Dertad Manguikian, M.D. passed away on November 17, 2023. He is survived by his wife, Seta; children Tina Arda Manguikian, Andre Levon Manguikian (wife Jessica Barsamian) and Alex Dertad Manguikian (wife Jill Ford); grandchildren William Dertad Manguikian, Fiona Antaram Manguikian, Andrew Levon Manguikian and Alexander (“Zander”) Dertad Manguikian; and brother Bedros Manguikian. He is preceded in death by his brother, Arshak, and sister, Yeran.
Dr. Manguikian was born in Aleppo, Syria to Yervant and Ardemis Manguikian. Despite his parents having been displaced by the Armenian Genocide and subject to difficult circumstances, Dertad experienced happiness as a child with the love and friendship of his siblings Arshak, Yeran and Bedros as well as all his extended family and cousins. Love and loyalty to family was a tenet of his character and persisted throughout his life. In his early years, Manguikian was known to be playful and even a bit mischievous. As a child he loved to play soccer, ping pong and backgammon.
Dr. Manguikian, to say the least, excelled in school. He attended Aleppo college in Syria for high school and then moved to Beirut to attend the American University of Beirut. There, he experienced his formative years and made wonderful lifelong friendships. Manguikian was accepted to the American University of Beirut School of Medicine and graduated in 1966. It was during these years that he learned to apply his compassionate heart and keen intellect to alleviate human suffering, and he was extremely good at it. Despite being at or near the top of his class semester after semester, year after year, Manguikian chose to pursue a residency in what was a rather unpopular specialty at the time, ophthalmology. Fate would have it that ophthalmology would be Dr. Manguikian’s passion in life and the perfect conduit to serve his fellow man. Ophthalmology would not be the only grace bestowed upon him during his time at AUB. On those grounds is where he met his future wife Seta and fell in love. They celebrated 53 years of marriage this past January.
After completing residency, Manguikian pursued a prestigious fellowship at the University of Iowa, specializing in the medical and surgical management of glaucoma. Moving from Beirut, Lebanon to Iowa City, Iowa in 1969 was a bold leap into the unknown. As always, Manguikian flourished and excelled at his work. Medicine and ophthalmology apparently were not the only things on his mind during this year. He proposed to Seta and they were married in Los Angeles in 1970. Dertad and Seta had three children together: Tina, Andre and Alex. He loved each of them uniquely and with all his heart, and they were his pride and joy.
Now with his new bride and having completed his fellowship, a decision needed to be made regarding how and where to settle and establish roots. Dertad and Seta chose to move to the Washington, D.C. area, where Dr. Manguikian became assistant professor of ophthalmology and eventually became residency director at the George Washington University School of Medicine Department of Ophthalmology. Fate, again, would serve Manguikian well. He was introduced to a retiring physician, Robert Dupree M.D., by his friend and colleague, Paul Gavaris M.D. Dr. Manguikian worked with Dr. Dupree for several years in private practice and then established his own private practice, Fairfax Eye Associates. Dr. Manguikian worked tirelessly in private practice becoming a highly skilled and renowned cataract surgeon who was trusted by his colleagues and beloved by the patients he served. He loved his work and he loved his patients. It gave him tremendous joy to help others, which he believed to be his mission in life. The same blessed space where he practiced for over 45 years is now carried on by his son Alex. Dr. Manguikian retired in March 2020 at the age of 79, while still at the top of his game. So many people that read these words can do so because of Dr. Manguikian’s dedication to the restoration and preservation of vision and human health. He was honored to help and considered it his duty.
The Armenian church was the spiritual foundation of Dr. Manguikian’s childhood and remained so through his life. He considered the church the fabric that kept his family close and deeply connected to the Armenian community. Recognizing the vital role of the Armenian Apostolic faith as the very core of Armenian national identity, Dr. Manguikian served the church in countless capacities, from the parish level all the way to the Holy See of Cilicia. Even with all his many personal and professional obligations, he devoted himself fully to the Armenian church. It came naturally and effortlessly to him. Dr. Manguikian cherished opportunities to give back to his community, to advance the Armenian cause and to honor his rich heritage as an Armenian and a Christian.
Lastly, Dr. Manguikian deeply loved his grandchildren—William, Fiona, Andrew and Zander. He received daily updates on all their activities, was very proud of each of them and enjoyed nothing more than spending time with them. It gave him great pride, happiness and comfort to know that his life’s work and legacy would live on through his children and grandchildren. His presence will be deeply missed by his family, friends, patients and the community at large.
We have lost a great man loved by so many but gained tremendous inspiration by his humble examples, good deeds and friendships. May he rest in peace knowing that his work is complete.
Dr. Manguikian’s wake will be held on Tuesday, November 28, 2023 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Fairfax Memorial Funeral Home, 9902 Braddock Road, Fairfax, VA 22032. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, November 29 at 10 a.m. at the Fairfax Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, 9902 Braddock Road, Fairfax, VA 22032, followed by interment at 11 a.m. at the Fairfax Memorial Park Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Soorp Khatch Armenian Apostolic Church, 4906 Flint Dr, Bethesda, MD 20816, (301) 229-8742, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Reddy2Fight Foundation, 3111 Via Dolce, Suite 406, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292, (703) 624-5797, email@example.com.