Katcho Achadjian, who represented San Luis Obispo County for three terms on the California State Assembly, died Thursday, March 5, his family confirmed. He was 68.
Achadjian was well known across the Central Coast for his involvement in local business and politics, and people are remembering him for his hard work and commitment to the community.
He was born in Lebanon to Armenian parents and immigrated to the U.S. in 1971, becoming a citizen in 1982.
Achadjian attended Cuesta College and graduated from Cal Poly with a Business Administration Degree.
Following graduation, he purchased a small business that expanded into multiple stores and gas stations throughout San Luis Obispo County.
San Luis Obispo County voters elected Achadjian to the Board of Supervisors in 1998. He served on the board until his election to the Assembly in 2010.
Those who knew him are now remembering his legacy, Chairman Emeritus of the National Organization of Republican Armenians Armen Martin remembered Achadjian as, "the true immigrant story, and he did it not by excelling within the Armenian American community, he did it by excelling in his local community."
"People didn't like Katcho, they loved him and for good reason," said Raffi Hamparian, Armenian National
Committee of America, national chairman.
The tributes to Achadijan are pouring in.
Current 35th Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham said, "Katcho was my friend and mentor. He was a true public servant and an American success story. Katcho leaves a legacy of devotion to community, energetic representation, and consensus-building. Our sincerest condolences to his family for their loss. Today is a sad day for the Central Coast."
Representative Salud Carbajal tweeting out: "very saddened to hear about Katcho's passing. Katcho taught us to always strive for what's best for our communities and he delivered results."
The Achadjian family has provided us a statement regarding the passing.
"The Achadjian family is thankful for your support and sympathy. The outpouring of calls, messages, and prayers is a true testament and reminder of how many lives Katcho touched. At this time, the family appreciates privacy as they mourn the loss of a remarkable husband, father, and public servant."
Katcho leaves behind a wife and two children. His family said he passed away peacefully Thursday morning due to health complications.