Torgom Aftandil Kocharians

Torgom Aftandil Kocharians (October 13, 1925-May 6, 2020)

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Torgom Aftandil Kocharians died of heart failure at home on May 6, 2020. He was 94.

He was born in Tehran, Iran, to Abraham and Mariam (Jerrahian) Kocharians. After graduating from high school in Iran, he attended the University of Stuttgart in Germany and graduated with a degree in civil engineering.

He returned to Iran, where he worked for decades at the Ministry of Roads, overseeing the creation of new roads throughout the country, as well as responding to earthquakes and avalanches, where new roads had to be created to connect residents back to the rest of the country.

He married Loosia Stepanians in 1959. The couple had two daughters, Anahid and Alin. Anahid and two cousins moved to the US to attend Boston University in 1978, before the Iranian Revolution. Once the revolution seemed imminent, the rest of the collected family followed suit and relocated to the Boston area, settling in Cambridge.

He soon reestablished himself as a pillar of his family and the community. Almost every member of the family has a story about his generosity and kindness as well as wit and humor. He gave his time freely, always putting his children and all who needed him before himself. He loved to dine out with his friends and family and made it a point to always tip generously because he knew the waiters were depending on those tips.

He donated often to a variety of causes, thinking it was important to support those who needed help. Every year, without fail, he would deliver a couple of turkeys and bags of rice to the Armenian Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Boston, and sometimes also to a homeless shelter. This last year, when he could not drive, he had his grandson drive him to buy food and deliver it.

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He loved traveling. He relished visiting Armenia and Artsakh with his wife, going there more than 10 times. While there, he would always visit orphanages and make donations.
Though he had grown up going to Iranian schools and did not know how to read or write Armenian, he was a very proud Armenian, always taking pride in the country and fellow Armenians.

He took great pleasure from classical music, listening often on his computer while he played solitaire or scrolled news websites. He took special delight in attending concerts of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

However, he reserved his greatest love for his grandchildren, sharing naughty stories of his childhood with them, encouraging them to play tricks on their parents, much to the chagrin of his daughters. He finished every conversation with them with the phrase “I love you.”
In the past four years, he had suffered increasingly from a variety of health issues, which led to frequent medical visits, as well as hospital and rehab stays.

He leaves his wife, Loosia; daughters Anahid Kocharians (husband Alfred Gharakhanian) of Redwood City, Calif. and Alin K. Gregorian of Belmont, Mass.; grandchildren Raffi Gharakhanian of Redwood City and Tenny Gregorian of Burlington, Vt. He was predeceased by his older siblings, Rosik and Mayis. He was also predeceased by his brothers- and sisters-in-law, Nelik and Avedis Stepanian’s and Adelina and Dr. Stepan Stepanians. He leaves loving cousins and nieces and nephews in California, Ohio and Massachusetts.

An abbreviated funeral service for family only, led by Fr. Antranik Baljian of St. Stephen’s Armenian Church, will take place on Thursday, May 14 at Cambridge Cemetery. A well-deserved celebration of his life will take place at a later time, after the current restrictions are lifted.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Armenian Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, 431 Pond St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 or the Society for Orphaned Armenian Relief (SOAR), 150 N. Radnor Chester Rd., Suite F200 Radnor, PA 19087.
Arrangements are by the Aram Bedrossian Funeral Home of Watertown.

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