Judge Kalem E. Garian

Upon his retirement, Judge Kalem Garian found himself busier than ever serving as a visiting judge, according to his daughter.

“He was working five days a week, year-round, well into his 80s,” said Marie Garian of her father, who died April 15 at the age of 96.

Marie Garian, a Royal Oak attorney, said her father’s motto was “Have gavel, will travel.”

“He loved what he did and he loved being a judge,” she said.

Garian became the first elected judge to serve on Highland Park’s 30th District Court in 1963.

He served on that bench until his retirement in the mid 1980s, then served as visiting judge for more than 60 different courts across the state, according to his daughter, who practiced law with her father for several years.

Garian, a native of Detroit’s Delray neighborhood, was one of six children of Moushek and Zartar Goshgarian. He was the first in his family to go to college, attending the University of Detroit.

He served as a first lieutenant in the Army during World War II, finished his law degree upon his return and worked as an attorney in Highland Park.

Garian was a member of the Highland Park City Council and served for a time as its president.

He was active with the Armenian American Bar Association of Michigan as well as the Lions Club, Good Fellows and Leader Dogs for the Blind.

Besides daughter Marie, Garian is survived by daughter Marilyn Ellison, sister Helen Arzoomanian, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Garian was predeceased by his wife, Mary.