Canadian Armenian Genocide Survivor Eugenie Papazian Dies at 104

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TORONTO (Horizon Weekly) — Eugenie Papazian Korkorian-Yeranian, a Toronto woman believed to have been one of the last Canadians to have survived the Armenian Genocide, died on January 14, four months shy of her 105th birthday.

Eugenie Papazian was born in Turkey, in the Ionia district of Samsun by the Black Sea in 1915. She never knew her parents. Her father was taken to the army in 1915 and did not return home, while her mother died when she was still a newborn.

She had a large family: two sisters, Arousiag and Azniv, three brothers, three maternal aunts and uncles, whom she never saw.

At the start of the 1915 deportations, the members of her extended family gather and find refuge in the mountains and then descended into a gorge. It is there that she was born. Seeing how frail her mother was, many advised and almost forced her mother to leave Eugenie there on the road. Her mother however did not agree.

Because of her beauty and golden hair, they named her Voski (Gold in Armenian). After Eugenie’s birth her mother, exhausted, died.

For three years, her maternal grandmother struggled to look after her, then gave her to an orphanage when she was no longer able to feed her.

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So began her painful odyssey through three children’s homes in Greece, where an American relief organization had arranged the placement of Armenians in 13 orphanages.

An Armenian couple took her to Egypt, and she spent her early teens in Cairo, where she met her husband, Garabed Kokorian. She was 15 years old when she married Garabed.

Eugenie Papazian had 5 children, 9 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great-grandchild.

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