Following Battle With Brain Cancer, Antioch Councilman Gary Agopian Passes, Monday Morning


Gary Agopian

By Allen Payton

According to a post on Facebook by his wife Robin, Antioch Councilman Gary Agopian passed away, at 1:00 a.m. Monday morning, July 28, 2014, following a 10-month battle with brain cancer. He was 57.

In her post, Robin said “Good Morning ~ Everyday the Lord provides us with the grace that we need. Today He will provide us with extra special grace because at 1:00 am the morning, Gary ~ my husband, best friend, and father to Heather, Corey, and Jason took his last breath. We have been blessed to have each and everyone of you share in this 10 month journey…you’ve shared your love through meals, gift cards, cards, phone calls, visits, housecleaning, prayers and so much more. We know that Gary is absent from the body but present with the Lord. We are so thankful for the love of Jesus!!!”

Agopian grew up in Covina, California and was a 1980 graduate of Azusa Pacific University with a degree in Business Administration.

He worked for Sears for 24 years. He and his family relocated from Prescott, Arizona to Antioch in 1995, when Gary was promoted from store manager to Human Resources Director for Northern California. He then changed careers and became a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Coon & McCreary Realtors, which later became Prudential California Realty.

He served on the Antioch Economic Development Commission from 2003 to 2006. Then, in 2004 he ran for and was elected to the Antioch School Board. The formation of Dozier-Libbey Medical High School is one of Agopian’s major accomplishments as a Trustee.

In 2008, he ran for County Supervisor to replace Federal Glover and came in third in the Primary election. Following the death of fellow candidate Erik Nunn, who had come in second in the Primary, Agopian became Glover’s challenger in the General election, that fall. He was unable to beat Glover in that race.

Then, in 2010, instead of running for reelection to the school board, Agopian ran for the Antioch City Council and was elected.

In 2011, he toyed with the idea of running for Congress, but later decided against it.

As councilman, Agopian helped lead efforts to clean up graffiti in Antioch and led the effort to renegotiate the city’s police contract, in 2012, that changed the retirement plan for new hires, saving the city hundreds of thousands of dollars over time.

Later that year he decided to run for Mayor of Antioch, but came in second, behind Wade Harper.

Agopian was an active member of Golden Hills Community Church, where he served as a greeter on Sunday mornings. He had also been involved in the Youth Intervention Network as a family counselor.

Agopian leaves behind Robin, his daughter Heather, son-in-law Ryan Renard and their baby, and sons Corey and Jason, and Gary’s mother Nancy.

A memorial service is planned for Saturday, August 9 at 2:00 p.m., at Golden Hills Community Church, 2401 Shady Willow Lane off Lone Tree Way, in Brentwood.


2 Comments to “Following Battle With Brain Cancer, Antioch Councilman Gary Agopian Passes, Monday Morning”

  1. Walter Ruehlig says:

    Gary exemplified zeal. He had a zeal for God, for country, for family, for community. To be around Gary was to pick up on this zeal. He was an energy booster because he was all about passion, all about can-do. For Gary, it was see the job, do the job, stay out of the negativity.

    We were elected together in 2004 and Gary became my go to guy when I needed feedback. He held fast to integrity, studied the issues rigorously and worked real hard at a balanced,inclusive perspective.

    Gary had a heart of gold so I know that wherever gentle warriors are valued, that is where Gary now calls home.

    Carry on my dear friend and happy trails until we meet again.

  2. dotherightthing says:

    This was a man who rang my doorbell and talked with me about his sincerity in running for city council. He is the only candidate in my entire years of 70 that has done this. I was immediately honored and felt respected as a voter, citizen of Antioch, Contra Costa County, Northern California, California resident!

    May Gary rest in the light of profound contributions to society and the sincere purpose to lead for the people, by the people and of the people. I will miss Gary and my condolences to his family. Gary Agopian will always have a very tender, caring and recognition in my heart.

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