Ararat Armenian Cemetery &
Masis Ararat Armenian Cemetery

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Alan Memley

August 6, 1946 - August 21, 2016

Alan Memley photo

Birthdate: August 6, 1946

Place of Birth: Los Angeles

Date of Death: August 21, 2016

Hometown:

Age:

The life of Alan Arthur Memley was lived to the fullest. His family has invited you here today to include you in the celebration of a life well spent for Jesus Christ.

 Alan Memley was born on August 6, 1946, to Vahan and Zabelle Memley in Los Angeles, CA. He was the middle child of 3 boys.  John was the oldest, and Michael the youngest.  John was a great inspiration in Alan's life.  He told Alan of the salvation that he had received through Jesus Christ.  John shared his excitement with Alan, and the entire family was soon saved.  Alan has spoken of his conversion as the single most important day in his life.

 On December 22, 1960, at 8:30pm, Alan received Christ and immediately his life was changed.  His lifelong calling soon came to him (can you believe as a young teenager?!)  Alan was in a store looking for a Popular Electronics magazine, and when he reached for it, he felt his hand drawn toward the next magazine which read, ‘Flying’.  Later, he described this as ‘a flood of emotion that came over him like a wave’.  He knew from that moment that he was called to be a pilot.

 At 14, he began his training.  At 16, he soloed and earned his private license.  At 19, he became a certified flight instructor of commercial aircraft and taught pilots much older than him.  At 21, he was hired by United Airlines to fly 727 and 737s.  He earned a degree in aerospace engineering from Northrop University and continued to remain in the aviation business all his life.

 Alan met the love of his life, Linda, in 1967 and they were married in Glendale, CA in December of 1968.  They met at Faith Center Church and were very active in ministry, worship leading and witnessing on the streets of Los Angeles.  Their faith has remained ever-growing through their marriage and a guide for their children.

 Alan was drafted into the Army during the Vietnam era and served state-side as a flight instructor and in the Army marching band, where he played flute and piccolo.  After his honorable service, he and Linda started a family in Southern California.  They raised three children, Kevin, Suzanne and Michelle.

Alan served as a junior high principal and teacher of Bible and physics at Newport Christian schools.  This was a position his brother John previously held until his untimely death in 1976.  Alan co-pastored Newport Christian Church, led Bible studies and Sunday School classes.

 He operated the family owned electro-plating plant in Los Angeles for several decades with his father, Vahan, and brother, Michael.  When the family moved to the Fresno area in 1987, Alan continued to manage the LA plant by commuting in his private Mooney aircraft.

 Believe it or not, while managing all this, he purchased 40 acres of vineyards in Selma and tended them largely by himself!

 If this were not enough,Alan was fascinated by the new frozen yogurt craze and opened his own store, 'Yogurt and Jazz' in Fresno, in an area near Riverpark. It was an oasis of cool treats on hot summer nights and a venue for outdoor live jazz music. This is where Kevin, his son, got his start!

 Alan also managed the accounting of several churches, started a medical supply company and opened an assisted living home in Fresno.

 Alan was a renaissance man.

 Around 1995, Alan established Memley Aviation, a flight school at the Selma airport.  It was later moved to Chandler Airport in Fresno.  He also began to charter private jets at Signature Flight Support at the Fresno Air Terminal.  As a charter pilot, Alan flew many celebrities across the nation!

Through each one of these experiences, Linda was right there with him.  His loving “co-pilot”.

 Now that's what Alan did. But let me tell you who AlanWAS.

 He was a husband to Linda for 47 1/2 years.  A father to 3 kids: Kevin, Suzanne and Michelle.  An uncle to Adrina and Matthew.  And a grandfather of 10.  They are all here today:

Mark, Shine, Nathan, Akira, Caleb, Blaze, John, Benjamin, Kathryn and Kyle.

 Alan’s kids eventually made him a hat with all his grandchildren’s names on it so he could keep it all straight!   (show hat)

 Alan had an excellent sense of humor and timing, inherited from his father, Vahan.  In the last few years, Alan came up with fictional book titles with humorous authors and would send them to friends.  He literally came up with thousands of these.  I’ll bet the majority of you have heard some of them.  Here are a few:

 “Once You Have Found Her, Never Let Her Go” by Will Holder

 “Having Trouble Leaving Your Worries Behind?” by Cary Grief

 “What Could I Do When I Get To Heaven?” byB.A. Harper

 Alan’s charm was always running 24/7, ready to go at any time.  He would always look for an opportunity to exercise his sharp wit.  It was a disarming mechanism that allowed for many people to fall instantly in love with him.  Alan put everyone at ease and made them feel like they were a part of his family and life.  He would never force the Gospel on anyone, but had the gifts to weave love and truth into his everyday life and conversation with people.  His employees were his family.  Many are here today. He would take them in and be genuinely invested in them.  He hosted a foreign exchange student from Japan and by God’s design, led her to the Lord and continued to care for her as one of his own daughters.  Now she are her family are saved and lead worship in their Tokyo community.

Alan loved travel, not only in the air but on land.  Every summer, Alan and Linda would love to RV across the nation with their kids.   Alan’s love for the open desert and geological sites (no matter how boring the kids thought it was) inspired him to pull off the road at any given mud pit, monument, ruins, plateau, natural arch, chuckwagon BBQ, army fort, visitor’s center, suspended bridge, canyon, crater, anything petrified, cave dwelling, cliff-dwelling or significant rock that you had to hike 6 miles to see.  Everything he saw pointed him to God’s perfect design and creation.  Alan loved the book of Genesis, the book of beginnings.  And his excitement came from visiting the national parks with a creationist point of view.  Sharing that with his family, he instilled the importance of learning about national history, Creation science, astronomy, geology, family bonding and the vast depths of blessings that God has given us.

 Music was also a big part of Alan’s life.  His father played saxophone, his mother Zabelle, and brother, Michael were virtuoso violinists.  His brother John, an accomplished pianist and organist, playing the finest and most difficult organ pieces ever written.  His neice, Adrina, pianist and singer/songwriter.  His children played piano and branched out from there.  And Alan played the flute.  He had an appreciation for quality classical music and was elevated by its refined structure and detail.  In his home, Alan didn’t have to reach for a record to play, he had live music!  Alan appreciated the many years of hearing the Kingsburg Community Church choir, directed by his son, Kevin.  He enjoyed listening to Kevin’s compositions and took great pride in watching his musical career blossom.  In June of 2015, Alan, Linda and kids attended a debut of one of Kevin’s works in Carnegie Hall.  Music reached into his soul and allowed him to be closer to God in worship.

 Alan was born a 3rd generation Armenian-American.  He had love for both his country and his heritage.  For almost 30 years, the family (across 4 generations) has celebrated Father’s Day at the Armenian Picnic in Fresno.  He could listen to the live Armenian music being played for hours, and enjoyed watching his wife, daughters and grandaughters wiggle to the infectious rhythmic verses on the dance floor.  There was lots of good food and he would always invite new people each year.

 There are many more things that could be told about Alan and the impact he had on his family, friends and those he met.  But there is one more experience that needs to be shared.

 In the Spring of 2016, Alan was diagnosed with stage-4 pancreatic cancer.  As this devastating news reached the family, Alan’s immediate resolve was to glorify God through this new journey.  One of the first things he said was, “Look!  My salvation is already assured in Jesus Christ, no matter what.”  Alan put up an excellent fight and through prayer, was able to find confidence and peace through the struggle.  Here again, Linda was the ‘rock of encouragement and hope’ in his life.  Citing scripture daily as she cared for him.  As his body became weaker, his spirit became stronger in the Lord.  At home on August 21st, 2016, Alan went to his eternal home to be with his Savior.  To the end, Linda has been a constant source of inspiration and love in his life and to the entire family.

 He is survived by his wife Linda, his brother Michael, neice Adrina, nephew Matthew, his 3 children and 10 grandchildren.

 It would be Alan’s prayer for you to know the ‘big God’ that he knew.  His legacy was not to draw attention to himself, but to point others to Christ.  Billy Graham said it best:

 “The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.”

 This is the legacy Alan has left all of us.

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