Glendale native Paul Ignatius, retired Secretary of the Navy, will be honored at this year’s Glendale Educational Foundation event as a distinguished Hoover High alumnus.
Born in 1920, Ignatius grew up on Columbus Avenue in a Spanish-style house with a red tile roof and five apricot trees in the backyard; a reminder of a time when the entire area was covered in orchards, he wrote in his memoirs, published in 2000.
He started school at Field Elementary — a long walk, he recalled. Then Keppel opened in 1928 and he walked there with neighborhood friends. Not only did Ignatius attend Eleanor J. Toll Junior High, the woman for whom the school was named lived across the street on Columbus Avenue.
Growing up, he gave little thought to his Armenian heritage.
“There were no Armenian kids in our school except us,” he said of himself and his siblings. Nor could he speak the language. It wasn’t until much later that he focused on his family’s history and learned that both parents, Elisa Jamgochian and Hovsep Ignatius, were born in Armenia.