Celebrating the life of Robert Aram Kaloosdian, a pillar of the Armenian community

The Greater Boston Armenian American community recently bid farewell to one of its most dedicated and esteemed members, Robert Aram Kaloosdian, who was laid to rest on Thursday, May 16. Kaloosdian’s legacy as a passionate advocate for Armenian heritage, culture and education leaves an indelible mark on the community he cherished and served with unwavering dedication.

Kaloosdian, age 93, of Belmont, Massachusetts passed away on May 12, 2024. He was the beloved husband of Marianne (Voynick), devoted father of Paul and his partner Carl Johnson, Lori and her husband Roland Pease, and Sonia and her husband Brian Hale. The cherished grandfather of Marianna and Nathaniel Pease, Alexandra, Julia and Emily Hale, he was the adored great-grandfather to Ava. Born October 29, 1930, he was the son of the late Paul and Grace Kaloosdian and brother of the late Knarig Shrader. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army, Korean conflict. Funeral services were held at St. Stephen’s Armenian Apostolic Church in Watertown.

Throughout his life, he was deeply involved in numerous organizations that helped establish Watertown as a hub of Armenian culture on the east coast. Kaloosdian’s work was instrumental in fostering a sense of unity and pride among Armenian Americans.

For a decade, Kaloosdian served as the chairman of the American Committee for the Independence of Armenia, an organization with roots dating back to 1918. This committee, established by American public figures, was crucial in advocating for Armenian independence. Kaloosdian’s leadership was pivotal in continuing this advocacy, ensuring that the cause of Armenian independence remained in the public consciousness. Subsequently, he played a significant role in establishing the Armenian Assembly of America and leading it for many years.

Kaloosdian’s commitment to his heritage extended to his active involvement in the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF), of which his father was also a member. Serving on the Central Committee of the ARF in the United States, he worked tirelessly to promote the organization’s mission of preserving Armenian identity and advocating for justice for Armenians worldwide. His efforts culminated in 1965 when he played a key role in organizing the United Committee of Greater Boston. This was the first time all segments of the Armenian community came together to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, a testament to his ability to unite people for a common cause.

One of Kaloosdian’s many notable achievements was his leadership in constructing the Armenian Cultural and Educational Center (ACEC) in Watertown. As the head of the steering committee, Kaloosdian oversaw the development of this vital institution, which has since become a cornerstone of the Armenian community in the area. 

Kaloosdian’s dedication to his heritage was not confined to organizational leadership. After years of research, he published Tadem, My Father’s Village, a comprehensive account of his family’s ancestral village. The book, which received critical acclaim and won two awards, combines historical sources, memoirs and oral histories to paint a vivid picture of life in the Armenian village of Tadem. Kaloosdian’s passion for history took him on multiple journeys to historic Armenia, where he visited his father’s birthplace and documented the remnants of the village of Tadem. His research uncovered the harrowing experiences of his family members during the Armenian Genocide and the subsequent diaspora. By piecing together scattered scraps of evidence, he reconstructed the trials and tribulations faced by his relatives, particularly focusing on the women who endured unimaginable hardships.

Kaloosdian will be remembered as a gentleman, a patriot and a man of honor and dignity. His contributions to the Armenian community in Watertown and beyond have left an enduring legacy. The Armenian community mourns his loss and extends heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. His life’s work will continue to inspire and guide future generations, ensuring that the rich heritage and culture of Armenia remain vibrant and cherished.

Guest Contributor

Guest Contributor

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

1 Comment

  1. We pause in sadness, with an abundance of sympathy and respect, on Aram Kaloosdian’s passing.
    He was an extraordinary man, peerless in decades of devotion and meaningful service to the Armenian family and its nation.
    Sincere sympathy is extended to the Kaloosdian family on Aram’s passing.
    May God bless the soul of this Patriot without Peer.

    Harry Derderian

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