Obituary: Roupen Barsoumian (1937-2013)

On Nov. 7, Roupen Barsoumian passed away at his home in Queens, N.Y. He left behind a dear sister, Silva Barsoumian (also of New York), and countless friends and loved ones.

Roupen Barsoumian
Roupen Barsoumian

Roupen was born on May 5, 1937, in Aleppo, Syria. He lost his parents at a young age, and was then cared for by his grandmother, Eliza Kahkedjian. A few years later, Roupen, along with his brother Hagop and sister Silva, were placed in a youth shelter run by the Armenian Relief Society. He enrolled at the newly founded school, Karen Yeppe. After completing his secondary education, Roupen spent a year teaching at the Armenian school in Kamishli.

After graduating from Haigazian College in Beirut, he continued his studies at the American University of Beirut, specializing in business accounting, after which he moved to New York in 1969. For some time, he owned and operated his own business that specialized in leather products. Later, he worked in transportation. In 1986, Roupen received the devastating news that his brother had been kidnapped in Beirut, during the Lebanese Civil War. Roupen would not see his brother again, and he carried that grief until the end.

Roupen’s lifelong commitment to serving the Armenian community led him to become one of the founders of the New York branch of Hamazkayin. He also brought his services to the Armenian Prelacy in New York, and was a cherished face in the Armenian intellectual circle of New York. Those who knew him remember his dedication to the Armenian language, and his dream that one day the Mesrobian orthography would be revived in Armenia.

Guest Contributor

Guest Contributor

Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles or press releases written and submitted by members of the community.


  1. Wonderful, great, smart, (there are no words to describe this incredible gentleman.) Rest in peace. Lucy

  2. Only tonight i , co incidenly came across your site,and saddened by the news of the departure of Mr. Roupen BARSOUMIAN 2 years ago! UNFORTUNATELY i do nt know the deceased personally ,even though i hold ,proudly ,the same Family Name…but felt and feel i lost a close member of my family.. also very touched by the story of his brother ??? in Beirut, we The Armenians, scattered all over the Globe call such calamities as THE STORY OF OUR LIVES. and also his sad childhood made my emotions respond,as i remembered my own late father Mr. YERVANT and my dear Uncle TAVIT BARSOUMIAN,S both endured similar calamities/ All i can say to THE ,close members of his family is that i send my sincere and deepest sympathy and my thoughts, go to all! and may Mr. ROUPEN who is resting in PEACE .. PEACE ,ALWAYS REMEMBERED by >ALL< his great achievements during his 76 years … and cherish his Good memory ! From IS-HAK or SAHAG BARSOUMIAN in London/Great Britain

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