Arpie Demirjian passed away peacefully on May 7, 2022 in Cambridge, MA. Arpie was born in 1943 in Beirut, Lebanon to Marie (Constantinian) Demirjian and Samuel Demirjian. After graduating from the Nishan Palandjian Djemaran Armenian school, Arpie relocated to Boston, Massachusetts where she received both an undergraduate (French, minor in Education) and a master’s (in Secondary Education and Counseling) degree from Suffolk University. Arpie settled in Los Angeles for a time and spent the rest of her life in the Boston/Watertown area.
A lifelong devotee of the humanities, Arpie taught French to high school students, worked for an organization that produced and archived periodicals for library systems across New England, worked as an editorial assistant and also served as an archive administrative assistant for Project SAVE in Watertown.
A tireless advocate, activist and volunteer, Arpie was a proud member of the Armenian community. She was a co-founder — along with Yervant Krafian and others — of the St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School in 1984 and served as chairperson of its inaugural School Committee during the first five years of its existence, helping to oversee the growth and development of an educational institution which has served as the cornerstone for Armenian bilingual education in the Boston community for nearly four decades. She was a longtime member of the Armenian Relief Society (ARS) for over half a century and served as a member of the ARS Cambridge “Shushi” Chapter since 1967. The ARS was a tremendously important part of her life. Arpie served on the executive committee at the chapter level several times, served as the ARS Eastern Region executive secretary in the mid-1990s, served as the ARS Central Executive secretary from 1972 to 1976 and served as both a national delegate and chairperson of the by-laws and scholarship committees in both Massachusetts and California. She also performed extensive volunteer work as an interpreter for the ARS Doctors and Nurses exchange program with Armenia in the early 1990s. She was a member of the Hamazkayin Cultural Association in Watertown for seven years.
She is survived by her devoted and loving son Christopher Davis, as well as her brother Varoujan Demirjian and several nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be announced at a later date.
In lieu of flowers and to honor Arpie’s last wishes to continue the tradition of meaningful charitable work in the Armenian community, memorial gifts may be made to the “Lebanon Emergency Fund” of the ARS Eastern Region, 80 Bigelow Avenue, #200, Watertown, Massachusetts, 02472.