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

21 January

Celebrating a Life

10:00 am - 11:00 am

St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church

200 W. Mt. Pleasant Avenue
Livingston, NJ 07039

21 January

Funeral Service

11:00 am - 11:40 am

St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church

200 W. Mt. Pleasant Avenue
Livingston, NJ 07039

21 January

Committal Service

12:30 pm - 1:00 pm

Hilltop Cemetery

18 Hilltop Road
Mendham, NJ 07945

REMEMBERING

Ziazan Antonian

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