Rose DerSahakian, 103

Rose DerSahakian, 103, of Westborough, Mass., passed away peacefully on July 7 at her home, surrounded by her loving family.

She is survived by her daughter Teresa and her husband Timothy O’Day of Westborough, with whom she lived for the past 30 years; her loving grandchildren Michael O’Day, and his fiancée Rachael Gramet of Brookline, and Kevin O’Day of Worcester; her sister Mary Belazarian of Worcester; her niece Linda Kaufman and her husband Robert of Worcester; her nephew James Belazarian of Worcester; and many great-nieces and great-nephews.

Born in Harpoot, Armenia, she immigrated to the United States as a young child and eventually settled in Worcester with her family, where she grew up and spent the majority of her adult life. As one of the last survivors of the Armenian Genocide, which occurred during the early part of the 20th century, Rose was feted as an honored guest during Worcester’s commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the genocide in April 2015. At that time, Congressman James McGovern (D-Worcester) sent a special letter to President Obama celebrating Rose’s life as a survivor of the genocide, as well as the lives of all those who perished. As proud as she was of her Armenian heritage, she was equally proud to be a citizen of her adopted home country, where she lived a long, productive, and happy life surrounded by her loving family.

Rose’s family would like to extend its most heartfelt appreciation to Dr. Gerry Aurigemma and Dr. Nancy Bennett of Westborough, as well as Dr. Diane Karalekas of Worcester, for the special care they bestowed upon her for the past 20 years. A very special thanks is also extended to Josey Santos of Worcester, Rose’s loving and caring attendant and companion for the past 18 months.

Funeral services will take place on Thurs., July 9, at 11 a.m. at the Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church, 635 Grove St., Worcester. A calling hour from 10-11 a.m. will precede the funeral service at the church. Burial will be in Hope Cemetery, Worcester. Nordgren Memorial Chapel, 300 Lincoln Street, Worcester is directing arrangements. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), Wellesley, MA, or the Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church of Worcester.

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