Obituary: Dr. Keran Chobanian


BOSTON — Dr. Keran M. Chobanian died on August 14, days after celebrating his 90th birthday with close family members.

He was born in 1920 in Pawtucket, RI, to Vahan and Marina Chobanian, and grew up in a close-knit, extended Armenian-American family. He attended the University of Rhode Island, College of Pharmacy, before serving as captain in the US Marine Corps during World War II. He was wounded when his landing craft was hit by Japanese shells in the attack on the island of Saipan. He received a Purple Heart.

After completing his military service, Chobanian attended Brown University and then Temple University School of Medicine and received his medical degree in 1950. Following internship and residency in Boston hospitals, he began a successful 50-year career in internal medicine at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Mass.

In 1958, Chobanian married Kathleen Feeney. The couple resided in Belmont and raised two daughters, Mara and Lori.

Chobanian was an active member of  the Armenian-American community. He was a founding member and chairman of the board of the Friends of Armenian Culture Society, which has promoted Armenian music and musicians of Armenian heritage for more than 50 years. Additionally, he served as a founder of the Armenian Library Museum of America and the Armenian Assembly of America, as well as an active member of the Council of Armenian Executives.

Combining his work in medicine with his love of music, Chobanian served as the physician to the Boston Symphony Orchestra, accompanying the orchestra on its overseas tours. He was on the first visit of any US orchestra to the postwar USSR in 1956, as well as to China in the 1970s.

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Chobanian was the husband of the late Kathleen Feeney Chobanian and brother of the late Corken Edward Chobanian. He is survived by his daughter, Mara Gibson, her husband, Faison, and their children, Aram and Levon, of Ann Arbor, Mich.; his daughter, Lori Chobanian, her husband, Ed Harlan, and their children, Paul and Ani, of Sudbury, Mass. He also leaves behind his brother, Dr. Aram V. Chobanian, and his wife, Jasmine, of Natick, Mass. Additionally, he is survived by his sister-in law, Ruth Chobanian, of Belmont, and several nieces, grand-nieces, nephews and grandnephews.

Funeral services were held at St. Stephen’s Armenian Apostolic Church 38 Elton Ave., Watertown, on Thursday, August 19. Interment was in Newton Cemetery. Arrangements were made by Aram Bedrosian Funeral Home, Watertown.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Friends of Armenian Culture Society, Inc., PO Box 87, Belmont, MA 02478; St. Stephen’s Armenian Apostolic Church, 38 Elton Ave., Watertown, MA 02172 or Mount Auburn Hospital, 330 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge, MA 02138.

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