He was immediately an integral part of our family, always celebrating holidays and special events with us. He will be missed.
Talia Jebejian Bouldoukian
Wherever Krikor Garo Anoushian (1936-2019) went, an Armenian church was bound to be nearby. He had an innate spirituality and deep knowledge of the Armenian Church, whether it was the Divine Liturgy, the vestments, or the sacraments that make Armenian Christianity unique. Starting from his earliest days in Istanbul’s Rumeli Hisar suburb, Anoushian’s family attended the nearby Saint Santoukht Church, where his father, Asadur, was the organist. Throughout his primary education at the Holy Translators School, followed by the Central Armenian High School (“Getronagan”), teachers and clergy noticed his devotion, and prepared him to serve on the altar.
Earning a scholarship, Anoushian then graduated in 1961 with a BS in Civil Engineering from Istanbul’s renowned American Robert College. His grandmother had once worked there as a seamstress. During this time, Anoushian served at the Yerevman Holy Cross Church, with an emphasis on choir work. But he knew Turkey was not the right place to fulfill his professional goals.
Luckily, he had received an assistantship from Duke University; after a semester he transferred to the University of Virginia, Charlottesville and graduated with an MS Engineering degree in 1963. A bridge design engineer position at the Virginia Highway Department followed, and he was just a few miles away from St. James Armenian Church in Richmond, where he was ordained an acolyte. Boswell Engineering brought him to New Jersey permanently, and he began serving at St. Thomas Armenian Church in Tenafly in 1965. He also joined the Gomidas Choir of the Eastern Diocese in Manhattan, and remained on its Executive Board for many years. His Holiness, Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, issued an encyclical to honor his decades-long dedication.
In the meantime, he was ordained a deacon in 1969, which is the highest rank obtained prior to taking on the cloak of priesthood. His widowed mother, Victoria, joined him that same year. Another fortuitous moment came in 1978 when the pastor of the Holy Cross Church in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan invited him to serve there for a few months, but it became his second home. He and his mother then gained a second family within the clan of Archbishop Tiran Nersoyan, who lived upstairs from the church. In his later years, even after he retired from his professional career, Anoushian was known as the stalwart soldier holding that church together, going in every Saturday to prepare the weekly bulletin and handling general matters.
“When Krikor first moved to America, he lived with us in the Bronx,” remembers his maternal cousin, Lauren Minasian Eichinger. “He was immediately an integral part of our family, always celebrating holidays and special events with us. He will be missed.”
Anoushian passed away in February 2019, leaving his estate in the safest hands to support the mission of the Church and AGBU’s commitment to education. Thus, the AGBU Krikor Garo Anoushian Memorial was established to award scholarships to students attending the American University of Armenia, a legacy to his enduring faith and desire to serve his community, and his belief that education was a cornerstone of a life well-lived.
This article was featured in the 2023 release of AGBU Impact Magazine. For more information on the AGBU Global Relief Fund, click here.