In Memoriam

David Avakian Simploy’s Founder is Now with Jesus

David Avakian (born October 30, 1943) went to be with Jesus on Saturday, March 12, 2022.

David is survived by his wife of 56 years, Eileen, and by three daughters: Jeanette, Julie, and Annette; by sisters: Janel, and Darice; and by seven grandchildren, Grace, Sarah, DJ, Gennie, Andrew, Daniel, and William.

David had a long career in human resources, supporting several large companies before starting his own company, The Varsity Group, to serve the St. Louis community and beyond. When he moved to Maryland he retired but continued his work in the industry.

David was always curious and pursued many interests in amateur radio, astronomy, church, especially choir. He loved and supported all his children and grandchildren at concerts, sporting event, scouting and many, many other events.

From Jay King, CEO at Simploy

David Avakian was one of the strongest influences in my entire life. He was a mentor, a partner, a brother in Christ, a real star; but most of all he was my friend.

When David moved to Maryland, he and I learned how to have video calls. During our August call last year (2021), he promised to send me a copy of “The Leadership Bible”, which he did; I’m looking at that Bible as I write this. Inside is a folded letter to me with the kindest words, and with a remarkable story about the actual volume that he sent me!

In 2004, David sold what was almost literally a piece of his soul, a piece of his heart, his very own invention and creation – a company he founded and managed for 15 years – The Varsity Group. He sold that pearl to me and Sharon. At the time, I had no idea how considerable that responsibility was. But I did know some important things about David.

By 2004, Sharon and I had been David’s client for a few years. During that time, we all got to know each other, we discovered common interests, and we became friends (you can’t know David long without being a friend).

When we all decided to rebrand the company, there was a little contest in the office. Everyone got to suggest a name for the new corporation. David’s suggestion won all the votes: “Simploy”. Some of my peers still wish they had thought of that. But they didn’t; David did!

For many years after that, we worked together, we collaborated, we agreed, disagreed, agreed to disagree, we shared our passions, we hung out. In retrospect, it was a wonderful, glorious time. David was always a joy.

One day David had to leave, to move away – a sad day to be sure. We’d been seeing each other almost every day for years, talking, cooperating, having fun. And then (suddenly it seemed) I wouldn’t see him again for a very long while. But David said that it was time, that he was ready; and he told me that I was ready, too (not sure about that still). I was still bemoaning my soon-to-be lonesomeness, when he said in his most avuncular tone (you know the one), “I’m just moving, I’m not really gone!” And then, “We sure have some good memories, don’t we?” Yes. We. Do.

So, in my melancholy, he found a way to reassure me and lift me up. That’s his way. That’s his specialty. He’s a natural. And now, as I re-read that last paragraph (and please do), in light of our loss, he’s still that same David, and he’s still comforting us.

Rest in heavenly peace, David. I love you. See you soon.

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