She was so selfless. She didn’t think she made a difference in this world, but she made all the difference.
Elizabeth Caroglanian Golden was born in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1922. She was a woman with an incredible dedication to empowering those in her life and though she was not fond of grand gestures or attention, she made those around her feel unique, seen, accepted and supported.
As the youngest of three in her family and the only girl, Elizabeth was committed to providing for her parents throughout their lives. She was a dutiful and devoted daughter. Her parents, Markar and Avedis, had immigrated to the United States from Western Armenia but they seldom spoke of their lives outside of the country. Fully integrated into the fabric of American life, the family would live through the Great Depression, surviving as best they could. During World War II, they sent their two sons, Anthony and Harry abroad to fight. Despite feeling American, the Caroglanians maintained a prominent Armenian heritage, speaking the language and preparing traditional food at home.
Admiring her brothers’ service and following their example, Elizabeth spoke frequently about enlisting in the military. In the end, she decided not to join in order to continue to care for her parents. Having graduated from Commerce High School with impressive secretarial skills in 1939, Elizabeth went on to work at a number of local companies. From Table Talk Pastry Co. to the United States Post Office, where she worked directly with the Deputy Post Master General until her retirement, her career was a manifestation of her meticulous, thoughtful and wholehearted approach to living life.
Elizabeth was dedicated to those she cherished most, and her selflessness was renowned in the family. “Auntie Betty was so committed to taking care of all of us,” her nephew Larry White explains, “she made sure we never doubted how important we were.” Having married later in life, she found herself a caregiver to her late husband. Larry recalls how, having never learned how to drive in her youth, she got behind the wheel in her late 60s to get her license. Her husband fell ill and she knew he would need to be driven to doctors so she forced herself to overcome her fear. For the next thirty years, Elizabeth would drive everywhere.
Proud of her ancestral roots, Elizabeth was an active member of St. Mark’s Armenian Church in Worcester, where she was admired by her many friends. She would look forward to cultural events and supported the church initiatives to engage the local Armenian community. Elizabeth was very conscious of the loss of life during the Armenian Genocide, was hopeful for international recognition of the injustice and cared deeply about the independence and prosperity of Armenia.
In 2017, Elizabeth passed away. During her life, she established a trust she hoped would enrich and benefit the Armenian culture, illuminating new paths to our ancient heritage. Her gift is consistent with her ceaseless support of the Armenian people through her life. “She was so selfless,” Larry says. “She didn’t think she made a difference in this world, but she made all the difference.”