Text Obituary: Samara (Hagopian) Katz. We loved you so, Sam.
Samara (Hagopian) Katz
LOS ANGELES, CA –Samara (Hagopian) Katz, 43, formally of Hopedale, MA unexpectedly passed on April 21, 2012. May her everlasting spirit continue to instill her love, friendship, and generosity to all that knew and loved her.
She was born in Concord, MA, and is the daughter of Pamela (VaJames) and Charles Hagopian of Milford, MA (formally of Hopedale). She is also survived by her sister, Rebecca (Hagopian) DeMarco and Joseph DeMarco of Milford and her brother Matthew Hagopian of Worcester, MA (formally of Hopedale). Always most important in her life are her uncles and aunts including Harold and Marguerite (Elting) Hagopian of New Bern, NC, Veronica Hagopian of Myrtle Beach, SC, Michael Hagopian and Jurema Silva of Cold Springs, MN, Roberta (Hagopian) and Kevin Kennedy of Norton, MA, and Carole (Snow) VaJames, wife of deceased Christopher VaJames of Ipswich, MA, and had many uncles, aunts and cousins. She also shared a special bond with her niece and nephews, Ara Hagopian, Ariana and Joey Demarco. She is also survived by special friend Stephen Katz, ofBurbank, CA (formally from Charleston, SC).
Samara excelled in both in art and mathematics while attending Hopedale High School. In 1983, her art work was awarded The Boston Globe’s highest achievement and placed on display in Boston. She also received the Milford Artists Guild Scholarship for promising design achievement.
She graduated from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 1990 with a degree in industrial design (BFA). She traveled to Los Angeles, CA to become a specialist in machining, metalsmithing, retracatables, animatronics, and sci-fi and medical props.
She was a member of SAG (Screen Actors Guild) as a puppeteer and Local 44 Affiliated Property Craftpersons as a Propmaker and was employed recently by Independent Studio Services (ISS) as a Propmaker. Working with many studios, her first “real job” was with Rick’s (Gamez) Customer Props working on Honey I Blew up the Kids, Wayne’s World, and Batman Returns. Among the numerous undertakings were working with Rick Lazzarini in The Character Shop on Mimic, Escape from LA, Budweiser Frogs and Gator, Hocus Pocus, Operation Dumbo Drop, and others; Patrick Tatopolis Designs on the movies Stuart Little, Godzilla, Independence Day, Battle Ship Earth, Stargate, and Bird of Passage; Kevin Yeager Productions, on Lemony Snicket, Bride of Chucky, Hellraiser IV. She participated in many environments and movies including those from Jim Henson’s shop, the Hand Prop Room movies including Avatar, Thor, Green Hornet, Book of Eli, Angles and Demons, I am Number Four, Charlie Wilson’s War, and Pirates of the Caribbean, G I Joe, Star Trek, Little Panda, and many TV shows.
On April 28th there was a celebration of her life and sprit by her “West Coast” family, friends, and associates held at Emmy award winner Kevin Wasner’s home in Echo Park (LA) attended by more than a hundred individuals. A “tributes” book is being created by Cass “Junkhauler” McClure and will be forwarded to the “East Coast” family.
Samara’s two dogs Xena and Charlie gave joy to her life. Making hand-crafted jewelry and gifting cacti from her extensive collection earned her nickname “Succulent Sam”. At her celebration in LA, 150 cactus plants were donated by Angela Barnes Gomes, Rashelle Reading and “Kjustkplease Liketheletter” and presented to all in attendance.
A memorial scholarship has been set up for innovative and passionate art students who wish to further their education in art or industrial design. Donations may be made to theSamara Hagopian Memorial Scholarship, c/o Hopedale High School Alumni Association, Attn: Linda Tuite, 2 Soward St., Hopedale, MA 01747.
Local arrangements are private.