Bedros Peter Stepanian passed away peacefully following surgery on June 22, in Niagara Falls, N.Y. Bedros from Amarij* (in Keghi county) preferred to be called “Dashnak Pete,” and attended many Armenian functions no matter the location, including Detroit where he had many friends. He was a long-time subscriber to The Armenian Weekly and frequently corresponded with me, a fellow Keghetsi. He will be sorely missed.
He retired as a railroad engineer and in recent years suffered with several health issues. His death heralds the sad realization that many of the first generation born in America are passing away. We are left wondering who will love Armenia and continue our search for genocide recognition and justice, like his generation had done.
Bedros from Amarij wanted no wake or funeral. He donated his body for medical research to the University of Buffalo Medical School. This is a magnanimous gesture on behalf of a truly remarkable Armenian American.
Please remember him in your prayers. May he rest forever coursing the fields and mountains of his beloved Keghi. Bedros, you will be missed by all of us who valued your friendship.
Betty Apigian Kessel
*Amarij is now called Ayanoğlu. Prior to the genocide, the village was home to 139 Armenians in 20 households.