May 13, 1940 – February 12, 2022 Myron George Tarkanian was born May 13, 1940 in Euclid Ohio to Armenian immigrants George and Rose Tarkanian, survivors of the Armenian Genocide. Myron was the third of three children, 10 years younger than his brother Jerry and 13 years younger than his sister Alice. George and Rose operated a small grocery store 7 blocks from Lake Erie during the middle of the Depression and the start of World War II. George, a generous and caring man, died of tuberculosis in 1940, six months after Myron was born. Rose remarried Vahan Derderian, whom Myron considered her father. Together, they all embarked on a cross-country road trip, intending to move to Fresno, California, but stopped in Pasadena to visit friends and relatives. Rose fell in love with the San Gabriel Mountains, often saying that Pasadena “reminds her of the old country”. With the exception of a few years early in his coaching career, Myron has never left the San Gabriel Valley. Pasadena was his home for the duration of his childhood and his workhouse for most of his life. A graduate of Longfellow Elementary, Wilson Middle School, and Pasadena High School, Myron grew up as a budding athlete and developed many lifelong friends, including his best friend, Harvey Hyde, whom he met in 3rd grade. Myron adored his mother Rose. She died in 1964. Vahan died in 1966. Myron’s brother Jerry, a Hall of Fame basketball coach and legendary sports personality, died on February 11, 2015. Myron’s sister Alice, known for his extraordinary loyalty to his older and younger brothers, died. on September 19, 2015. Myron attended the University of Redlands, where he earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree, and developed many close friendships that lasted a lifetime. He played football, earned a degree in education, and graduated as a teacher. Most importantly, Myron met the love of his life, Anna Fagerlin, who became his wife of 59 years. After graduating from the UofR, they got married. Together they had 4 children, Bill, the eldest, and Rose, Jane and Kendra. Myron was hired as head football coach at Moreno Valley High School right out of college, creating winning teams at the newly created school, and was named head football coach at Mt. San Jacinto College , launching their football program. In 1967, he left to become an assistant football coach at the University of Hawaii, where he and his family lived for a year. In 1968, Myron returned to Pasadena to become co-head football coach at Pasadena City College, along with his childhood friend, Harvey Hyde. Together they built a Junior College football dynasty that lasted nearly three decades, although Myron quit football to focus on his family, health and business 8 years later. He has the distinction of being the head coach of the last undefeated team (10-0-1) and the CCP National Championship in 1974. He continued to teach physical education and coach other sports ( men’s and women’s tennis and men’s and women’s football) for five years. decades, retiring in 2004 as the most winning coach in CPC track and field history, including conference titles in men’s tennis in 1992 and 1998, and men’s soccer in 1999, 2000 and 2001 He was inducted into the CCP Sports Hall of Fame in 2018, joining his famous brother, Jerry Tarkanian. During his five decades at the PCC, Myron developed many friendships with colleagues, players and students that have stood the test of time. Family was Myron’s highest priority and greatest source of pride. Her four children are all college graduates with graduate degrees. His daughters, Rose, Jane and Kendra, became accomplished educators like their father. Bill became a lawyer and is currently the director of a non-profit behavioral health organization, LA CADA. Myron and Anna were present for their 4 children at all their games, recitals and school activities. Rose, Jane and Kendra collectively had 8 grandchildren, and the children and grandchildren were the pride of Myron and Anna’s life. Summers included family reunions and long vacations. Anna Tarkanian, like her husband, was also a career educator. They lived in the same house in Arcadia, California for 50 years. They were the epitome of a happy, loving marriage and successful parenting. Myron was diagnosed with heart disease in his mid-thirties and survived a battle with cancer in his early sixties. In response, he hiked several miles a day, ran marathons, and became a vegetarian. He always saw himself as living on borrowed time, and in the last years of his life, Myron expressed a sense of deep gratitude for being husband, father, brother, uncle, grandfather, the coach and friend adored and respected by all who knew him. . He is survived by his beloved wife Anna, his children Bill, Rose, Jane and Kendra; sons-in-law, Clark Longhurst, Randy Wilson and Dave McGrath; and grandchildren, Randirose Wilson, Annalee Longhurst, Chris Wilson, Myron Longhurst, Kennan Wilson, Charlotte McGrath, Tark McGrath and Georgia Longhurst. A memorial service and celebration of life will be held Saturday, March 5 at 2:30 p.m. at the south end of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. At the request of the family, a donation in lieu of flowers to LA CADA’s Myron Tarkanian Legacy Fund is appreciated. Go to LACADA.com.
Published by Pasadena Star-News on March 2, 2022.