YEREVAN—Benefactor and philanthropist Hasmig Paris Hovnanian, the wife of the late businessman and benefactor Vahakn Hovnanian, passed away on Nov. 20, in Yerevan.
Over the years, Mr. and Mrs. Hovnanian dedicated themselves to supporting and preserving Armenian culture and heritage, and revitalizing the independent Republic of Armenia. The couple played a prominent role in promoting the educational, religious, and cultural needs of the Armenian community in the northeastern United States.
The Hovnanians were also longtime supporters of the Hairenik Association, and the Hairenik and Armenian Weekly newspapers.
In 1969, Vahakn and Hasmig Hovnanian were honored for their efforts with a Knighthood in the Order of the Great House of Cilicia and as a Lady of the Great House of Cilicia, respectively, by His Holiness Khoren I, Catholicos of Cilicia.
One of the greatest achievements of Mr. and Mrs. Hovnanian was the founding of the Armenian School in New Milford, N.J., in 1976, which was renamed in 1984 to the Hovnanian School in their honor.
In 1995, the Hovnanians endorsed Armenia’s participation in the Venice Biennale and initiated fundraising for the first Armenian Pavilion. They organized and chaired an international ball held in Venice where more than 250 Armenians from around the world gathered to support Armenia’s entry into the international arts scene. While planning this event, they initiated the Kantz Foundation to support young aspiring Armenian artists. Through the Kantz Foundation and the Vahakn and Hasmig Hovnanian Foundation, they have supported more than 100 young artists from Armenia and outside in their pursuit of prominent careers in the fine and performing arts.
Vahakn Hovnanian passed away on Aug. 31, 2015, at the age of 83.
Mrs. Hovnanian’s wake will be taking place on Nov. 21 at 5:30 p.m. at the St. John the Baptist (Surb Hovhannes Mkrtich) Armenian Apostolic Church in Yerevan’s Kond district. The funeral service will be taking place the following day, Nov. 22 at 11:30 a.m., the following day.
The ARF Eastern Region Central Committee mourns the death of philanthropist Hasmig Hovnanian, a supporter of the Hairenik Association, and the Hairenik and Armenian Weekly newspapers. The Central Committee extends its condolences to the family and loved ones of Mrs. Hovnanian—her passing is a loss to the Armenian nation.