In Memory of Anahid Kouyoumjian

Anahid Kouyoumjian

Anahid Kouyoumjian, also known as Diane, Dee Dee or Auntie Dee, passed away peacefully in her home in Watertown on March 1, 2022. She was 81 years young. Growing up in Watertown, Dee was very involved in the Armenian community and loved the comfort and stability that the Armenian Apostolic Church provided throughout her life. She was the daughter of the late Toros Kouyoumjian and Paris Sohigian. Most of her family predeceased her, including her sister Lucy Johnson of Rhode Island; her niece Janie Johnson Rogan; her great niece Erica Pederson; her brother Harry Koumjian and his wife Madeline of Arlington; her first cousins Haig Deranian and his wife Donna of Belmont, and Charlotte “Shake” Eordekian of Watertown. Even though Dee felt these losses very deeply, she continued to enjoy her close relationships with her nieces, nephew and their children, as well as her cousin’s children and grandchildren.

A graduate of Watertown High School, Dee worked in Harvard Square for University Travel and then American Express as a travel agent. Her clients, many of whom were from Harvard University and Harvard Business School, were loyal to her year after year. She believed in great customer service and work ethic. She was able to bring these values to her niece Karen’s optometry practice after retiring from the travel business.

Close childhood friendships from the Watertown schools and Armenian community meant everything to Dee. She loved to travel and enjoy vacations with her friends to places like Jerusalem, Morocco, Armenia, Puerto Rico and Disney World. Always supportive and encouraging, she was a comfort and never hesitated to be available, especially in times of need.

Dee always said she felt young at heart. She enjoyed talking to the younger generation and took interest in their lives. She believed in their dreams and successes and their potential for making the world a better place. She loved living in the Boston area and going to the theater and out to dinner with family and friends. Dee had an avid interest in politics and loved discussing current events, always ending a discussion with a laugh and smile.

Dee was proud of her Armenian culture and was a lifelong parishioner of St James Armenian Apostolic Church. She especially loved the music of the Armenian church service, the Armenian foods she cooked and shared, and all of her Armenian friends. She was a volunteer for many years at the Armenian Nursing Home in Jamaica Plain.

Auntie Dee Dee leaves many nieces and nephews, and their families: Linda Pederson of London Ontario and daughters Ingrid and Kristen; Judith Johnson-Bishop of Rhode Island; sons of Janie Johnson Rogan, Sean and Matthew Rogan and their families of Rhode Island; Karen Koumjian and her daughter Alexis Cheney of Waltham; Kevin Koumjian of New Hampshire, son Alec and family; Lauren Koumjian of Vermont, husband David Yandell and sons Evan, Duncan and Wilson; Pamela Koumjian Gechigian of Concord, husband Ara and daughters Lara and Sophie; Andrea Koumjian of Acton, husband Stephen Trimble, children Melissa Bressner and husband Ryan, Lauren (Aunt Dee’s goddaughter), and Eric.

Dee was also “Auntie Dee Dee” to Haig and Donna’s children and grandchildren. She was like a second mother to them and loved spending time with them. She leaves Greg Deranian, his wife Adrianne and their sons Nico and Christian; Jason Deranian, his wife Jennifer and their sons Sam and Sebastian; and Jennifer Deranian Granfield, her husband Mossey and their daughters Sophia and Mackenzie.

Dee admired Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis for her grace, fashion and devotion to family. Indeed, Aunt Dee had grace, fashion and was also devoted to family and friends. She was well loved by her family, friends and all those touched by her generosity and kindness. She is sadly missed.

Funeral service will be held at Saint James Armenian Church, 465 Mount Auburn Street, Watertown on Friday, March 11 at 11:00 a.m. Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend. A visitation period will be held at church from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. immediately prior to the funeral service. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Saint James Armenian Church. Interment at Ridgelawn Cemetery, Watertown.

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Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles or press releases written and submitted by members of the community.
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