Obituary: Rosalie V. Chorbajian, Longtime Capitol Hill Staffer

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WASHINGTON — Rosalie V. Chorbajian, 89, of Bowie, MD, a dedicated advocate for the Armenian community, passed away on March 19, surrounded by family.

Born in Worcester, to Sarkis and Maritza (Babolian) Gazoorian, she graduated from North High School and Salter Secretarial School, both in Worcester. She worked for 36 years for the United States government on Capitol Hill in various positions, earning a reputation for her professional skills and keen knowledge of government operations in Washington.

She was dedicated to government service making exceptional efforts to resolve constituent problems of every nature. Her assignments included work for the House of Representatives Select Committee on Ethics, as well as for several Congressmen and Senators including long time service for Rep. William St Onge of Connecticut, Rep. Robert Steele of Connecticut, Sen. Wayne Morse of Oregon, Rep. Herbert Zelenko of New York and Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey. During her last position as Office Manager for Rep. Pallone, she was influential in assisting the Congressman in founding the Congressional Armenian Caucus whose interests are focused on US relations with the independent nation of Armenia and the recognition of the Genocide of one and one-half million Armenians by the Ottoman Turks in 1915, a cause that was very important to her.

When Armenia became an independent nation, Pallone, Chorbajian and the entire staff became the first forces in Congress to insist that the United States had a vested interest in nurturing and supporting Armenia to be a free and independent nation. To this day, Congressman Pallone is dedicated to this cause and has shown himself to be a true friend of the Armenian people.

After retirement, Rosalie continued to lend her support and services to the Armenian Embassy and to other organizations to further advance the success of Armenia and its people.

She leaves her grandchildren, Christie Chorbajian of Bowie, MD, Jacqueline Chorbajian of Harrisburg, Penn., Peter (Jenni) Chorbajian of Dunkirk, MD, and Christian Chorbajian of Dunkirk, MD; her siblings, Natalie Barmakian of Belmont, Mass.; Lee Gazoorian of Haines Falls, NY and Marcia Gazoorian of Worcester; her great-grandchildren Luke and Carly; and several nieces and nephews. She also leaves an extraordinary family, the Ludwigs – Jeffrey, Sally, Jacqueline and Kahuhipa, whose love and support have sustained her and her grandchildren since the passing of her only son, Dr. James P. Chorbajian, in 2006 and his wife, Cheryl (Wolfe) Chorbajian in 2005.

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Rosalie was a member of St. Mary Armenian Church of Washington, DC, the Daughters of Vartan, as well as the National Association of Retired Federal Employees.

Rosalie was an intelligent, strong, loyal and caring woman whose values and principles earned her the respect of all those whom she encountered. She served as an example of strength and dignity for her family members and friends, and lived her life with a sense of purpose inspiring those around her to be “ladies and gentlemen at all times.”

Topics: Obituary
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