In Memoriam: Aram Hagop Kalikian (1924-2013)

Aram Hagop Kalikian, 88, formerly of Cranston, R.I., passed away July 1, 2013 in Frederick, Md. Born on Oct. 20, 1924 to Hagop Kalikian (born in Agn, Turkey) and Haigouhi-Artinian Kalikian (born in Bucharest, Romania), he grew up in Bucharest, Romania, with his sister Louisa (1921) and brother Garabed (1923). Due to the early and prolonged illness of his father, Aram had a very brief childhood and schooling, and became an apprentice to a master jeweler in order to help his family. Hardship followed Aram, as he lost his parents and brother in the early 1940’s. However, through hard labor and an honest application of his trade, he was able to survive the tough years during World War II in Romania and immigrated to Armenia in 1948 with his sister Louisa. Unbeknownst to him, the same ship that transported him to Armenia was also carrying his future bride, Vassilica Effeian. In Armenia, Aram quickly earned a reputation as a trusted and well-respected master jeweler, and trained many young apprentices. Aram, along with a few of his fellow recent emigrants from the diaspora, was instrumental in establishing the first fine jewelry manufacturing factory in the then-Soviet Republic of Armenia. The facility went on to become one of the major fine jewelry production facilities in the former USSR. Aram was also a fine model maker, and many of his jewelry creations earned top prizes and awards.Kalikian

Aram and Vassilica Effeian met each other in Yerevan, and after a brief courtship were married on April 25, 1954. Aram and Vassilica immigrated to New York City in August 1973 with their two sons, Hagop and Varoujan. Soon after his arrival, Aram opened a small jewelry business on 47th Street, in Manhattan’s jewelry district. Here again, Aram soon became recognized as an honest and hardworking master jeweler. In 2007, Aram and Vassilica moved to Cranston, R.I. They were in the process of moving to Frederick, Md., when Aram succumbed to illness and passed away at Frederick Memorial Hospital. Aram and Vassilica were looking forward to beginning a new chapter in their long marriage by moving into their new apartment at Spring Ride Senior Apartments when Our Lord called him. Heaven must have been in need of a master jeweler.

Aram is survived by Vassilica, his loving wife of 59 years, their two sons Hagop and Varoujan, and their spouses Armine and Aida, and four grandchildren, Arpi, Aram, Arman, and Narek, his sister Louisa of Salem, Mass., and two nieces Haigouhi and Araxi, and their spouses Onig and Richard, and their children Ara, Manoug, Hasmig, Anahid, and Karine.

Despite having gone through much hardship and turmoil, Aram loved and enjoyed life, and was always infusing laughter and joy at many happy gatherings, by singing, reciting poems, and telling jokes. Aram loved to host friends and family at his home for all occasions, and especially enjoyed decorating Vassilica’s delicious preparations, and made certain the dining table was always well stocked and decorated for guests. He particularly enjoyed singing and was always complimented for his good vocals. Despite having limited education, he loved to read and was able to learn on his own to read, write, and speak three other languages, in addition to his native Romanian. He succeeded in learning how to read and write Armenian, Russian, and, finally at the age of 50, English. Aram was a caring and generous person, who always offered to help when he saw the need.

Aram loved life, and was loved by all who were lucky enough to get to know him well. He will be greatly missed.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in his memory to St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church, 4125 Fessenden St. NW, Washington, DC 20016.

Funeral service was held on Sat., July 6 at 11 a.m. at St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church, followed by burial at Mount Olivet Cemetery, 515 South Market St. in Frederick, Md.

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