It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Sgt Harry Richard Artinian in his 94th year on August 22, 2023. Harry passed away peacefully at the St Catharines General Hospital with his loving wife Shirley by his side.
Harry is survived by his wife of 43 years Shirley, son Harry Jr (Bonnie), stepdaughter Carol, stepsons Steven (Mirella), Bruce, and granddaughter Ashley Artinian Jones, along with 5 step grandchildren and 6 step great grandchildren. Harry was predeceased by his parents Dickran and Gulvart, and brother Charles.
Harry was born in St. Catharines on December 13, 1929. Like many young men of that era, he joined McKinnons/General Motors in 1947 and stayed 11 years before joining the Grantham Police Force in 1958 as a patrol officer. His strong abilities to connect with, build rapport and influence individuals at all levels was quickly recognized and he began to build a highly successful and widely copied traffic safety program for children in all St.Catharines and Niagara Region schools.
For the next 31 years, “Sgt Harry” as he was later affectionately called, and his sidekick Elmer the Safety Elephant worked to have children keep the rules top of mind and be able to return home safely to their parents. He loved every aspect of his job and truly enjoyed teaching traffic safety, building safety-themed floats for the Grape & Wine Festival, writing scripts for his on-air segments on CHSC, holding bicycle rodeos and always looking for new ways to reach his audience.
Harry received many awards and recognition for his work including the Queen’s Jubilee Medal and culminating in the dedication of a children’s playground named in his honor in Montebello Park by City Council in 1989. He treasured his time spent with so many friends across the Region including the Armenian community and various organizations including the Masonic Lodge. He will miss his favorite parking space at the casino, too.
Harry was a wonderful father who was always strong but carried his authoritative presence with a gentle, kind, and loving guidance. The bedrock values he taught us for a successful and rewarding life remain his lasting legacy.
Arrangements have been entrusted with GEORGE DARTE FUNERAL CHAPEL, 585 Carlton St., St. Catharines Ontario L2M 4Y1. As per the family’s request, cremation has already taken place. Visitation and Memorial Service will be held at George Darte Funeral Chapel. Visitors are welcome Friday September 1st,2023, 2:00 – 4:00 PM & 6:00 – 8:00 PM. A Memorial Service to be held Saturday September 2nd,2023 at 11:00 AM.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to Alzheimer’s Society Niagara, or St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church.