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John Keshishian Index

Dr. John Keshishian M.D.

Born: August 23, 1923 Isle of Corfu, Greece

Died: No




John Keshishian as a baby







Bucknell Bio


http://www.bucknell.edu/images/system/bucknell_logo.png Posted Oct. 28, 2010


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John Keshishian '46

John Keshishian had the honor of serving as consultant to the White House under presidents Nixon and Reagan and was a member of the team of surgeons that attended President Reagan after the 1980 assassination attempt.

Master of many talents

John Keshishian '46 has lived the life of a Renaissance man.

Having retired from active cardiopulmonary surgery 17 years ago at the age of 70, Keshishian still holds the rank of clinical professor of surgery at the George Washington School of Medicine and adjunct professor of surgery at USUSH, the military medical school in Bethesda, Md. He had the honor of serving as consultant to the White House under presidents Nixon and Reagan and was a member of the team of surgeons that attended President Reagan after the 1980 assassination attempt.

His multi-faceted career also includes stints as a photographer for
 National Geographic, a broadcaster for the radio production and distribution service Blue Network (a precursor to NBC) and the author of three novels, all thrillers.

Clearly, life has inspired some fiction. Keshishian says his work with
 National Geographic sparked his latest novel. "When I went to Vietnam as a civilian consultant in 1959, Dr. Melville Grosvenor of the National Geographic Society asked me to photograph everything I saw," he says."The magazine folks gave me lessons, a camera and film." Instantly, Keshishian became a young staff photographer. 

With the rigors of his time in the Navy during WWII behind him, he had the background to explore some of the planet's most extreme venues. He not only wrote about and photographed Vietnam during a tumultuous era but also used his skills, which include aviation, to travel the larger world. Before his medical career, Keshishian globe-trotted as a lecturer, consultant, examiner and FAA inspector. In the meantime, his photographs of Egypt, Abu Simbel, Russia, Samarkand and Uzbekistan appeared in
National Geographic. 

One of his best-known articles, published in the early 1980s, examined the Burmese "long-neck" women. Concurrently, he became a writer for the
 World Book Science News, documenting the Dead Sea Scrolls and Mayan archeology. One of his novels, The Mayan Shard Caper, published in 2006 by Inkwater Press, reprised this interest in pre-Columbian antiquities.

Keshishian continues work rooted in decades of diverse experience. During a meditative moment in his medical career, he became interested in rhododendrons and azaleas, flowers he still photographs and explores in writing. He was indoctrinated into azalea culture at the Glenn Dale Plant Introduction Station in Maryland and later became a collaborator for the group at the National Arboretum. Additionally, he has introduced and named the "Henry Allanson" azalea after an early mentor, and over the years garnered an impressive number of ribbons for his hybrids.


The European Years

The War Years


The Washington Years

A Remembrance: William Wrather Keshishian
by John M Keshishian



William Wrather Keshishian


William Wrather Keshishian (1954 - 2010)

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William Wrather Keshishian, lover of life, master builder, father, husband, friend, contrarian, philosopher, brother, son. He was a man who touched the lives of countless people wherever he went. His charisma could light up a room.

BK. Bill. Billy. Willer. Will'am. WillyBoy. AND "Billy Boy"

He died on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010, after an admirable battle with Medullary thyroid cancer, surrounded by those who love him deeply in the home he built for himself and his family. He was 56.

Bill's family was the center of his life. His boys, Liam, 13, and Sam, 10, were a source of boundless love and pride. His wife, Moira, was his soul mate. Together their small tribe traveled to Egypt, the Caribbean, Mexico, on adventures in the U.S. and logged innumerable Montana miles for the boys' Gallatin Gateway School wrestling matches, as well as for basketball and baseball games.

As owner of Elephant Builders, Bill was a consummate professional with dedication to his craft. He was a perfectionist. He was a builder with an artist's heart and true integrity.

Bill danced into this world on Nov. 24, 1954. He was born in Washington, D.C., the only boy with three sisters. He grew up in suburban D.C., Bethesda, Md., but quickly blazed his own trail out of the beltway and into the big world. His work took him to Kenya, where he learned how elephants think and mastered his own version of the Swahili language. He traveled the globe. He studied jazz saxophone at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass.; trained as an orthopedic farrier shoeing polo ponies; tended bar; loved champagne and tequila; was a cabinet maker and a fine man. He called Montana home.

With his mother, Catherine Morgan Wrather, as his business partner and his life's staunchest supporter, Bill restored the historic Gallatin Gateway Inn to grandeur in the 1980s. He dedicated himself to the Inn with passion, reclaiming an important landmark in the region. It was a project that connected him to a community in both Gateway and in Bozeman.

Beyond his generous spirit, big heart and smiling eyes, Bill was known for his sense of humor. To the end he found a way to make each of us laugh when it seemed we could only cry. He will be greatly missed. He's smiling at us even now, just out of reach, but he will always be with us.

He is survived by his wife, Moira Haggerty Keshishian; sons, Liam Kerr Keshishian and Samuel Wrather Keshishian; sisters, Caren Sage (husband, Paul Sage and their son, Cody) of Boise, Idaho, Margaret "Peggy" Keshishian of Cairo, Egypt, and Alicia Keshishian (husband, Billy Bramblett) of Petaluma, Calif.; his father, Dr. John Keshishian (wife, Nancy Lee Keshishian) of McLean, Va.; the extended Haggerty family: sister, Carol Haggerty Reardon (husband, Jim Reardon); sister, Beth Beldock (husband, Gregg Beldock and children, Geordie, Amory and Sydney); sister, Gwenne Dawson (husband, Jim Dawson and children, Katie, Meg and Sarah); brother, Richard Haggerty; and parents, Ed and Marti Haggerty; Dory the golden doodle; and many, many friends.

His mother, Catherine Morgan Wrather, preceded him in death.

A celebration of Bill's life will be held at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 13, at the Gallatin Gateway Inn. A reception will follow the memorial service.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to The Keshishian Children Educational Trust. Contributions may be mailed to 431 N. Yellowstone, Livingston, MT 59047.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle from December 8 to December 12, 2010



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