Albert S. Movsesian Personified Armenian spirit

HAVERHILL, Mass.—Albert (Shavarsh) Movsesian, a crusader for Armenian Genocide education and human rights, passed away on May 25 at Merrimack Valley Hospice House surrounded by his loving family.

The day coincided with his late wife’s birthday and occurred on the eve of Memorial Day, which he always observed as a proud veteran.

Albert S. Movsesian enjoyed being in the driver’s seat.
Albert S. Movsesian enjoyed being in the driver’s seat.

Long active in Armenian Genocide issues, Movsesian left no stone unturned when it came time to educate the public.

As a member of the Armenian Genocide Education Committee of Merrimack Valley, he traveled to schools along the North Shore and Greater Boston with stories drawn from his own family history and the persecution of 1.5 million Armenians in 1915 at the hands of the Ottoman-Turkish government.

Much of his presentation centered around the Near East Relief and the Armenian Orphan Rug, which was woven by his mother-in-law and other orphans during that time in Lebanon. Movsesian lobbied for its identity, traveling to the White House upon First Lady Hillary Clinton’s invitation to ensure proper recognition.

A month before his death, Movsesian attended a 99th anniversary commemoration at North Andover High School, where he was presented with an appreciation gift by the Armenian Genocide Commemorative Committee for his three decades of service.

As a respected member and former commander of the Arakadz Lodge, Merrimack Valley Knights of Vartan, he helped dispatch medical supplies to Armenia through the International Medical Equipment Collaborative (IMEC) in North Andover.

He was a Board member of the Armenian Library and Museum of America (ALMA) and belonged to the National Association of Armenian Studies & Research (NAASR). Movsesian also maintained a venerable career with the Armenian Church at Hye Pointe, where he taught Sunday School and served as a Diocesan delegate and Parish Council member over 55 years.

His church service earned him the prestigious St. Nerses Shnorhali Medal for distinguished service from the Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church of North America.

A World War II veteran with the Army Air Corps, Movsesian served as a radar technician before graduating from Boston University on the GI Bill. He worked at Liberty Mutual for 38 years, winning several awards for salesmanship.

For 22 years, Movsesian was an active volunteer and chapter president with Northern Essex Elder Transport (NEET), reaching out to 14 communities throughout the North Shore in furnishing rides to the incapacitated. For many, it became a transportation of last resort.

He was also involved as a board member for 15 years with the North Andover Council on Aging where he served as a program coordinator, often speaking to listeners about his ethnic history.

As an active member of the Boston Rotary Club, among his golden deeds was serving meals to deprived people and catering to their essential needs. He was also a Big Brother for 44 years and a member of Saggahew Lodge, AF & AM, of Haverhill for over five decades.

He often reminisced about his days as a competitive tennis player and his passion for beekeeping, along with the venture called “Movses Apiary,” sharing jars of honey as gifts. He was also an avid photographer.

Movsesian was born in Haverhill, son of the late Movses and Koharig (Mesrobian) Movsesian, and graduated from Haverhill High School. He was a longtime resident of Bradford and North Andover before spending his final months at Ashland Farms in North Andover.

For 40 years, he maintained a home in Freedom, N.H., overlooking Lake Ossipee, using it both as a family hiatus and personal retreat.

He was the husband of the late Charlotte (Gulezian) Movsesian, who died in 2012, and brother of the late Roxie Shamlian, Nance Movsesian, and retired U.S. Army Colonel Anthony A. Movsesian.

He leaves 2 sisters, Elinor Tate, and her husband John, of Lincoln, R.I., and Lucy Talanian of Milton, Mass.; 11 nieces and nephews; 9 grandnieces and grandnephews; his brother-in-law, Martin Gulezian of Methuen, N.H.; and several beloved cousins and friends.

A funeral service took place at Armenian Church at Hye Pointe. Memorial contributions may be made to Project SAVE Armenian Photograph Archives, P.O. Box 236, Watertown, MA 02471-0236 or the Armenian Church at Hye Pointe, 110 Main St., Haverhill, MA 01830.

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Tom Vartabedian

Tom Vartabedian is a retired journalist with the Haverhill Gazette, where he spent 40 years as an award-winning writer and photographer. He has volunteered his services for the past 46 years as a columnist and correspondent with the Armenian Weekly, where his pet project was the publication of a special issue of the AYF Olympics each September.
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