Obituary: Janet (Tevekelian) Jeghelian

Jeghelian, Janet (Tevekelian) of Walpole, formerly of Westwood, Mass. Feb. 3, 2018.

Janet (Tevekelian) Jeghelian

Beloved wife of the late Haig Jeghelian. Devoted mother of Armen and Tina Jeghelian and the late Robin Theriault. Loving grandmother of Emily. Sister of Claire Kushigian and her husband Harry. Loving aunt of Armine Kanis and Nairi Koroghlian. Also survived by many other family members and friends. Funeral service at Saint Stephen’s Armenian Church, 38 Elton Avenue, Watertown on Saturday, February 10, at 10 a.m. Visiting hours will be held in Saint Stephen’s Armenian Church on Feb. 9 from 4-8 p.m. Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the St. Stephen’s Armenian Apostolic Church of Watertown, AYF Camp Haiastan, or the Armenian Women’s Welfare Association (AWWA). Interment at Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge.

Janet Tevekelian Jeghelian graduated from Newton High School and from Boston University’s Sargent School for Physical Therapy. She furthered her training at the New York University Bellevue Medical Facility, where she treated an impressive list of patients, including Roy Campanella, a famous baseball player. She returned to the Boston area and continued her career as a physical therapist and in fact was the personal therapist for Joseph Kennedy, the U.S. President’s father, at the Kennedy compound in Hyannis.

She and Haig (Gunder) Jeghelian rekindled their friendship and married in 1960. They were a dynamic couple. Gunder was working in creative marketing at Gillette, and Janet’s newfound passion for politics began in 1972, when she was the first female elected as a Westwood selectman. They raised three children over the years, the late Robin Theriault, along with Armen and Tina Jeghelian.

Her intelligence, quick wit, and drive for current events eventually led to another career as a well-known radio talk show host for WRKO and WBZ. You may recall commonly seeing Janet’s picture on billboards and buses throughout Boston during those years. The Ted & Janet show in the 1980s was highly ranked among the Boston AM Morning Talk Radio market.

She was then sought after as a spokesperson for various fundraisers and charitable events. For example, for many years she hosted the Easter Seals telethon on WBZ television. Her broadcasting successes led her back to the political arena. Janet ran as a candidate for the US Senate and for the Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor position.

Before retirement, she was the director of rehabilitation at the Stone Institute.

Janet’s community involvement was extensive. She was a Trustee of St. Stephen’s church and a member of its Ladies Guild and Church choir. She also sang in the Yerevan Choral Group and served as board president for the Armenian Women’s Welfare Association and as a Trustee for Boston University.

Very athletic from a young age, Janet enjoyed participating in the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) Olympics and earned the Boston Siamanto chapter a total of 35 points in the baseball throw and high jump events. She loved watching the Patriots, the Boston Bruins, and the Celtics, and always enjoyed playing tennis, especially with her sister, Claire Kushigian.

Janet’s cherished moments were spent entertaining with family and close friends. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the St. Stephen’s Armenian Apostolic Church of Watertown, AYF Camp Haiastan, or the Armenian Women’s Welfare Association (AWWA).

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  1. I am so sad to have seen this just now. I always admired Janet from afar. She was an inspiration – intelligent, gracious and beautiful. My sympathies to her family. Asdvadz hokin loosavore.

  2. I just now learned of Janet’s passing…shocked and so saddened.
    Janet and I have known each other over 50 years…both of us were
    in AYF and “played together” as children at Camp Hayastan in
    Franklin, where she and her family visited with our family and where
    we went to dances together. She also was so helpful for my good
    friend, Evelyn Astorian, helping her as a physical threrapist for so
    many years at the Stone Institute. She always lit up the room when she walked in…and she helped so many patients with her upbeat attitude and helpfulness. She was a good friend, and I will miss her. My sincere condolences to Janet’s family.

  3. I was so saddened to learn of Janet’s passing. We played together
    in our youth at Camp Hayastan in Franklin…and she and her family
    visited my family quite often. Over the last 50 years, I have seen
    her at various times and especially when she was helping my friend,
    Evelyn Astorian, at the Stone Institute, with physical therapy…she
    did wonders for her and so many other patients. Her smile would just
    light up the room when she walked in…both in her personal and
    professional life.
    She was a good friend, and I shall miss her. My sincere condolences
    to her sister and family.

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