FREDERICK, Md. — Aram Hagop Kalikian, 88, formerly of Cranston RI, died on July 1. Born on October 20, 1924, to Hagop (born in Agn, Turkey) and Haigouhi Artinian-Kalikian (born in Bucharest, Romania) he grew up in Bucharest, with his sister, Louisa (1921) and brother Garabed (1923).
Due to the early and prolonged illness of his father, Aram became an apprentice to a master jeweler in order to help his family. Hardship followed him, as he lost his parents and brother in the early 1940s. However, by hard labor and honest application of his trade, he was able to survive the tough years during World War II in Romania and immigrated to Armenia in 1948 with his sister Louisa.
Unbeknownst to him, the same ship which transported him to Armenia was also carrying his future bride, Vassilica Effeian.
In Armenia he quickly earned a reputation as a trusted and well respected master jeweler, and trained many young apprentices along with a few of his fellow recent emigrants from the diaspora. He was instrumental in establishing the first fine jewelry manufacturing factory in the then-Soviet Republic of Armenia. The facility went on to become one of the major fine jewelry production facilities in the former USSR.
He was also a fine model maker, and many of his jewelry creations earned top prizes and awards.