Raman was born in Istanbul, Turkey to Alber and Olga Kurkçubasi. He was raised in the Catholic faith and attended Armenian school as a young boy in line with his heritage, making and retaining lifelong friendships. As a child, he loved going on the boats that navigated the Bosphorus, and he was said to bring many stray cats home, only to have them evicted unceremoniously over the balcony by his mother. This did not deter him and established a pattern for his life – persisting at whatever he set his mind to. He lost his father early in life and went on to study structural engineering at the Istanbul Technical University. His educators were renowned European engineers and the classes were taught in French, German and English, languages he mastered in addition to his native Turkish and Armenian. He remained in close touch with his colleagues from this phase of life and was able to celebrate the 51st anniversary with them in Istanbul in 2004, a moment that he truly treasured.
His command and love of engineering brought him to Germany in 1958, where he met his wife of 63 years, Margot. Ever the family man, he brought his mother and sister from Istanbul and then went on to build a successful engineering design office in Frankfurt, specializing in tall buildings and long-span bridges. He was the youngest engineer ever to be appointed to the rarefied rank of Prüfingenieur, truly a feat for a young immigrant. He was always ahead of his time and was one of the first engineers in Germany to purchase a mainframe computer. He designed innumerable bridges (many over Germany’s famous Autobahns), office buildings, public swimming pools, and residences. His proudest engineering accomplishment was the revolutionary design of the tallest office building in Frankfurt at that time, in 1975. A true believer in the power of education, he sent his children to an English-speaking school in Germany in preparation for attending American universities. Eventually he moved the family to La Jolla, in search of the sun and water he had grown up with, as well as to pave the way for the children to continue their studies in America. Dedicated to his profession, he maintained his office in Germany and endured frequent intercontinental commutes until he eventually retired.
Life tested his stamina with cancer and heart disease. While he was able beat cancer many years ago, his heart ultimately could not keep up with his ongoing desire to accomplish more.
Raman died at home in La Jolla, with his family by his side. He was preceded in death by his youngest son Ramon. He is mourned by his wife Margot, sister Arlet, daughter Arlet, daughter Ingrid and spouse Gerard, his eldest son Albert and spouse Julie and two grandchildren, Martin and Nadine.
A private funeral service will be held in La Jolla, California. In lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to a charity of your choice.