Obituary of William Safarjan, 80
August 12, 2023
– William Safarjan, Ph.D. died on August 12, 2023, at the age of 80 at his home in Atascadero, following a courageous battle with cancer. Bill was raised in Tulare by parents Robert and Joy Safarjan and had a close and loving relationship with his grandparents, Art and Varina, his aunts, Mariam and Noralee, and his cousins, Michael and Kerry. He grew up working in the family business, Safarjan’s, a men’s clothing shop where he learned about style and hard work. He went on to get his BA from the University of California at Berkeley and spent a memorable part of his undergraduate studies at the Alliance Francaise in Paris. After serving as a lieutenant in the Navy during the Vietnam War he received his Master’s degree from San Diego State University. In 1980, Bill received his Ph.D. from Rutgers University. While at Rutgers, he married his girlfriend, Paula Tinder. Together they had a daughter, Erin.
Bill spent the majority of his career working as a clinical psychologist for the California Department of Mental Health at Atascadero State Hospital. He was also a recognized leader of organized psychology in California and nationally. Bill served in many roles with the California Psychological Association (CPA), including CPA president. Some of his most important accomplishments include spearheading the enactment of important hospital practice legislation into State law and shepherding the formation of the CPA Graduate Student Association and the Council of California Departments of Psychology. He was especially proud of working to pass legislation to stop the proliferation of regionally unaccredited schools of psychology in California. Bill was also an active member of the Central Coast Psychological Association. Bill received many accolades and awards for his tireless work, including receiving the APA award for Distinguished Contributions to Applied Psychology as a Professional Practice and being awarded a Sustained Superior Accomplishment Award from the State of California. In addition to his work in psychology, Bill served in a number of professional organizations including Rotary International where he was recognized as an Outstanding Club President.
Bill always said that his greatest joy and accomplishment was his daughter, Erin. Erin lives abroad with her husband, David, and their two children. Erin and her dad were very close and she will miss him dearly. He is also survived by his many friends and cousins who will also miss him.
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