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Obituary: Paul Dudley Derounian

Paul Dudley Derounian, 71, Manhattan attorney and Vietnam War Veteran, died suddenly and peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, July 27, at his summer home in Westhampton, NY. Mr. Derounian is survived by his loving wife of 27 years, Elizabeth “Liz” Wickersham and his four-legged loves Jack, Starr and Skye.

A lifetime resident of New York, Derounian was born May 31, 1943 in Glen Cove. He attended local schools and graduated from Syracuse University in 1965. While at Syracuse, Paul was elected VP of his class where he also participated in ROTC and was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. Paul took an academic deferment from active duty and entered Fordham Law School, where he was elected president of his class. He graduated from Fordham Law School in 1968. He was immediately ordered to active duty where he began handling court martial cases at Ft. Meade, MD. Paul volunteered for duty in Vietnam, completed a combat tour and was awarded the Bronze Star, among other decorations. Paul left the U.S. Army in 1970 and has practiced private law at Paul D. Derounian, P.C., in New York City for the past 40 years. Some of his notable clients include singer Phyllis McGuire and The McGuire Sisters, and Dodi Fayed, Film Producer and son of Egyptian businessman Mohamed Al-Fayed, and also boyfriend of Diana, Princess of Wales. In 2010 Paul was awarded the New York Conspicuous Service Cross from the State of New York for his service in Vietnam.

Besides his wife Liz, a former beauty queen (“Miss Georgia”) and award-winning TV personality on CNN and WTBS, Paul is survived by relatives across the country. He considered his close friends and longtime associates part of his extended family. Paul was preceded in death by his father, Jack Derounian, his mother, Vivian Dudley, and his step-father, Harold Kinsey. Paul’s mentor was his uncle Steven B. Derounian, who served as a U.S. Congressman (R-NY) from 1953 to 1963. He was part of the Congressional Subcommittee that investigated the 1950s Quiz show scandals, and, in the 1994 film by Robert Redford, Congressman Derounian’s harsh criticism of Charles Van Doren was featured. Thereafter, he served as justice of the NY Supreme Court, 1969-1981. Steven’s brother, Avedis B. Derounian (also Paul’s uncle), was a journalist and author of Under Cover, The Plotters, and Cairo to Damascus all under the pen name John Roy Carlson, and numerous articles under Arthur Derounian.

Paul was a loving husband, a fierce patriot, and a Christian man who was loved by many. Paul enjoyed traveling, especially to Las Vegas, where he had special friends and fond memories. His relish for golf was only surpassed by his love of family and friends, most of whom now will have a missing place in their hearts with Paul’s passing.

Arrangements were handled by Oyster Bay Funeral Home. Interment was private. A Celebration of Paul’s Life for extended family, friends, and associates will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation, 631-728-7387 (www.southamptonanimalshelter.com) or Wounded Warrior Project (www.woundedwarriorproject.org/Donate).