Krikor Bedrosian, co-founder of National Raisin Co. in Fowler, dies

The Fresno BeeJune 13, 2014 

Krikor Yeprad Bedrosian


Krikor Bedrosian, one of the founders of National Raisin Co. in Fowler, died on June 9. He was 78.

Mr. Bedrosian and his brothers, Ernest and Kenneth, started a small raisin packing operation more than 40 years ago and turned it into the largest independent raisin processor in the United States.

National Raisin producers of the Champion brand of raisins, employs more than 500 people at four plant sites and exports products worldwide.

During his many years with the company, Mr. Bedrosian served as corporate secretary, chief financial officer and co-chairman of the board.

He was also actively involved in the raisin industry serving on the Raisin Administrative Committee and California Raisin Advisory Board.

Kenneth Bedrosian recalls the time when his brother, known as a man of few words, tried to cheer up his brothers during a time of dismal raisin production.

"He came back to my brother and he said: 'We have plenty of room for improvement,'" Kenneth Bedrosian said. "We were very tired and bewildered, but we all just busted up laughing."

Along with helping to manage the raisin plant, Mr. Bedrosian had a passion for investing. While attending Fresno State, where he earned a bachelor of science in business administration, Mr. Bedrosian formed the Hye Ten Investment Club with a group of Armenian friends.

The group met monthly to share stock tips, analyze business reports and check out investment opportunities. They would annually spend a weekend at Huntington Lake fishing, cooking and playing cards. To this day, the group continues to meet.

Mr. Bedrosian was also committed to the community and his church. He was a longtime member of the First Armenian Presbyterian Church where he held many positions and spearheaded several fund-raising campaigns. In the community, he was a member of the Fowler Lions club for more than 30 years. In 2009, he was recognized as Fowler's Honored Pioneer.

He and his brothers were also honored by Fresno State in 2007 when they received the "Top Dog" award in the field of agriculture.

"My brother was a sincere person who put 100 percent of his effort in whatever he got involved in," Kenneth Bedrosian said. "He had such empathy with people, especially the people he worked with."

Mr. Bedrosian was preceded in death by Ernest, who died on Jan. 1 at the age of 80.

Krikor Yeprad Bedrosian

Born: Sept. 10, 1935

Died: June, 9, 2014

Occupation: Co-founder of National Raisin Co.

Survivors: Wwife Katherine; daughter Linda Kay Abdulian; son Michael Bedrosian; daughter Jane Asmar; sister Clara Bousian, brother Kenneth Bedrosian

Services: A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at First Armenian Presbyterian Church, 430 S. First St., Fresno. A memorial luncheon will be held after the service in the church social hall.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6327, or @FresnoBeeBob on Twitter.

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