinnati and took business classes at George Washington University.
In the 1950s and 1960s, he was president of his family business, Senate Laundry, a commercial laundry service for many Washington hotels and hospitals.
He was a former national president of what is now the Association of Specialists in Cleaning and Restoration. His memberships included Congressional Country Club in Bethesda and the Cosmos Club.
His avocations included playing golf, smoking cigars and collecting rare Armenian coins, including some dating back as early as AD 163. He also was a Republican Party fundraiser.
His marriage to Elsa Carapetian Keshishian ended in divorce.
Survivors include three children, Mark Keshishian of Gaithersburg, Lora Picini of McLean and Leon Keshishian of Potomac; two brothers, Dr. John Keshishian of McLean and Harold M. Keshishian of Washington; and three grandchildren.
The Washington Post19 mai 2003.