Obituary: Hagop Sarkissian ADL Member, Publisher of Armenian Books


WATERTOWN — Hagop Sarkissian of Watertown died on September 14, 2020, at Seasons Hospice in Milton. He was 87.

He is survived by daughter Sharon Hekimian and her husband Gregory Hekimian; son Robert Sarkissian and his wife Audrey Dow; grandson Joshua Hekimian and his wife Sara Hekimian; granddaughter Emily Overstreet and her husband Simeon Overstreet; great-grandsons Elijah Hekimian and Todd Overstreet; sister Mary Karaguesian, and brother Hovsep Sarkissian. He was predeceased by his parents Hovhannes and Haigouhi (Tavoukjian) Sarkissian, sister Alice Ashjian; brother Aram Sarkissian and his wife, Helene Pilibosian Sarkisian.

He was born in Kirik Khan, Syria, on March 17, 1933. His family moved to Beirut, Lebanon, in January 1938. At the age of 13 he left school to support his family by becoming a typesetter for the Armenian-language Zartonk newspaper.

He came to the United States in December 1957, arriving in Philadelphia to work as a linotype operator for Groong newspaper, and then moved to Boston to work for Baikar Armenian Daily in 1958. He later worked for Harvard University Printing Office from 1966 until his retirement in 1995.

On September 17, 1960, he married Helene Pilibosian, with whom he had two children, Sharon and Robert.

He was an active member of the Armenian Democratic Liberal party, and a long-time member of the Armenian Memorial Church in Watertown. In 1983, he and his wife established Ohan Press, an independent press for publishing poetry and prose books. In 1996, he compiled and translated From Kessab to Watertown: A Modern Saga, by Hovhannes H. Sarkissian. He also compiled The Collected Works of Khachadoor Pilibosian in 2002. He authored The Sarkissian and Pilibosian Families: A Guide for the Curious in 2009. In 2019, he published the volume Legacy of an Author: Events and Wanderings Sprinkled in Six Books, by Helene Pilibosian, and established “The Papers of Helene Pilibosian,” a collection of Helene’s materials at Schlesinger Library of Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University.

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(Pilibosian was a former editor of the Armenian Mirror-Spectator.)

He was an adoring husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, and lover of classical music and travel.

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and current public safety measures, funeral services are private. For online guestbook visit:




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