OBITUARY

Ziazan Antonian

May 29, 1923January 9, 2019

Ziazan Antonian

May 29, 1923 - January 9, 2019 Our mother was born in Yerevan, Armenia. She was named Ziazan, meaning rainbow, a symbol of new beginnings and new hope because she was born the day after the anniversary of Armenia’s independence: May 28, 1920.

She was the first child of Arshak and Vartanoush Saroukhanian. Her father was an active member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Armenian Dashnak party) who worked toward the independence of Armenia. Her mother was a survivor of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. As a military family, they had to constantly relocate. Her life began in Armenia; the Russian occupation of Armenia sent her family into exile to Astrakhan, Russia on the Caspian Sea. The family fled for their freedom to Tabriz, Iran. Mom was fifteen years old when her father was assassinated. Her formal education was interrupted as she needed to help care for her three brothers and support the family. Mom was hired as an apprentice in a friend’s compounding pharmacy. As an assistant pharmacist, she would prepare formulations following written recipes, such as formularies for headaches, and manually fill toothpaste tubes. As a hobby, she started tailoring clothes and took lessons from a local Armenian seamstress to sew dresses for herself. Tailoring became mom’s creative outlet as well as her profession.

Mom met Dad, Galust, at a private party in Tehran, Iran. After three months of courtship, they were married on September 16, 1953, and eventually had two daughters, Lida and Edna. Mom and Dad were loving parents who remained married to each another for 65 years.

Mom came to the United States in 1970 with her family. She attended night school for English as a second language. She was interested in world politics and she would read both the Armenian Hairenik newspaper as well as local papers. She also took sewing classes to learn pattern making, refined tailoring methods, and couture design, all using industrial machines, and thereby making herself employable in a new country. Her sewing métier was quite marketable, and she was hired as a sample maker for several boutiques in the Manhattan Fashion District.

Mom was a dedicated and supportive parent. She made many school uniforms, and tailored many of her daughters’ clothes from patterns that she made. When Edna was a graduate student, Mom took the train from New York to Philadelphia and came to stay with her for a weekend for moral support while Edna was adjusting to living away from home for the first time. Mom enjoyed meeting her daughters’ friends from elementary school years up to graduate school years. Her benevolent heart continues to be appreciated to this day by one of Lida’s graduate school friends, who Mom housed and nurtured during a difficult time. Mom had a soft spot for vulnerable people, and gave them new beginnings and hope. Mom was loving, empathetic, sincere and bright. She was a polyglot, speaking Armenian, English, French, Russian, and Farsi.

We appreciate all the sacrifices you have made for our family Mom; raising us and then taking care of our children as we built our own lives. We love and cherish you, always.

Ad perpetuam memoriam of Ziazan Antonian. She is survived by her husband Galust Antonian, daughters Lida and Edna, brothers Haroutun and Kayzer, and grandchildren Charlotte, Emily, Andrew, and David. She was predeceased by her brother Hamayak.

Services

  • Celebrating a Life Monday, January 21, 2019
  • Funeral Service Monday, January 21, 2019
  • Committal Service Monday, January 21, 2019
REMEMBERING

Ziazan Antonian

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Lida Antonian

January 24, 2019

I have a prayer reading for Ziazan on behalf of my father, Galust, Edna and me.

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona nobis pacem.

Lord, we remember before you today your faithful servant, Ziazan; and we pray that, having opened to her the gates of larger life, you will receive her more and more into your joyful service, that, with all who have faithfully served you in the past, she may share in the eternal victory of Jesus Christ the Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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