In Memoriam: Isabel Torigian Bedrosian, 90, active community member and devoted wife and mother
Published: Wednesday May 23, 2012
New York - Isabel Torigian Bedrosian died on May 16, 2012 at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, where she had been hospitalized for pneumonia.
Born in Watervliet, New York on July 1, 1921, Isabel was the youngest of four children born to Aghavni (nee Postoian) Torigian and Hayrabed Torigian.
After graduating from Watervliet High School, where she was fashion editor of the school's newspaper, Isabel worked for the department store Montgomery Ward as a typist.
On May 4, 1941, she married Alvin (Askanaz Der) Bedrosian of Troy, New York and the couple moved to Port au Peck, New Jersey where they both worked at Fort Monmouth - Isabel as a secretary and Alvin as an engineer in the US Army Strategic Research and Development Laboratory. After the birth of their daughter, Karen, in 1946 and son, Robert, in 1949, the family moved to Long Branch, New Jersey where they lived until 1954.
Upon Alvin's appointment as Liason Officer for the US Army's Scientific Liaison Office at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the family moved to Belmont, Massachusetts. There, Isabel worked part-time as a secretary for the head of the Nutrition Department at MIT and served as den mother for her son's cub scout group.
After Alvin retired in 1975, he and Isabel moved back to Long Branch, New Jersey, where Isabel joined the Armenian Relief Society, was secretary of the Parish Council of St. Stepanos Church in Elberon and was voted Mother of the Year by the church.
Both Alvin and Isabel were members of the Armenian Studies Advisory Council, established in 1977 by the Trustees of Columbia University, which raised the funds required to establish a Chair of Armenian Studies in the (then) Department of Middle East Languages and Cultures. Several years later, their son, Robert, received his PhD from this program.
Isabel was pre-deceased by her husband Alvin in 1985 and for the next 15 years she managed a book company, Sources of the Armenian Tradition, which published English translations of Classical Armenian historical texts translated by her son, Robert.
In 2000 Isabel was diagnosed with dementia and eagerly participated in various cognitive remediation programs and arts/therapeutic programs available for people with dementia and their caregivers, living the last 10 years of her life with her daughter, Karen. Despite the increasing limitations imposed by her condition, Isabel never stopped trying and was eager to please and to show her appreciation and affection for those who helped her, which made her beloved by all.
Isabel was a model mother and friend whose life was a gift she shared so generously and whose example and love will sustain those she left behind. She is survived by her grateful children, Karen Bedrosian-Richardson and Robert G. Bedrosian.
Funeral services will be held at St. Peter Armenian Apostolic Church in Watervliet, New York (100 Troy-Schenectady Road) on May 30 at 1 PM.