Loosia Stepan Stepanians

Loosia Stepan Stepanians (July 20, 1933-November 28, 2023): Devoted Matriarch


CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Loosia Stepan Stepanians, known to her friends and family as Lily, passed away on November 28, 2023 after suffering complications from Covid. She was 90.

She was the daughter of Minas and Vartanush (Ghazarian) Stepanians, who left Armavir, Russia, in the immediate aftermath of the Russian Revolution, for Ghazvin, Iran, with their two sons. Loosia was the family’s only child born in Iran.

She was the widow of Torgom Aftandil Kocharians, who had passed away in 2020.

Lily and her family moved to the US in anticipation of another revolution, this time in Iran, in 1978. The family made its home in Cambridge.

Loosia grew up in a loving family in Ghazvin. The family moved to Tehran when she was a teen. Upon the death of her father in his early 50s, and with her older brother studying in France, she and her other brother and mother lived together in the heart of the city. It was there that she first met her future husband and the love of her life, Torgom.

The couple married in 1959 and raised their two daughters in Tehran.

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Nothing brought more joy to Lily than having her family and friends over for large, joyous and relaxed feasts, where she covered the dining table from one end to the other with dishes, each made lovingly and expertly. Once a guest was at her table, saying they did not have room for any more was simply ignored and their plates were filled again.

She was a kind, devoted mother to her daughters. When the family permanently moved to Cambridge, following daughter Anahid, who had enrolled earlier that year at Boston University, she threw herself into life in her new country. She again created a warm home for her family, opening her doors to all their and their children’s friends, who were welcome anytime. For her, serving food to her family was how she showed her love. In addition to the traditional Armenian, Russian and Persian cuisine which she had long practice in, she had a stack of dogeared Bon Appetit magazines, which she mined for creative recipes, to the delight of her family and friends.

She always wanted to uphold the Armenian traditions of her native Iran and had been an active member for many years of the local Iranian-Armenian organization, the Armenian Society of Boston. For decades she helped the organization in making its annual nazook as well as the Easter and Armenian Christmas meals of rice, smoked fish and kookoo, a type of Persian herb frittata.

She also enjoyed listening to Armenian music, which she would do while working in her kitchen. She loved reading books in Armenian and English, with a soft spot for fellow Salmast native, author Hakob Melik Hakobian, whose penname was Raffi.

She brimmed with pride when speaking about her children or grandchildren. As much as she loved her daughters, the love she had for her grandchildren, Raffi and Tenny, was even grander. When they were with her and her husband, she was happiest, lighting up with pure joy. Her grandchildren only had to ask for something in order for her to make it her one mission to obtain it.

She and her husband traveled close to a dozen times to Armenia and Artsakh. While she always preferred to stay home, her husband’s love for traveling to Armenian lands made her a happy travel partner.

For more than a decade, she had been suffering from increasingly poor health.

Loosia leaves behind her daughters, Anahid Kocharians (Alfred Gharakhanian) and Alin Kocharians Gregorian; grandchildren Raffi Gharakhanian and Tenny A. Gregorian; nieces and nephews Alenoosh (Markus) Stepanians, Miganush Stepanians (Vahe Zeroonian), Armineh Stepanians and Minas Stepanians.

In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by her brothers, Stepan Stepanians and Avedis Stepanians, as well as sisters-in-law Adelina Petrosian and Nelik Markarian; brother-in-law Mais Kocharians and sister-in-law Rozik Nazarian.

The death of her husband at the height of Covid’s isolation devastated her and marked her steep decline.

As our readers know, Alin Gregorian has been working as editor of the Mirror-Spectator for over two decades. The staff of the newspaper express their profound condolences to Alin and her entire family on this occasion.

A wake will be held at the Bedrossian Funeral Home, 558 Mount Auburn St., on Sunday, December 3, 1-4 p.m. Funeral services will be held on Monday, December 4, at St. Stephen’s Armenian Apostolic Church, 38 Elton Ave., Watertown, at 11 a.m. Interment will follow at Cambridge Cemetery. A memorial lunch with be served at the church hall immediately afterwards.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to St. Stephen’s Armenian Church, Tekeyan Cultural Association Artsakh Refugee Aid Program or All for Armenia.

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