Charles Garo Gholdoian of Reno, Nevada passed away on December 17, 2013. A compassionate and highly skilled doctor, Garo was a beloved husband, father, son, brother, and terrific friend to many. He was 46.
The first of two children, Garo was born in Michigan. He grew up in suburban Detroit and attended the Alex Manoogian Armenian School and, later, Walled Lake Central High School, where he made many lifelong friends, excelled academically, and even elected as Homecoming King. An intelligent and talented young man, Garo was also musically inclined, mastering the piano, and bass guitar. Friends recall his father, Ara, owned many classic cars his son borrowed to sneak in friends to a drive-in movie; his mother, Vicky, would have dinner parties with an abundance of Armenian food and Garo would play duets with his sister, a violinist. Garo’s sister, Linda, a year younger, had many of the same friends and it was little wonder why the Gholdoian house was the most popular in the area.
After graduation, Garo sought new horizons and went West to California-where he enrolled at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) to study medicine. During this time, he met Staci Paul, also a student at UCI, who, seven years later, would become his wife. Staci and Garo both earned their medical degrees at the UCI California College of Medicine in 1993 and Garo continued his residency at UCI Medical Center, specializing in urology. While a medical student, Garo was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Soon after his diagnosis, he began an aggressive treatment, including chemotherapy/radiation. While Garo battled his disease, his friends and family rallied with him. The endless optimism and love all around were rewarded: Garo beat cancer. This tragedy became a gift, a gift he used in his own practice; he became a caring physician that patients could count on for the truth, as well as, a laugh and always with compassion.
After finishing residency in California, Garo and Staci moved to Reno, Nevada, where they began a new life. Both flourished in private practice. He quickly became known not only as a skilled and competent physician but a leader in the medical community of Reno, as: Chief of the Department of Urology at Renown and St. Mary’s, a Founder of a radiation center (IMRT), a board member of Surgery Center of Reno, and, later, to become President of Urology of Nevada.
As busy and successful as he was in his career, he always made time for his family and friends. There were many nights of gourmet cooking, not only for his family but his neighboring friends, as well. He made many friends through the hobbies he was passionate about: building custom hi-fi systems & fine wine collecting. He even survived the “death ride” cycling with his friend in the desert.
Garo was an exuberant, creative and passionate husband and father who adored his wife and kids. He was forever in love with his wife, Staci, and would always try to “romanticize” every moment, even if it ended in utter laughter. With his son, Nicholas, he had endless nights of record playing and modifying vehicles. With his daughter, Sophia, they snuck out to “Popeye’s” to eat food Mom would not approve and drove hours to attend football games. Together, they would watch endless hours of movies and soon after, Garo would allude hilarious quotes.
In all, he was a Renaissance man. He knew exactly the road he wanted to take to get to where he wanted to go for himself or for his family.
Dr. Garo Gholdoian’s kind eyes telegraphed in an instant the sort of man we knew him to be: extraordinarily smart and helpful, kind and generous, strong and brave, fun and silly.
A Public Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, Dec. 29th at 3pm at South Reno United Methodist Church, 200 DeSpain Lane, Reno.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Dr. Gholdoian Memorial Fund through Wells Fargo. Acct#3345174613, or send a check to Renown Health Foundation (note: "Gholdoian Fund") 1300 Mill St., Reno, NV 89502. Direct questions to Jenna Moffat (775) 982-5361.