Berge Panosyan was born in Uskudar, Turkey to Levon and Alis Panosyan, with whom he was reunited in heavenly rest on January 29, 2021.
Berge was a loving husband to Denise (Darmanian), an adoring father to his son Armen (16), a devoted brother to Bedros (Zabel) and Bercuhi (Renan), a compassionate and affectionate uncle to Karoon, Selin (Forest), Axel and Lori, a faithful and unwavering godfather to Christina and a loyal friend.
Berge was educated at the Semerciyan Cemaran in Uskudar, Turkey, the Murad Rafaelian College in Venice, Italy and graduated as an electrical engineer from the University of Munich in Germany before emigrating to the United States.
Berge was a silent rock launched into the river of life, sending ripples ever outward into the future, touching the lives of all he met around the world, including especially the youth of Armenia, on his beautiful journey through life. Tributes poured in as news of his untimely passing spread. “Kind – thoughtful – respectful – optimistic – joyful – nationalistic – glass half full – and with faith in God,” said Chicago’s former public health commissioner Dr. John Wilhelm as he eulogized the dear friend he met after the 1988 earthquake in Armenia.
“It is devastating for all of us,” said Dr. Taner Akcam in his condolences. “He was an amazing person, a good friend. I will never forget what he did for me and for the Armenian people. Without him, I could not create the Krikor Guerguerian Archive. He was the backbone of the project; he will live with me forever.”
“In Berge I found a kindred spirit and a kind soul, a true Armenian dedicated to his people,” recalled Armenian Revolutionary Federation Eastern USA Central Committee chairman George Aghjayan. They met in 2017 during the infancy stage of the significant changes at the Hairenik building in Watertown, Massachusetts. Berge had previously been to the building to recommend scanning of the newspapers, but the work truly progressed when as Aghjayan put it, “he saw our renewed commitment…he embraced it fully as a passion project.”
“For the uninitiated, it is hard to imagine what that fully means,” recalled Aghjayan. “Every time Berge would be in Massachusetts, he would take more boxes of old, crumbling newspapers. Occasionally, I would make the trip to New York to drop off and take back more and more boxes. His garage had become a storage facility for Hairenik newspapers. He and his staff would painstakingly separate each newspaper for scanning. Each of these trips, sometimes with my wife joining me, were a joy with the opportunity to sit and chat with Berge and his wife Denise. The last time I saw Berge was in November completely unexpectedly in Washington, DC. The random meeting brought such broad smiles and excitement to each of us that I believe those with us thought we were two long lost friends being reunited for the first time in decades. And that is how it is when you have a connection with someone grounded in common pursuit of the Armenian cause. Berge had vision and he had commitment to see these projects, and others like them, through to the end and he did so humbly without any recognition. The last year has been cruel to the Armenian people taking away so many of our best and brightest and for me personally, and the entire Hairenik family, Berge represented the best of the best.”
The Armenian Weekly Editorial Board extends its sincere condolences to the entire Panosyan family with gratitude for his generosity and commitment; without Berge, the Hairenik Digital Archives would not have been possible.
To memorialize Berge’s commitment to education and his enthusiasm to inspire the next generation, donations may be made to:
Holy Martyrs Armenian Day School
209-15 Horace Harding Expressway
Oakland Gardens, NY 11364