Aug 12, 2014
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Richmond-based Bay Area Rescue Mission is the beneficiary of this touching story about the late Antioch Councilmember Gary Agopian, who reportedly used his own funeral service as a tool to help the homeless and needy.

Agopian died from brain cancer late last month at age 57, according to the Contra Costa Times report. He was an apparently well-loved and respected public figure and family man. More than 500 people including political leaders attended his funeral services Saturday, the newspaper said.

Agopian apparently wouldn’t allow death to stand in the way of his mission to help people. He told a friend that he wanted those at his funeral to “not leave this place unchanged” and to do their part to help the homeless and needy, the Times reported.

“He wants us to have compassion and look at them as human beings and not as some statistic or problem we’re trying to fix,” the friend said.

Then the Times printed an important request from Agopian’s family: That any donations be made to “Bay Area Rescue Mission, Agopian Fund, P.O. Box 1112, Richmond, 94802.”

Agopian’s spirit remains strong and very alive with the Bay Area Rescue Mission, the nonprofit that offers a wide range of services for the Bay Area’s homeless population.


About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.