In Memoriam

ROBERT ARAM KALOOSDIAN (October 29, 1930 – May 12, 2024)

His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate, and the Religious and Executive Councils learned with sorrow of the passing of Robert Aram Kaloosdian, Esq., on Sunday, May 12. He was 93.

He was born in Watertown to Paul and Grace Kaloosdian on October 29, 1930. He graduated from Clark University in 1952. After serving a tour of duty at the U.S. Army Medical Field Service School during the Korean War, Kaloosdian entered Boston University School of Law where he received a JD degree in 1957 and a Master of Law in Taxation in 1962.

An attorney who practiced law from his offices in Watertown for his entire professional life, Mr. Kaloosdian was a fixture in the local Massachusetts business community and had an extensive career in the Armenian American community. For 10 years, he served as chairman of the American Committee for the Independence of Armenia, predecessor to the Armenian National Committee of America. He also served on the Central Committee of the ARF. He headed the steering committee, which oversaw the construction of the Armenian Cultural and Educational Center in Watertown. He was part of the legal defense in the groundbreaking Griswold vs. Driscoll case, which challenged the law of the state’s educational system in Massachusetts about genocide teaching, which includes the Armenian Genocide, under the argument that it did not permit instruction of a contrary point of view on the subject. This was tantamount to requiring educators to teach about denial of the Armenian Genocide. The case went into appeal and was even brought to the Supreme Court, which declined to take up the matter.

Robert Kaloosdian was a founder of the Armenian Assembly of America in 1972 and core leader of the organization for decades. He also led the Armenian National Institute (ANI), dedicated to the study, research, and affirmation of the Armenian Genocide, from 1997 through 2010. After a lifetime of gathering evidence about his father’s family and birthplace, he published an account of the life of his forebears titled Tadem, My Father’s Village, which won two awards.

In 2002, Carolyn Mugar, founder of a chair in Modern Armenian History and Armenian Genocide Studies at Kaloosdian’s alma mater, Clark University, asked that, in addition to honoring the memory of her parents Stephen and Marian Mugar, it also be named in honor of Robert Aram and Marianne Kaloosdian. The recipient of numerous honors for his years of service, Kaloosdian was bestowed the Prince of Cilicia award by Karekin II, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia (1980), and recognized by President Levon Ter-Petrossian of Armenia with the Mekhitar Gosh medal. He was a benefactor of St. Stephen’s Armenian Church in Watertown, Ma., and a Pillar of the Armenian Prelacy.

On behalf of the Eastern Prelacy, Archbishop Anoushavan extends his condolences to his wife Marianne, children, and family.

Funeral services were held at Saint Stephen’s Church on Thursday, May 16. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Saint Stephen’s Armenian Church, Armenian Assembly of America, or Armenia Tree Project.

May God illuminate his soul. Asdvadz hokeen loosavoreh.