Norris C. Hekimian, 84, an electrical engineer who co-founded a
telecommunications company in his basement and sold it 15 years later for
more than $30 million, died June 10 at Manor Care nursing home in Potomac
after a stroke.
In 1968, Dr. Hekimian started his business at his home in Rockville. The
company, initially called Hekimian Laboratories, grew from two people to
more than 700 and supplied equipment to dozens of clients, including Bell
Telephone and NASA. The company was sold in 1983, and Dr. Hekimian
stayed on as an adviser. In 2000, the business was sold again, that time for
more than $1.6 billion.
Norris Carroll Hekimian was born in Washington and graduated from Central
High School in 1944. He began to work with telecommunications equipment
as a teenager in a radio repair shop.
Dr. Hekimian served as an Army Air Forces mechanic during World War II,
working on B-24 Liberators. He graduated from George Washington
University in 1949 with a degree in electrical engineering.
He received a master's degree in 1951 and a doctorate in 1969, both in
electrical engineering from the University of Maryland.
He was a life fellow of IEEE, an engineering society.
Survivors include his wife, Joan Scovell Hekimian of Potomac; three children,
Allison Sitar of Virginia Beach and Christopher Hekimian and Catherine
Hekimian, both of Germantown; a stepson, Allen Knechtel of Sumter, S.C.;
two grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
-- T. Rees Shapiro