Dr. Hagop Martin Deranian, DDS (1922-2016)

WORCESTER, Mass.—H. Martin Deranian, 94, a prominent Worcester Dentist, passed away on Sept. 26 at his residence. Born in Worcester on Aug. 21, 1922, he was the son of Marderos and Varter (Bogigian) Deranian.

Dr. H. Martin Deranian
Dr. H. Martin Deranian

A graduate of South High School, Dr. Deranian furthered his education at Clark University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1945. Continuing on, he entered the University of Pennsylvania and received his D.D.S. in 1947. From 1947-1951, he was an Associate of Dr. Ronald M. King in Boston, prior to entering the United States Dental Reserve – Dental Corps of the US Navy in 1951. As a Lieutenant (J.G.) Dr. Deranian served overseas and independent duty during the Korean Conflict from 1951-1953.

Dr. Deranian has been in the private practice of general dentistry in Worcester from 1953 to his retirement in 2014 after more than 61 years.

He was a life member of the American Dental Society; a member, editor, and past president of the Worcester District Dental Society; a member and chairman of numerous committees of the Massachusetts Dental Society; past member and president of the American Academy of the History of Dentistry; a member of the American Prosthodontic Society; a member of the American Cleft Palate Association; a member of the American Medical Writer’s Association; and the founding president of the Armenian American Dental Society.

Community involvement was a hallmark for Dr. Deranian, as he served on numerous boards and committees i.e., Central Massachusetts Health Planning and Coordination Committee; Model Cities Health Supportive Services; Prescription Parents – a Cleft palate group; Planning Council of Community Services of Greater Worcester; and the Visiting Nurses Association of Worcester.

Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America, the nation’s premiere donor and volunteer-supported youth mentoring organization had a special place in his heart for over 50 years.

Dr. Deranian has been described on numerous occasions by friends, associates, and public figures as the consummate gentleman whose genuine approach to issues for humanity has no equal. On Nov. 6, 2014, Dr. Deranian was presented a Certificate of Special Recognition for his Outstanding and Invaluable Service to the Community by the Congress of the United States.

Some of the books authored by Dr. Deranian
Some of the books authored by Dr. Deranian

As a collector and exhibitor of antique dental equipment, Dr. Deranian established a turn-of- the century museum at Tufts Dental School of Dental Medicine. Among the many honors and awards Dr. Deranian has received were the Worcester Medical News Wisteria Award; the Who’s Who in the East Award (Marquis) recognition; the Hayden-Harris Award of the American Academy of the History of Dentistry; and the creation of the Dr. H. Martin Deranian Annual Fellowship Award established May 5, 1999 in his honor.

Dr. Deranian was passionate about his Armenian heritage and was a supporter of the Chair in Armenian Genocide Studies at Clark University. He was a 50-year member of Montacute Lodge of Masons, and a member of the Knights of Vartan since 1947.

Described by many as a “renaissance man” for his approach to issues as being a rebirth or revival, and noted as a prolific researcher and writer, Dr. Deranian’s numerous publications included The Village of Hussenig: Memories of the Heart and Hearth (1981); Hussenig: The Origin, History, and Destruction of an Armenian Town (1994); Worcester is America: The Story of Worcester’s Armenians, The Early Years (1995); Miracle Man of the Western Front: Dr. Varaztad H. Kazanjian, Pioneer Plastic Surgeon (2007); President Calvin Coolidge & The Armenian Orphan Rug (2013, 2014); Hagop Bogigian; Armenian American Pioneer & Philanthropist (2016). Deported/a Dream Play by Joyce Van Dyke based on the friendship between the playwright’s grandmother and Dr. Deranians mother, both of whom survived the deportation and Genocide as “resilient woman” (2012).

The Armenian Orphan Rug is viewed inside the White House in September 1984 by activists looking to preserve its identity. (L-R) U. S. Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Dr. H. Martin Deranian, and Set Momjian, a former ambassador to the UN
The Armenian Orphan Rug is viewed inside the White House in September 1984 by activists looking to preserve its identity. (L to R) U. S. Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Dr. H. Martin Deranian, and Set Momjian, a former ambassador to the UN

Dr. Deranian leaves his wife of 62 years, Virginia (Derderian) Deranian, a son, Jonathan Deranian of Grafton, and a daughter Lydia Deranian-George of Shrewsbury; three grandchildren, Chelsey, Jacob, and Samantha.

Family and friends are invited to join Mrs. Deranian for visiting hours on Sept. 29 from 5-7 p.m. in the Armenian Church of Our Saviour, 87 Salisbury Street, Worcester, Mass., and again from 10-11 a.m. on Sept. 30. The funeral service will immediately follow at 11 a.m., officiated by Der Aved Terzian. Burial will follow in Hope Cemetery, Worcester, Mass.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Dr. Deranian’s memory to the Armenian Church of Our Saviour, 87 Salisbury Street, Worcester, Mass., 01609 or to Clark University, Armenian Studies Program, 950 Main Street, Worcester, Mass., 01610.  Funeral arrangements are under the care of Philip G. Haddad, Jr. of Miles Funeral Home, 1158 Main Street, Holden.


  1. Dr. Deranian is the face of the Amenian Diaspora, the jewel in the center of our crown. He grew to become a successful dentist, a pillar in the Greater Worcester community while never forgetting his Armenian roots and heritage. His life is an honor to all of us! Steve Kurkjian

  2. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr Deranian 15 years ago, when I began my family tree and Armenian Genocide research. He was such a joy to meet – so generous with his knowledge and his time. I have also greatly benefited by reading his books, and his father’s Husenig book which he edited. I am greatly saddened to hear of his passing and extend my deep sympathy to his family.

  3. Here is a tribute to my dear friend Dr. Martin Deranian, who passed away on September 26, 2016 at the age of 94. A few months ago, during a phone conversation with me, he expressed regret for not having enough time to do more… He said, “…there is a lot to do Bared and I’m 94… “. Dr. Deranian was a giant of a man. He was behind the discovery of the “Orphan Rug” at the White House. A national treasure that was lost for over 75 years… Here is a segment of Orphans of the Genocide featuring Dr. Deranian.


  4. When God created Martin Deranian,He broke the mold. Throughout his venerable life, he made every day count. His work in perpetuating the memory of that Orphan Rug is undeniable. He was to Worcester and the Armenian Community what John Bunyan and Johnny Appleseed were to American folklore — larger than life!!!

  5. I met Martin Deranian in 2014, when he invited me to Worcester and into his home, on my quest to follow my family’s roots in America. He was a most remarkable man, of mild temperment and a demonstrable tenacious drive to make the Armenian history in America a present and living part of America’s history. I will always treasure the chance I had to spend a day with him and the opportunity to view the archive of materials he had collected that related to my great grandfather, the patriarch of our family in America.

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