Haig Merian of Newton Highlands died Tues., Feb. 1 in Newton, Mass. Born in Tzovinar, Armenia, Haig was the son of the late Baghdibeg and Nectar Davidian Meguerdichian. He attended the University of Yerevan in Armenia’s capital and taught elementary school until he was drafted by the Soviet Army. He served as an officer during World War II and performed as a dancer in the Red Army Red-Bannered Song and Dance Ensemble of the USSR. Haig immigrated to the United States in 1946. Here he met his wife of 60 years, the late Alice Sarafian of Newton, Mass.
Soon after he came to the U.S., Haig joined the Ashod Arzruni Armenian Chorus and Dance Group. Later, in 1948, he and Mike Haroutunian co-founded the Armenian Folk Dance Group of Greater Boston that was sponsored by the International Institute. For over 15 years, Haig led the group in performances throughout New England with shows in area colleges including Harvard, MIT, and BU. The dance group also performed at the Boston Esplanade, the 1964 New York World’s Fair, and on WGBH television. In the summer of 1963, Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pa. invited Haig to teach Armenian dances to the Tamburitzans, a premier multicultural song and dance company.
Haig’s knowledge of oriental rugs assisted him in his first job at Paine Furniture Company. After working there for several years, he decided to start his own business, “Merian Carpet Service.” His entrepreneurial endeavor proved very successful as he and his son have served the carpeting needs of the Greater Boston area for over 50 years. An avid Red Sox fan, Haig was proud to provide carpeting services to the club under Tom Yawkey’s tenure. He also contributed to local organizations. In Newton, he was a Master Mason of the Norumbega Lodge for 49 years and a member of the Scottish Rites.
Haig was a founding member of the St. Stephen’s Armenian Apostolic Church in Watertown, Mass., and served on its fundraising committee in 1953. He then served as a member of the first Board of Trustees in1957 and as its treasurer for many years. He was also an active participant in the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF). Both of these organizations strive to meet the religious, cultural, and political needs of the Armenian community.
Haig Merian leaves his children, Susan Bécam and her husband, Michel, of Newton; Sonya, of Framingham; Daniel Merian and his wife Marina, of Framingham; and Diane, of Newton; as well as six grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
His funeral was held on Mon., Feb. 7 at the St. Stephen’s Armenian Apostolic Church in Watertown. Burial was at the Newton Cemetery.
Memorial gifts may be made to the St. Stephen’s Armenian Apostolic Church or the Armenian EyeCare Project, P.O. Box 5630, Newport Beach, CA 92662.
Arrangements were made by the Aram Bedrosian Funeral Home.