Harry Tatigian’s devotion to public service helped make Livonia what it is today. As a city attorney, Harry served his community for over 50 years. Livonia has been home to him and his wife, Betty, since 1963, and these days “home” is just where Harry wants to be.
“Harry was in the hospital in February or March. And it was an uncomfortable situation,” Betty said. “He wanted to come home. We agreed it would be better to have the hospital come to us – to be able to have a doctor come out to the house and nurse to come up, rather than to be a patient in the hospital. Our goal is to be at home.”
Angela Hospice was able to make that goal a reality, providing hospice care for Harry in their home, so he and Betty could celebrate their 59th anniversary together.
The couple first met while Betty was on a date with someone else. Two months later, they went on their first date.
“He was driving his dad’s car, and the car didn’t have a radio. So he sang to me!” Betty reminisced.
The couple went on to have five children together, and now have 12 grandchildren.
“We also raised our children [in Livonia],” Harry said. “And I’m very proud of our kids. It’s been a good life.”
While Harry is more modest about his civic achievements, Betty sees the great impact he has had on the city – especially when it comes to parks and nature preserves.
“When we first came out here in ’63, the city had 150 acres of park land,” Betty said. “And when [Harry retired] I think they had 1,500 acres of park land. And he was very, very instrumental in obtaining these parks.”
In fact, the city even named a park for him: Harry Tatigian Park and Nature Preserve,
dedicated in 2018.
“We are a very public service oriented family,” said Harry, referring to their children who are teachers, attorneys, and federal agents; and Betty, who served as a public health nurse and a teacher before she retired.
“You never, ever know how many lives you’ve touched and how you touch them,” Betty reflected. “It can just be an acquaintance that has a big impact on your life. And I think that being in public service, you’re inclined possibly to touch more lives. And, you know, this is what life is all about.”
Betty and Harry have spent much of their retirement volunteering as well. Betty said her favorite place she’s volunteered is Angela Hospice, where she’s primarily worked in Grief Care. While many people would find that role particularly difficult, Betty knows she was bringing comfort to those families.
“And I’m a firm believer that grief is a part of love,” Betty said. “And, you know, to point out to people that, if you choose to love, most likely you will grieve. But what is life without love?”
You too can touch lives through your support of
Angela Hospice’s charitable programs for patients and families.