Obituary: Alice Aghavni (Hamparian) Kasbarian

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Alice Aghavni (Hamparian) Kasbarian in a traditional Armenian costume during her youth

Alice Aghavni (Hamparian) Kasbarian in a traditional Armenian costume during her youth

Alice Aghavni (Hamparian) Kasbarian
Dec. 20, 1927 – Jan. 17, 2018

Alice Aghavni (Hamparian) Kasbarian, 90, of Teaneck, NJ died January 17, 2018 surrounded by family. Born in New York City in 1927 to Armenian Genocide survivors from Sepastia, Western Armenia, Alice was a long-time figure in the Teaneck, NJ public school system. For more than 30 years, she served as a remedial teacher of English and math and as a member of the Teaneck High School administration.

Alice also served as a Kindergarten teacher at the Nareg Armenian School of New Jersey in the 1970s and was a member of the Board of Trustees of Sts.Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church of Ridgefield, NJ in the 1990s.

Alice was a standard bearer of the Western Armenian cultural tradition, imparting the endangered language and folkways of her ancestors to subsequent generations living in exile. Her insistence on speaking Armenian in the home played a dominant role in facilitating her aims.

A trained lyric soprano, Alice gave up a promising operatic career to raise an Armenian family. She belonged to the Nayiri Western Armenian Folk Song and Dance Ensemble of NY; the Armenian National Chorus of NY; and the Hamazkayin Chorus of NJ. She was a soloist in the choirs of St. Illuminator’s Armenian Cathedral of NY and Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Church of NJ. Prominent Armenian musicians Onnik Dinkjian and Armen Babamian both acclaimed Alice’s soprano voice as the finest they had encountered.

Alice will be remembered as a gentle, multi-talented woman blessed with quiet strength and kindness, always extending a helping hand to others. Alice embodied age-old Armenian virtues of modesty, honorability, industriousness, selflessness and love of homeland.

Alice is survived by her husband Charles Garabed Kasbarian; her son John Antranig Kasbarian and his wife Maro Matosian; and her daughter Lucine Kasbarian and her husband David Boyajian. Alice is also survived by her late brother Nishan Hamparian’s children, Aram, Anahid and Vartan Hamparian; her late brother Ardashes Hamparian’s children, Lorig, Aram and Raffi Hamparian; and many great nieces and great nephews.

Funeral arrangements are private. A memorial program is planned. Donations in Alice’s memory may be made to St. Illuminator’s Armenian Cathedral of New York, Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Church of New Jersey, or the Tufenkian Foundation.

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