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.