John S. Bogosian, 79, of Newtown Square, who expanded The Camera Shop in Broomall to a chain of more than 100 stores, died of multiple systems atrophy March 21 at Riddle Memorial Hospital.

Mr. Bogosian grew up developing film in the West Philadelphia camera store of his father, Sarkis. "It was all dip and dunk," he later told a reporter.

After graduating from John Bartram High School, he served in the Navy in the States during World War II. He was called back to duty during the Korean War and was stationed at the Naval Photo Center in Washington, where he processed photographs for President Harry S. Truman and Gen. Douglas MacArthur, his daughter Karen said.

After his discharge, he earned a bachelor's degree at night at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania while working in his father's store. In 1955, he married Marge Berberian, whom he had met at an Armenian students convention in New York City.

Two years later, with a loan from his father, he opened The Camera Shop in the Lawrence Park Shopping Center in Broomall. The business expanded to include stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey and Delaware.

In 1967, Mr. Bogosian launched a second company, Visual Sound, an audiovisual production and equipment company.

"His customers, vendors, and even his competitors, were his friends," said his daughter, who now runs Visual Sound. "He loved his work."

"People use photography to remember fun things, vacations, weddings, a new baby," he told a reporter. "You are part of their good times."

In 1999, Mr. Bogosian sold Camera Shop Inc., which then numbered 72 stores, to Ritz Camera Center. He consulted for Ritz Camera for several years and continued to be involved with Visual Sound until he became ill five years ago.

He was past president of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club of Broomall, and the board of The National Armenian Student Association of America. He was founding chairman of the Small Business Council of Delaware County, served on Gov. Rendell's Small Business Council, and was a delegate to the White House Conference on Small Business from 1980 to 1986. He also served on the boards of Ocean City Tabernacle and Eastern University.

In addition to his wife and daughter, Mr. Bogosian is survived by a son, John Paul; another daughter, Joanne Ikeler; a brother; and twin granddaughters.

Contact staff writer Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or