This photo posted to Facebook by family friend Sammy D’Alie shows the late Anthony Azarian with his daughter, Ellie, 4, and newborn son, Tigran.

Azarian remembered as gifted wrestler and leader

By Ed Nadolski

      Waterford Union High School graduate and state runner-up wrestler Anthony D. Azarian died Monday in Milwaukee when the forklift he was operating plunged more that 80 feet down a freight elevator shaft.

      Azarian, 32, of Racine, was working for his family’s company, Azarian Wrecking, at the CH Coakley and Co. building, 3742 W. Wisconsin Ave., when the accident occurred at 1:42 p.m., according to a report provided by the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s office.

      Azarian was attempting to remove a brick wall covering an old elevator shaft using a forklift with a bucket attachment at the time of the accident, the report indicates.

      The news of his death was greeted with sadness from Waterford High School officials who knew him.

      “I was fortunate enough to have been his coach and am better off for having known this young man, who will be missed by so many,” said teacher Henry Agallar, his wrestling coach for his senior season.

      Azarian was a two-time Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association state tournament runner up, including his senior season.

      Agallar said his impact went beyond the wrestling room.

      “He was genuinely fun and always lifted those around him with his sense of humor and relaxed demeanor,” he said. “On the mat, there were few equals.

      “Off the mat, Anthony’s personality and work ethic matched his wrestling gifts.”

      According to multiple reports, Azarian had two children, a daughter, Ellie, 4, and a newborn son, Tigran.

      Family friend Sammy D’Alie has set up a fundraising account on Facebook to benefit Azarian’s children. It can be found by clicking here: AZARIAN FUNDRAISER. As of Wednesday morning the site had raised $27,440.

      Area shoe store Itzin’s Shoes and Repair of Burlington also announced on Facebook Wednesday that it would donate 50 percent of all sales on Saturday, March 9, to the account to benefit Azarian’s children.

      It is the second jobsite tragedy for Azarian Wrecking and the Azarian family. In 2000, Anthony Azarian’s uncle, also named Anthony, died when a trench collapsed around him in Caledonia.

            To read the entire story, including additional comments from school staff and details from the medical examiner’s report, see the March 8 edition of the Waterford Post or Westine Report.