His Eminence Anoushavan, Prelate, and the Religious and Lay Councils have learned with sorrow of the passing of Yeretsgeen Vartouhi Der Kaloustian, a lifelong faithful and devoted parishioner of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral. Yn. Vartouhi passed away peacefully on Wednesday, August 9. She is survived by her children Garo, Shoghig and Nareg, and their families.
Vartouhi Der Kaloustian, daughter of Murad and Serpouhi Sarkissian, was born in Beirut, Lebanon, on September 1, 1936. She grew up with her siblings Sosi, Harout, Anahid, and Vartan. Vartouhi attended school until the 6th grade, and then left school to work as seamstress. In September 1955 she was married to Archpriest Fr. Moushegh Der Kaloustian (of blessed memory).
Yn. Vartouhi, Der Moushegh, and their young children Garo and Shoghig began their life in the United States in 1959 when Der Moushegh was appointed pastor of St. Hagop Armenian Church in Racine, Wisconsin, where their son Nareg was born.
In 1964 the family moved to Worcester, Massachusetts, to serve the community of Holy Trinity Church, and then, in June 1969, to New York City, to serve the community of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral. Yn. Vartouhi later returned to work and made a career repairing Oriental carpets at a carpet company in New York for more than 30 years, while at once raising her family and meeting the needs of a vibrant and bustling Cathedral Church as Yeretsgeen and as an active member of the Ladies Guild and the Mr. & Mrs. Club.
Yn. Vartouhi earned the love, respect, and admiration of all who knew her for her selfless and unwavering devotion to our Church. She was always there when called upon to help in any way she could and did so with exemplary dignity, strength, and class. She embodied and lived the highest ideal of what it means to be an Yeretsgeen, a true mother to her Church and its children. She became everyone’s mother and grandmother.
The funeral service will be held on Friday, August 18, at 11:00 a.m. (viewing: 10:00 a.m. -11:00 a.m.) at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, followed by interment service at Cedar Grove Cemetery. His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate, will preside. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers donations be made to St. Illuminator’s Armenian Apostolic Cathedral.
Archbishop Anoushavan and the Religious and Lay Councils extend their condolences to Yn. Vartouhi’s family members and loved ones. May God illuminate her soul.