Haig Harald Kassouni of Grand Rapids passed away on Sunday, April 18, 2021. He is survived by his beloved wife of 28 years, Ann Weiland Kassouni; his brothers, Armen (Kim) Kassouni, Van (Luba) Kassouni and Dicran (Irina) Kassouni; his uncle, The Reverend Vartkes (Samira) Kassouni; many cousins; his sisters and brothers-in law, Janet and William Coquillette and Robert and Mary Weiland; 14 nieces and nephews; and his devoted Brittanys, Eliot, Tache and Jasper. He was preceded in death by his parents, Sarkis and Olivette Kassouni.
Haig was President of The Kassouni Group, specializing in plastic injection molding. Born in Pittsburgh to a manufacturing family, Haig had an entrepreneurial streak from a young age. He and his brother Armen began a long business partnership when, as children, they made plastisol dip for kids to use making creepy crawlers. They continued in business together, expanding from vending machines in their teens to multiple manufacturing facilities in their adult lives.
Professionally, Haig had high standards and did not suffer fools gladly, dismissing nonsense with a wave of the hand and a “tch.” Smart, thoughtful and a strategic thinker, he was a valued advisor, serving as a member of the Boards of Directors of Koeze Company and Wolverine Coil Spring. He served as Chairman of Kent County Conservation League and Grass Lake Hunting and Fishing Club during his long tenure with both groups. He also was a member of the University Club and Beer City Peggers Club 71.
Haig was passionately involved in the project of living. He loved dogs, spending time at his Spruce Camp in northern Michigan, hunting, cooking, skeet shooting, yoga, cribbage and collecting oriental rugs, art, silver shot glasses, cast iron pans and a variety of other “treasures.” He relished the auctions where he tracked them down. Haig loved adventures, traveling to South Africa, the high mountains of Wyoming and far Northern Quebec in search of game. He insisted on good whiskey, good food and good conversation. Most especially he loved a good laugh and even more so a good nap. Haig was an excellent host and took pleasure in grilling a fine piece of meat. With a wide-ranging intellect, he read voraciously and widely and was interested in everything. He was full of ideas and always had a project going; the early part of this year was devoted to the construction of a sugar shack on his property. He had an impish twinkle in his eye that everyone knew well—it spoke legions of his love for life and willingness to include us all.
Haig also was someone to count on. A man of great integrity, he was a good, loyal and generous friend. A favorite weekend was one with his buddies working hard and relaxing hard at Spruce Camp. He was devoted to his extended family, always ready to celebrate a milestone, tackle a problem, support an endeavor and share items of interest. Children loved him because they sensed he was in their corner. He shouldered many responsibilities with care and kindness. In return he was greatly loved. His death leaves big spaces in many lives.
Most of all, Haig loved Ann. Partners in life, they worked together at the family business; made a warm and welcoming home; enjoyed friends, family, food and activities; and raised many much-loved dogs. They watched over each other, took each other in stride and genuinely enjoyed being together. They had a deep and lasting bond that will transcend Haig’s passing.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, May 1, at 2:00 pm at Cascade Christian Church, 2829 Thornapple River Drive SE, Grand Rapids. There will be a visiting hour at the church from 1:00 to 2:00 pm preceding the service. Masks and social distancing will be required. The service will be available to livestream from the church website (http://www.cascadechristian.com) in the “Watch + Read” section. It also will be available to view later for a period of time. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to a charity of choice.