Obituary of Zabell Kalayjian
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April 29, 2020 Diramayr Zabel Kalayjian (1923-2020) Diramayr Zabell Kalayjian, transitioned in eternal peace on Wednesday, 29 April 2020 at the age of 97 in Emerson, NJ of natural causes. Diramayr Zabell Kalayjian was born in Aleppo, Syria August 23, 1923, ‘when pears were ripened,’ as it was written in the family Bible of her parents George and Jamila Mardigian, who few years earlier had survived the Genocide and were forced to leave their ancestral Armenia and settled in Aleppo. Diramayr Zabell Kalayjian attended The Emaculate Conception (Անաղարտ Յղութիւն) High School in Aleppo, where she received academic excellence, and high honors for being hardworking, diligent, responsible, and intelligent. She was also admired for her beauty grace and striking sky-blue eyes. On 28 August 1938, she married Kevork Kalayjian, son of Girgi and Tervanda Kalayjian at Holy King Armenian Apostolic Church in Azez, Syria. They were blessed by 7 children: First son Zaven Kalayjian who became a priest, late Very Rev. Fr. Vertanes Kalayjian with Yeretzgin life time dedication to the Armenian Church and Youth Ministry, Zareh who died in infancy, Zarmine Boghosian writer, poet and educator - dedicated her life to teach Armenian children, Mary who died in infancy, Kevork who is a poet and a financial auditor, Ani Kalayjian Ph.D. psychologist – author and educator who has dedicated her life to helping victims of trauma, Vasken Kalayjian a branding specialist-artist-and author. Diramayr Zabell Kalayjian was gifted with 10 Grandchildren, and 16 great Grandchildren. Diramayr Kalayjian was a devoted Christian, dedicated to the Armenian Church and to her family. After her children were grown and successful in their endeavors and families, she devoted her time and energy to care for her grandchildren and shared her ministry with her extended family and friends In 1960 the Kalayjian family moved to Aleppo Syria to give their children access to better higher education, and in 1971 they immigrated to USA, to joint their first-born son, Rev. Fr. Vertanes & Yeretsgin Anahid Kalayjian, of St. Mary’s Armenian Church in Washington, D.C. Living in North Jersey, Diramayr was active in the Holy Cross Armenian Church Women’s Guild (Union City, NJ) and was honored with the 1979 Mother of the Year Award from the parish. In 2003, in recognition of her 80thbirthday. On that occasion a special education fund was established in Zabell’s honor. Diramayr Kalayjian homeschooled her children up to first grade, both in their religious studies, literature, arts, crafts, math and sciences. She was an avid reader of novels and The New England Journal of Medicine. Each morning she encouraged her children to read a verse from the Holly Bible before breakfast. She strived for excellence and instilled in her children a strong set of values and faith in God. She practiced the teachings of Jesus Christ, love and compassion for others and good work ethics. She instilled in all her children courage to follow their passions and excel in their careers of choice. Losing her firstborn son Fr. Vertanes Kalayjian was emotionally distressing for her, and she often expressed, “no Mother should bear to witness the death of her child.” Diramayr Kalayjian was a deeply spiritual Armenian Christian mother and caring mentor to others through her prayers and generous spirit. Lord’s words as advice was a common gift that she gave generously to everyone in the family, extended family, friends and neighbors. She had friends calling her from around the world to receive her blessings and advice. Diramayr Kalayjian was a matriarch very well described through the loving words of Yeretzgin Kalayjian who said: "Our precious Diramayr went to be with her son, Der Hayr. She was an angelic person, and we all loved her very dearly. She will have a special place in heaven! She will be adorned with crowns! We all have a lot to learn from her admirable life." Her death is mourned by her youngest sister Jaklyn Yahyeian, of Los Angeles, CA. Yeretsgin/Diramayr Anahid Kalayjian, Zarmine and Missak Boghosian, Kevork and Maral Kalayjian, Dr. Ani Kalayjian, and Vasken and Jacqueline Kalayjian. She is also mourned by her 10 Grandchildren and 16 Great Grandchildren are grateful for her angelic presence in their lives. As Dr. Abdo expressed it so well: “Your mom fought the good fight, she finished the race, and kept the faith. Her motherly angelic and saintly character will forever be etched in my memory. She was a remarkable mother, grandmother and great-grandmother whose energy, spirit, kindness and determination were admired by all who knew her. She had an amazing and inspirational life filled with friends and family and so much purpose.” She leaves this world a better world than the one she came into. She has given us her Five children – Der Vertanes, Zarminé Boghosian, Kevork Kalayjian, Dr. Ani Kalayjian, Vazken Kalayjian, - and 10 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. What a blessing! She is also mourned by her 10 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren and the Tashjian, Shamamian, Yahyahian and Mardigian families. All are grateful for her angelic presence in their lives. Whatever we say and whatever we do, we will always remain indebted to her. Even before taking her last breath her last words were “Thank you and God Bless you!” May God rest her soul and comfort all her loved ones. Kalayjian Family express sincere gratitude to friends and family from far and near for condolences and prayers. Details of the funeral will be shared soon. Due to the unfortunate situation regarding the current pandemic and the resulting lock down, her funeral services will be subjected to the physical distancing safety practice. In lieu of flowers, we suggest donations to: Meaningfulworld, HMADS. Private Burial on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 at George Washington Memorial Park, Paramus, NJ.
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