Manuel Benzer

manuel benzer

February 18, 1933 ~ August 21, 2017

Manuel Benzer was born in Elazig Turkey in 1933 to Kalust and Hatun Benzer.

Kalust Benzer had been an orphan of the Armenian genocide and his stories of strength, courage and perseverance had influenced Manuel as a young boy and helped form his strong personality. He learned at a young age that endurance was a key to success in life. Manuel also had a younger brother Istepan whom he loved dearly and protected like many older brothers do.

Manuel attended Mkhitarian Armenian School in Turkey where he created bonds that would last a lifetime.

In 1960 he married Irma Mezaduryan and soon their first son, Sarven, was born. They had a good life in Turkey but Manuel wanted better opportunities for his family and in 1965 they emigrated to the United States.

Manuel went through quite a bit of hardship in his early years in America. He started his own business despite knowing very little English. As a result, after working all day, he had to take English classes at a local high school late into the night. But he was determined to make a good life for himself and his family, and he did. Irma and Manuel later welcomed a second son, Allen, and their family became complete.

Over the years, Manuel's store, Bianca, became a fixture on Lexington Avenue in NYC. His resilience and tenacity made Bianca the success it is today, and it now lives on run by his son Allen.

Manuel saw his son Sarven marry Armine Bodourian and welcomed two grandsons, Alec and Andre who he adored. Then his son Allen married Irma Keisoglu and welcomed a beautiful granddaughter Kalista who he cherished so much!

Even after Manuel retired, he still kept busy by working with his son Allen in the business, and even starting up a new Internet business. He couldn't just sit back and relax.

Manuel was a loving, kind man who always had a smile on his face and a spirit in his step. When someone asked him how he was, his answer always was “I'm excellent!” even in recent years when he was ill and we knew he wasn't all that excellent. But that was his irrepressible spirit coming through. That is exactly how he would want to be remembered. All who knew him respected and looked up to him. He was the backbone of his loving family and he will be missed dearly.

The family will receive their friends on Thursday 6:00 – 9:00 PM at the Frank A. Patti and Kenneth Mikatarian Funeral Home 327 Main Street "opposite the Fort Lee Library". All are asked to Assemble Friday in St. Leon's Armenian Apostolic Church at 11:00 AM. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Armenian Relief Society of Eastern USA, Inc. or St. Leon Armenian Church. For condolences, directions, or information call (201) 944-0100 or


Religious Service: August 25, 2017 11:00 am

St. Leon's Armenian Apostolic Church
12-61 Saddle River Road
Fairlawn, NJ 07410

Visitation at Funeral Home: August 24, 2017 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Frank A. Patti & Kenneth Mikatarian Funeral Home
327 Main Street
Fort Lee, NJ 07024

Final Resting Place: August 25, 2017 12:15 pm

Brookside Cemetery
425 Engle Street
Englewood, NJ 07631

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