Eugenie Seta Terzian (Mekhitarian) of Dedham passed away peacefully on December 2, 2021, at the age of 98. Beloved wife of the late John Mesrop Terzian. Devoted mother of Laura Terzian and her husband William; and Dr. John Terzian and his wife Donna. Loving grandmother of Rachel Louie and her husband Toby; Jeffrey Okerman, James Terzian and Jack Terzian. Cherished great grandmother of Ruby Louie. Loving sister of the late Alice Mekhitarian. She is also survived by her Ghazarian (maternal) and Terzian family members and many dear and close friends.
Seta, the name she preferred, was born in Cairo, Egypt on September 25, 1923. She loved her life in Cairo. She completed her education at The American University of Cairo and talked fondly of her alumna status. She worked as a young adult at the US Office of War Information in Cairo during WWII. In 1947, Seta and her father and mother headed off to the United States to join her mother’s family (Ghazarian) in New Jersey. Unfortunately, her mother passed away within a month of their arrival. This memory stayed with Seta for the rest of her life.
She moved to Boston, lived on Marlborough Street and worked for the Armenian Relief Society (ARS) in the old Hairenik Building. There she met and married John and began a proud family life in Dedham raising her two children. She went back to school to become a teacher, worked at Barber Colman Company, and spent many years working for Westwood Public Schools in the Special Education Department. She also obtained her real estate license.
Seta was proud of her Armenian heritage, and she dedicated her life to Armenian charitable causes, following in her father’s footsteps. Her father Kourken Mekhitarian was a journalist and Armenian political figure. He was the editor of the Armenian newspaper Housaper in Cairo and the Hairenik Daily in Boston. Seta involved herself in leadership positions in the ARS and later was a founding member of the Armenian Renaissance Association, Heritage Chapter. She also was a member of AIWA and delivered a speech at the 2000 AIWA Conference in Yerevan. She was so proud of this moment.
Later in her life she became an author and wrote a fictionalized memoir about her life entitled Two Girls from Heliopolis. It was a labor of love for her and a testament to the strength she showed coming to this country as a young adult.
Funeral services will be held at Saint Stephen’s Armenian Apostolic Church, 38 Elton Avenue, Watertown on Friday, December 10 at 11:00 am. Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend. Visiting hours will be held at the church from 10:00 – 11:00 am, immediately prior to the funeral service. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Saint Stephen’s Armenian Apostolic Church or to the National Association of Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR).
The family requests all attendees be masked, fully vaccinated and COVID-19 symptom free. The Terzian family is understanding of friends and family who cannot attend because of these requirements.
Interment will be at the Needham Cemetery, Needham.