Obituary of Anahid Chatmajian Kurdian
With deep sadness we announce the passing of Anahid Chatmajian Kurdian on Friday, February 17, 2023. Anahid is survived by her best friend of 55 years and loving husband, Vahe Kurdian, her twin daughters, Joyce Shoghig Kurdian and Grace Shaghig Kurdian, her brother and sister-in-law, Harout and Ani Chatmajian, her sister Armineh Berberian, her nephew, Haig Berberian and wife Paige and their children, her nephew Arek Chatmajian and wife Alissa, her dear aunt Araxie, and many beloved cousins and extended family.
Anahid was born on February 8, 1947, in Jaffa to Hagop Chatmajian and Bayzar (Soultanian) Chatmajian, both children of Armenian Genocide survivors. A year later, her family was displaced due to the Arab/Israeli conflict, moving to Beirut. Amman was the next stop, where her father found work. Attending the Christian Missionary School (CMS) high school in Amman, she formed some of her closest lifelong friendships with peers from Taiwan, Slovenia, throughout Europe and the Middle East, reconnecting and traveling the world with them and their spouses decades later.
She attended the American University of Beirut (AUB) on a scholarship. Anahid was the first in her family to attend college and the first to earn two masters’ degrees. She loved to read and was always happy surrounded by books. At the time, Beirut was the “Paris of the Middle East” and AUB was the best university in the entire Middle East. While a minority in Lebanon, Armenians were very well represented at AUB in the 1960s. Survivors of the Genocide who were orphaned and displaced valued family, faith, and education above all else: they can confiscate all your material possessions, but no one can take away your faith or education. At AUB, Anahid studied linguistics, had a natural love of languages and was always at the top of her class.
One auspicious day, over coffee at a friend’s apartment, Anahid met the man who was her true equal and would soon be her partner in life and best friend, Vahe Kurdian. After their twin daughters were born, civil war erupted in Lebanon and Vahe and Anahid decided to emigrate to the US, seeking a life of stability for their young family. New Jersey became home.
Anahid lived her life with grace and dignity. She placed family and loved ones first, all while balancing work demands. She honored and loved our rich Armenian culture and language. She gracefully faced all of life’s challenges with faith and resolve. We were blessed to enjoy the many years of love, warmth, and happiness Anahid contributed to our lives.
Memorial Service: Monday, February 20, 2023 at St. Leon’s Armenian Church in Fair Lawn, NJ from 6-8pm, with church service at 7:30pm (livestream available at St. Leon Church’s YouTube and Facebook pages).
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Armenian General Benevolent Union’s (AGBU’s) Global Relief Fund ) or to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital (https://www.stjude.org)