Obituary: Virginia ‘Ginny’ Ohanian, Supporter of Armenian Causes

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BELMONT, Mass. — Virginia “Ginny” (Talanian) Ohanian 93, of Belmont, Boca Raton, Fla. and Osterville, Mass. died on Thursday, September 13.

She was the wife of the late Michael Ohanian, she is survived by her son, M. Bruce Ohanian and his wife Lu Ann, and daughter, Veronica Ohanian Heath and her husband Donn; grandchildren Jill Buck and her husband Ron, Michael Heath, Mark Ohanian and Zachary Heath and great-grandchildren Brendan and Thomas Buck. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

She was the daughter of Geragos and Veronica Talanian. She was the sister of the late Evelyn Mukjian and the late James D. Mukjian, the late Charles Talanian and his wife Nevart, and the late Albert Talanian and his wife Ann.

She lived the life she loved and loved the life she lived. She will be missed by all who knew her.

She and her late husband Michael were staunch supporters and core members of the Armenian Assembly of America from the beginning. They were close to Stephen Mugar and actively participated in all of the Assembly’s work. In 2013, she was honored, alongside Ann Hintlian and Nevart Talanian, with the Assembly’s Distinguished Humanitarian Award.

“Ginny was a remarkable individual with a sparkling sense of humor who cared deeply and passionately about Armenia and its people. Her generosity and commitment to Armenia and the Armenian Assembly served as an inspiration to us all. She will be missed greatly. This is a loss to the entire Assembly family,” Assembly Co-Chairs Anthony Barsamian and Van Krikorian said.

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After visiting Armenia and Artsakh as part of the Assembly Mission Trip in 1999, Ohanian became committed to the reforestation of the country. Of the thousands of supporters of the Armenia Tree Project no one individual has given as many “tree gifts.” She took it beyond just planting trees.

She had said: “I saw for myself the need for trees, jobs and education. I thought this was a fitting way to memorialize Michael’s and my ardent devotion to the Armenian Assembly,” thus giving the funds to open the Michael and Virginia Ohanian Environmental Education Center at the Karin Nursery in Armenia.

Ginny Ohanian, her sister, daughter, and daughter-in-law were at the ribbon cutting in 2004. In 2011 the Michael and Virginia Ohanian Center for Environment Studies was opened in Margahovit, Lori province. This center trains students, teachers and professionals in best forestry practices and conducts environmental education lessons with students from all regions of Armenia.

Her son Bruce is a long-time Assembly Trustee, and her daughter-in-law, Lu Ann Ohanian, is also a Life Trustee and a member of the Assembly’s Board.  Mrs. Ohanian’s daughter Veronica Heath and husband Donn have been members and supporters of the Assembly and the Armenia Tree Project.

She was a life-time member of the Holy Trinity Church in Cambridge where she was an ardent supporter and a member of the Women’s Guild. She was very active along with her husband in the Armenian General Benevolent Union. Michael was an excellent golfer, winning the Massachusetts Amateur. Mrs. Ohanian thought it only fitting after he passed that she establish a college scholarship through the Ouimet Society named the Michael Ohanian Scholarship. Her other philanthropies include: Armenian Heritage Park, Berkshire Hill Music Academy, Bentley College, the Belmont Hill School, and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Services were held at Holy Trinity Armenian Church, 145 Brattle Street, Cambridge, on Wednesday, September 19, with wake services at the church from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and funeral services following.

Topics: Obituary

Arrangements were made by Aram Bedrosian Funeral Home.

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