Reflections & Testimonials
on the first anniversary of Dikran’s passing
Sossy Der Khatchachadourian-Balian
It is hard to believe that it has been a full year since the devastating loss of Dikran. This tragedy, a life taken far too soon, haunts me. Dikran was a loving father, friend and son. Watching the memorial from all the way in California, I cried listening to friend after friend, colleague after colleague, and beloved family recount the memories, the good times, the beautiful soul that Dikran was.
I wish that I had had the chance to spend more time with Dikran. In the short time I lived in Lebanon, and whenever I visited, his mother, Azadouhie, and his entire family were a cornerstone of my feeling rooted in that place and connected to my family there. Dikran was always so kind, generous and welcoming. I will never forget how meaningful that welcoming spirit was to me. And Azadouhie absolutely beamed about him. Dikran was a deeply beloved son. I know Azadouhie is so proud of everything he accomplished in his life. Though gone too soon from us, he lived to the fullest. This is all too clear in the loving memories expressed by so many in the days, months and now year, since his passing.
I mourn for Dikran's passing, for the deep loss felt by all. How to even write about such sadness? One thing I know, that is very clear from having listened to and read the words of his many friends and loved ones, is that his memory, and indeed his ongoing presence in the lives of all those who love him, is testimony to the beautiful life that he lived.
Rest in peace, dear Dikran.
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love” (Romans 8:38).
How can one mourn the death of a young man in the prime of his short life? January 14, 2021 was a day we witnessed the passing of my dear friend and colleague's first born son Dikran from COVID -19, a calamity that enveloped all those who knew him. When Azadouhi asked me to write a tribute to his stolen life, I thought long and hard before I put pen to paper, and I do not think I will ever find the adequate words to express my sorrow and share her loss.
I will never forget the year 1973, just when the skirmishes in Lebanon presaging the start of the civil war had started, when my two little girls and I were excitedly planning the surprise baby shower we were holding for Azadouhi in our home. The girls were busy decorating the house for the happy event. Thus, my acquaintance with Dikran goes a long way, even to when he was in his mother's womb. When the civil war began two years later, Azadouhi and her two sons had to move to campus to avoid the daily commute in divided Beirut, going back home to be with Bebo during the weekends when they were able to do so. So every morning, when I went up to BCW, or what is now known as LAU, I was greeted by both Dikran and Rasmig running around the campus before walking down to school at IC or International College down the street from us.
Many years later, we were lucky to see Dikran once again when he came to Los Angeles to sit for his CPA exams, having completed his studies for an MBA at LAU. He had blossomed into a charming young man, quite successful in his fields of accounting and finance. When I asked him whether he should encourage his parents, both distinguished educators, writers and activists, to emigrate to the United States, he responded that his and his family's lives were deeply entrenched in Lebanon, and he did not think his father, especially, would welcome such a move.
In the meantime, Dikran met Sylvie, his soul mate, and together they were raising a beautiful family, comprised of their son Arek and their daughter Sarig, while his career was taking off successfully. He continued to be an ideal son, a dedicated husband, father and family man, a celebrated community leader, a thriving professional and a deeply spiritual individual. In the song "His Eye is on the Sparrow", we sing the words:
Why should we feel discouraged
Why should the shadows come
Why should [our] heart[s] feel lonely
And long for heaven and home.
Thus, we ask questions we cannot find an answer to, as to why great people sometimes have their lives cut short, this time through a deadly pandemic. Dikran is not a little sparrow, like most of us are, but an eagle soaring in the firmament that has lost one of its bright luminaries. In Arabic, we say that a person who has children will never die. Both Arek and Sarig have a remarkable legacy that they are already trying to emulate and look up to. Indeed, Dikran has left all of us with beautiful memories of a "multi-faceted, purpose-filled life that lasted for only 47 years. He still had a lot to give and many years to live" as it is written about him, but we can be rest assured that he is now wearing what some people call the "single garment of destiny".
As we commemorate the first anniversary of Dikran's demise, we can only pray that God will heal our grieving hearts and give his family the fortitude to continue in Dikran's steps. May his soul continue to rest in peace.
Huntington Beach, USA, November, 10, 2021
Eileen N. Paterson
My deepest and most sincere condolences go out to you for the loss of beloved Dikran. I attended the memorial service for Dikran and was moved by the numerous family and friends who all shared a consistent picture: Dikran was respected by all and cherished as a father, husband, son, friend, colleague, community leader and example.
It is clear Dikran's loss has been profoundly felt. Undoubtedly, his colleagues at Wunderman Thompson miss his great leadership. He was a trusted advisor and friend. I heard many people speak not only about Dikran's intelligence, accomplishments and experience, but also of his character and ability to connect with people and to enjoy life with those around him. It is this human quality that stands out to me the most; because, the ability to connect with people, motivate and inspire them, is not an attribute that is taught - it is inborn, it is a blessing from God. It is understood that Dikran not only contributed to Wunderman Thompson's business and structuring, but also to the development and fostering of human relationships that are meaningful and unforgettable.
It is clear that Dikran gave his entire self to every endeavor he took on. He volunteered and contributed to many charities and community service in both Lebanon and Armenia. Additionally, although he was busy with his work and family, he always and consistently shared his expertise and time. He did this selflessly. It is this characteristic of Dikran that I think about most and am sure that his beautiful children - indeed the entire family - will always honor and remember.
My thoughts and prayers remain with the entire family.
Dearest Dikran, you have always been a good and pleasant person, and have simply given the best parts of your character to the people around you.
We were connected heart to heart. Distance and time did not keep us apart. You meant the world to so many people, only a heart as dear as yours would give so unselfishly.
Two years ago, I am glad we saw each other. Those days were memories I will dearly treasure. I saw your beautiful smile, your caring personality, positive attitude, and loving character, which filled my heart.
Love you and I will always remember you as a great and giving person.
God bless your beautiful soul.
Sossy Der Khatchachadourian-Balian
Dear Dikran, on the occasion of the first anniversary of your passing away, as a close friend of your mother and in admiration of your parents, for raising children like you and your brother, allow me to express my heartfelt feelings.
Yes, your departure from this world was too early, at a time when the whole world is going through very hard times, but our country Lebanon and our motherland Armenia are in the worst situation ever, which makes us feel more and more the seriousness of the absence of devoted people like you.
People like you are quite rare around us. Your family background, your educational preparation and your devotion of service to mankind were exceptional and were reflected in your accomplishments; at the same time, they have been recognized at all levels, be it at the personal, community and country levels.
Dear Dikran, your legacy will go on through your devoted wife, your well brought-up children, your mother, your brother and his family and your extended family. My wish is that you will be a source of inspiration to all those who worked with you closely in your professional life and in your community services.
Rest in peace.
Rita Sumonian Baranian
Dikran was the first newborn I had the privilege to hold and care for during the summer when we used to go to Reifun for the summers. I experienced the new born smell through him. He was the prince of the whole family. Beautiful, cute and smart from the beginning.
Later when he got to high school years, I was a student at AUB and Dikran and Razmig were students at IC. We used to ride together to the west side and I used to tutor them after school. We grew very close to each other. Both were the little brothers I never had. Even though he was only in his adolescent years, he was mature and smart. We used to drive through sniper shooting, crossing from east to west Beirut. He and Razmig never panicked and they both were supportive of their mother and me. They gave us courage and the support we needed. During the hardest times of the civil war, we spent few months in west Beirut sheltering in a friends house together. I always felt he was the adult with us and not the teenager.
I felt so proud of him when he graduated college. He visited me in the States when he came to sit for his CPA exam and passed it in his first attempt. And my most proud moment was when I visited Beirut in 2009, Dikran and Sylvie invited us to their home. They already had their children and he was grown into a successful and loving husband and dad. He always stayed true to his family and community commitments besides his professional ones.
No words are capable of expressing the shock of his loss and the void it made in all of our lives. He was bigger than life and his legacy will always stay with all who knew him. God bless his soul.
Dear Azadouhie, Sylvie, Razmig, Arek and Sarig
Dikran's untimely departure left a deep scar on all of us. A life dedicated to love and service was cut short too soon by a pandemic that has ravaged the world since early 2020.
A loving mother had to lay her firstborn to rest. As a mother, grandmother, family friend (askagan) and witness, all I can say by way of compassionate grief is that nothing about his loss is natural. You are and continue to be the ‘best mom ever”. Together with Bebo, you raised two exemplary boys while the civil war was raging around you, and society was breaking down. Many Lebanese Armenians left the country. You stayed true to your principles and values. As prominent educators and community activists you kept the torch alight for many who stayed behind. You were and continue to be a role model for many. You imbued your family and all around you with your dedication to love, learning, community and justice. Dikran took on his responsibilities with relish, inheriting all the good traits from his parents. His spirit lives on in you, beloved Arek and Sarig.
A loving wife witnessed grief no young wife and mother should bear: the death of a devoted husband, lover, best friend, life-partner, and co-parent. All I can say by way of compassionate grief is that Dikran was and will continue to be by your side just as he was when the two of you first committed to journeying together.
Dear Arek and Sarig, you miss your father dearly. But rest assured that he will be walking by your side at every important event of your life, such as graduations, dance performances and especially when you need help and support. And he will make sure that you become exemplary members of humanity, just as he was.
Dear Razmig, you miss your older twin, the other little person that was in your home when you came to this world, and the person who has been your role model, your best friend, your co-conspirator, and sometimes, just sometimes, your sparring partner. All I can tell you by way of compassionate grief is that he continues to walk by your side as you take over your brother’s roles in addition to yours. Those are big shoes to fill, but I know that you have the strength and the solid foundation to take it all in.
Dear Zela and Noubar. You too lost a brother. But he will be walking with you when you need him, and most importantly, you will continue to support your family in these difficult times.
And the rest of us, friends, colleagues, beneficiaries, Armenian community in Lebanon, Armenians, citizens of the world, also suffer the loss of a good man who gave his all to his family, society, and community.
The solace is that in his not-long-enough life, Dikran’s legacy is a life well-lived, in service to his loved ones, his community and humanity in general. He walks in the footsteps of his forebears and has created new steps for others to follow. The good that men do lives on long after them too. That is what counts at this present moment.
Everything else is a mystery that continues to unravel as we fumble along in these uncertain times, making the best out of situations that are totally outside our control. That has been the destiny of the nation and the region we were born in. Life is an opportunity to give your all. Thank you, Dikran for a life well-lived in service to love and humanity, for leading by example. We love you and miss you and are ever so grateful you came into our lives.
I can't believe its already been one year since you went to heaven cousin! I don't want to believe it. It seems so surreal. I often think about the fun times we spent in Beirut going out, going to the beach, dinners and spending time with the rest of our family. I especially cherish the two times I came with my mom for both yours and Razmik's weddings where we danced and celebrated all night long!!
I know how much you loved your wife and kids and would do anything for them. You were a great father, husband, and excelled in your profession life as well. You made us all proud especially your mother who often kept me updated with all the things you were accomplishing and doing. Just a few weeks before you got sick we had a great conversation catching up about lifework, family, and we even discussed a sermon you saw me give on Facebook. You said that you knew my mom would be proud of what I was doing. We reminisced on old times and I mentioned how badly I wanted to visit again and see you, Sylvie and the kids.
I don't have words. The only consolation I have is in our faith in Jesus who promised that this life is not the end. There is everlasting life in heaven for those who believe in Christ which I know you did! Indeed, knowing we will all see you again and enjoy your smile and infectious laugh is a truth I hold onto! (I can still hear your laugh when I think about all the jokes we'd share!) For now, I know you're enjoying the company of your loving father Bebo and my mom, your Aunt Shnor. Until we all meet again in heaven cuz, you will be forever missed and celebrated.
A tribute to an exceptional young man, Dikran, who left us quietly, unexpectedly and too soon...
11 months have passed already and still Dikran’s death weighs heavily on everyone whose path crossed somehow, his, during his short yet very productive years of life.
No matter how many words we write, how many tears we shed, we cannot express truly how much his absence is felt in everyone’s’ heart and mind! For al who met him, even briefly, in different circumstances, the impression he left was huge...pages and pages could be written about his kind, yet professional and personalized style of dealing with people of all ages, family, friends and colleagues and never feel what is said about the impact he left is enough...
He was an exceptional son to our dear Digin Azadouhie and Mr. Bebo, a loving husband to Sylvie and an affectionate father and friendly life coach to Arek and Sarig, and an inseparable soulmate to his brother Razmig ...he and his family welcomed dearly Hera and Hrag into their lives ...
Dikran’s life was short, yet very rich and productive, full of accomplishments, always coupled with high humane life standards...few could achieve in a long life all that he accomplished in his short lived years. The admiration of everyone and his rich legacy in Armenian and international communities is the core of our consolation...
Dikran will always be the pride of his family and huge circle of friends and colleagues... he will be missed forever...Asdvads Hokin Lousavore...May his soul Rest in Eternal Peace.
I first met Dikran Kalaidjian and his brother Razmig when they were both quite young, serving as candle bearers at my wedding to their cousin Shnor Aghavni Arslanian in August of 1982 at Sts. Vartanantz Church in Ridgefield, NJ.
Since Shnor and I lived in New Jersey, and they lived in Beirut, I did not see them until much later. I saw Dikran when he came to the US to take his CPA qualification exams. They were both very close to Shnor as she greatly helped their parents Bebo and Azadouhie Kalaidjian Simonian in ensuring that their two sons would continue to get the care and education that they wanted for them with as little disruption as possible during the traumatic years of the civil war in Lebanon. She was also instrumental in planting and watering the seeds of Christian faith in them as well.
Dikran was well versed in so many areas of life. Not only could he relate to whatever the topic of conversation was, but was curious to know even more, and he did it with such a jovial spirit. He was not a superficial person, and quite often our discussions went below the surface which made them even more memorable. He truly enjoyed life to the fullest.
Dikran’s outstanding career in finance cannot be overlooked, as well as his support and involvement in causes that greatly benefited the Armenian community in Beirut. He made an indelible impact on so many people as can be seen from the video of those who expressed their love and admiration of him.
I am reminded of the Parable of the Talents from Matthew 25 where a ruler entrusted a portion of his money to three of his servants, giving each one a different amount to invest with. Only two doubled what they were given and were rewarded for it. We know what the third servant did with his. Indeed, all that God placed in Dikran’s hands was multiplied a hundred-fold, above and beyond what was expected. I believe his life will continue to inspire many, especially his two children Arek and Sarig, to do the same.
As I Was Walking Down the Road
By John Bashian
As I was walking down the road
My eyes looked up to see,
There before me was a tree
Whitened by the snow.
It begged me take a closer look
And much to my surprise
Its limbs became like arms held high
As if to touch the sky.
Against a greying linen sky
I heard no choir sing
As if expecting angels
To hold up its wings.
And then I heard a voice that cried,
“Come closer to me my son.”
And as I stepped one foot ahead
Its bark turned into blood.
I turned away, it could not be
I thought to run and hide,
“No, my son; don’t be afraid
Just turn again and you will see.
The bark’s no longer red”.
And then He said, “If my children
Could learn the lesson from this tree,
Whose limbs never fall or droop or moan
Summer, winter, fall, or spring.
Oh, Lord you know I’m not a tree
That can stand against the tide.
“I know my son I know,”
He calmly said to me.
“But the blood you saw
Was shed for you
When you believed in me
And I will lift your arms
In the troubled seas.”
And as I stood in winters chill
His voice became the wind
That wrapped around me
Like a cloth that kept me warm within.
And as I gazed upon the tree
I could not help but try,
And so, I slowly raised my arms
As if to touch the sky.
It is never a goodbye for a mother!
It is challenging to sum up a person in a single tribute. Dikran is not merely a list of characteristics on a page, but a person with distinct and specific character with broad interests, well-informed and respectable background. Whether you knew Dikran as a son, a husband, a brother, a friend or a co-worker, all benefited from his wisdom and heartfelt advice which he shared so distinctly and modestly. Dikran was wise, he knew how to focus on the big picture as opposed to the irritating details of life.
We worked together on the Board of the Birds’ Nest Orphanage. As an expert in finance, he was entrusted to oversee the accounts, financial dealings of the institution. It is in this context that I discovered Dikran’s consideration, attitude and modesty. Working with people who had the responsibility of running the business of the institution, yet they were neither financial experts nor professionals, but they managed with high integrity, responsibility and devotion. Dikran highly appreciated their commitment and care for the Birds Nest and responded to their professional needs or advice with humility, friendliness and extreme consideration, a character attribute which is very rare today. We all learn at some point in our lives that people will forget what you said or what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Dikran was emphatic, made our humble co-workers feel at ease, very contended and secure. Dikran himself was a person to be admired, his unpretentiousness and honesty were his features expressed in a radiant smile stating his happiness and contentment for which he was looked for wherever he held a position in the community.
Sadly, he departed very soon and we are unable to grasp how it happened and why he departed so early and unable to understand or perceive, unable to fill in the void that is left inside our hearts, it never makes sense to us. Unable to comprehend, we turn to God and ask for His grace and wisdom to accept life’s mysteries. In spirituality we seek to explain the inherent or universal elements of life to make living easier and accept what is beyond our reach to be able to continue living in peace. But is there a good time to loose a loved one?
We will miss Dikran for a long time. But you digin Azadouni and Sylvie will have him in your minds and thoughts with the sunrise every morning and carry him to the sunset in your dreams for the rest of your lives, where he is alive forever. It can never be a goodbye for you.
The pain you have to endure is beyond human powers. It will never go away, we just learn to live with it and your enquiries “why” and “how” will remain unanswered as none has been able to grasp the deeds of the Lord! It is beyond human understanding and we, therefore, accept and say: Lord, let it be your will, Եղիցի կամք քո, Տէր, and bear our cross.
Rest in peace dear Dikran, you are never departed from our hearts.
When I heard the news about Dikran, my heart was broken. I didn't know what to write; I still don't, but I finally have the courage now ,to sit down and type the hardest words one could write: May you Rest In Peace.
I can not stop thinking of Mrs. Kalayjian, my favourite professor back at L.A.U, Sylvie, and the whole family. But Mrs. Kalaydjian is the center of my thoughts. What would the amazing mother of such a beautiful soul be feeling, whose loved one left us way too early. What could one write to the mother of a brilliant, successful, hardworking, and ambitious man, loved and respected by everyone, both professionally and in the community overall?
A family man, who looked after the family and the community, helped people without expecting anything in return. That was Dikran I knew, and heard about first hand from friends and acquaintances throughout the years. That's how he was raised, and I am sure that's how he raised his children with his lovely wife Sylvie.
His memory will be eternal. He has touched the lives of many as a person and marked his colleagues and the business community by his work ethic, hard work and intelligence. His achievements are one that any mother, wife, brother, relative or friend could only be proud of.
Your memory will always be cherished, hence you will always live on in our hearts.
Dikran, you will still lead the way…
I didn’t have the opportunity to meet Dikran in person, but I feel like I knew him. I knew him through the heart and eyes of Mrs. Azadouhie Simonian that I hold in high esteem and respect. She used to share gracefully with my mother a lot of her beautiful encounters with her lovely son Dikran, with a deep and an unending gratitude towards him... A unique mother and son relationship, difficult to find and describe nowadays…
The unique attention and care brought by Dikran to his lovely mother was sufficient criteria for me to understand and recognize the inner world of this young person full of love, compassion and devotion towards his loved ones… His marital union with Sylvie—a distinguished previous student of mine, that had a lot of inner noble and rare values and principles—was also very relevant of the values and principles shared and valued by Dikran.
Every individual has a personal world shaped by his own experiences, education, family, values... and we cannot forget that Dikran’s unique world was shaped by two distinguished intellectuals of our Armenian community: Mr. Bebo Simonian and Mrs. Azadouhie Simonian, both had an outstanding role in transmitting education, literature and values to consecutive young generations of Armenians and, of course, to their children. This was the world of Dikran, a world full of qualities that are indeed rare to be found today—to which we can add his very rich professional life, build on a high level and quality oriented university education.
Unfortunately, life put us sometimes in front of unexpected situations. Life separates us from people that had a lot to give and to share, very valuable persons that used to bring smile to the persons around them. Dikran was one of them and he left forever…
Life is full of Secrets that we need to understand, to comprehend, to accept. And death is the deepest and most difficult of these secrets, of these questions that remain unanswered…
Your memorial Dikran is not only a time of remembrance, but also a time of sharing— sharing the unique values that you incarnated, emphasizing and highlighting their importance in our everyday life… a time for shedding light on these values …
It is here that we find an explanation, a meaning to this profound Secret…
I used to hear from my grandfather, a deeply faithful believer: “even in death, we have to search for the wisdom of God… A wisdom that we may find difficult to understand with our minds… but that our faith lead us to accept and trust Him.”
Dear Dikran, the love and respect you shared and spread during your lifetime make your absence a living presence in the hearts and minds of all those who were part of your unique circle… And this is the purpose of life. Life counts and measures only to the level we live it meaningfully...
Everyone has a journey on Earth and this journey can’t be evaluated by its length or the number of years spent alive… it is about the quality of the journey we went through and the message that we left behind…
Dear Dikran, your life was a blessing for your family. As a great quote goes: “your memory is a treasure that inspires much”, that whispers profound faith and commitment, that inspires determination to your loved ones, to Mrs. Azadouhie, to Sylvie and your lovely little angels, to your brother’s beautiful family, in order to move forward... because they love you beyond words and they miss you beyond measure... because you will remain beside them “unseen, unheard but always near and always beside”…
Dear Dikran, your memory will have taught us a lot ... and you will remain for all your family the inspiring light that will lead their way…
May your soul Rest in Peace…
I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Dikran.
Dikran’s parents Bebo and Azadouhi have been a major part of my life and my childhood in Beirut. Growing up, I remember the wonderful announcement that aunt Azadouhi was pregnant with Dikran. I was overfilled with joy. This joy was once again felt when the parents announced that another son, Razmig, was to join us.
Dikran’s family were a big influence in my life, specially aunt Azadouhi who taught me the values of the working woman, in a time when such women were generally frowned upon.
Dikran was a humble, hard working family man who completed his education, had a successful career, and established a wonderful family.
He leaves behind his wife Sylvie and 2 children.
We honor the life of Dikran by telling others to learn from his humility, his hard working philosophy, and his ability to lead by example.
I had the honor to study under your mother’s tutelage and now I am writing these heartfelt and grieving words in remembering and cherishing your life journey, albeit short, but strongly entrenched in the memory of your close-knitted family, friends and acquaintances.
Our beloved Dikran, I stand before your memory as a dear friend to your mother, who mourns the loss of her son. We are humbled, overwhelmed, and grateful for your beautiful presence in the life of your family: as a loving husband and a doting father to your beautiful children and a humble individual who relentlessly worked as an expert in his field, as a dedicated member to his local community, and as a mentor to many ambitious youngsters who sought your advice and expertise.
Unfortunately, your untimely demise brought so much pain, anguish and bitterness to our hearts but honoring your deeds as a father, as an accomplished executive and a community leader was an offering and acts of gratitude to God and our continued trust in His loving-kindness and faithfulness, who holds you dearly in his eternal compassion and love.
Dikran you were all about love and laughter, and humility and services to the betterment of your milieu wherever you made your presence felt, and hence, left an undying mark of such induvial traits. This will continue to be your legacy…
Our sincere sympathy,
Azadouhie Seropian and Family
From his high school years, it was obvious to me that Dikran was going to be a high flyer!
I remember how zealous and determined he was when he started his university education at LAU. He always strived to benefit from the enriching learning environment, not missing any experience that was added value to his knowledge base.
His university education and professional qualifications helped him cruise through the highest positions, earning the respect and trust of his peers. Dikran’s achievements and professional network made him shine like a star.
Success in professional life was coupled with commitment to serve his community. Following the footsteps of his prominent parents, Dikran was well aware that his leadership would be indispensable and valued, while at the same time ensuring great personal fulfillment.
Needless to say that Dikran was an exemplary son, a nurturing brother, a loving, caring husband and father! Although he left this world very early, he undoubtedly managed to leave behind a reputable legacy! He touched the lives of so many people who miss him dearly.
May your soul rest in eternal peace, dear Dikran!
Dear Mrs. Azadouhie,
I’m grateful for the chance to write in memory of Dikran.
Although we used to see each other as adolescents every time my late dad and Mr. Bebo would create a family meeting, I enjoyed Dirkran’s presence and company mostly in LAU. In the Armenian’s corner, where all the Armenians from Djemaran used to gather and I — coming from an AGBU school and Dikran coming from Eastwood and then IC — would be the “hearing guests” to the spicy conversations that boiled in front of the fine arts benches. Later Dikran and I registered for a sociology class together and all I remember from attending this class as an elective was how much we used to laugh during the sessions. Dikran and I were both very serious students and he, too, probably like me was a straight A in all his classes. In this class, however, we enjoyed listening to the instructor just trying to interpret the “English” he used, which was a challenge and comedy by itself. And as if the laughter in class wasn’t enough, later we would sit in the library trying to recall what the instructor said to make sense of our notes… only to start giggling again. With all his admiration and the pride he took in you as an English instructor in LAU, he was careful to be a role model as a student in LAU. However, our meetings in the library after the sociology classes were the most challenging to his position, because he ended up being asked to leave the library very often because of our constant laughter. Even now, when I think of Dikran, this is the first thing that comes to my mind. The friend I can laugh with every day!
With the time that passed, I would see Dikran at the drop off and the pick-up of the kids at AGBU and we would chat a bit while waiting. I saw Dikran last at the commemoration of Auntie Siroug. I saw him at church and we reminisced the good old days when things were simple and when we could chat and laugh over nothing!
I talked to Dikran on the phone when Arous tantig died and it was impossible to attend the funeral after the Corona issue and the Beirut port explosion. Both of us told our stories of how we survived and what happened and where we were. He told me he saw the “mushroom” of the blast from his office and he dunked down as the wave approached and that’s how he and his colleagues survived the blast.
I never thought that would be the last time we would talk!
Dikran was an intellectual and a gentleman. Although our conversations would stretch from education to business, to Armenia and the diaspora, to space and black holes and the universe, I enjoyed our laughs most and I treasure the fact that he was an honest friend who only wished the best for those he cared about.
He was taken from our life and his family much too early.
God bless his soul! In my memory he will always stay alive!
Dikran Kalaydjian’s passing was a great shock. It is a loss for the nation and for his near and dear ones. It is a personal loss for me as I was a deep admirer of Dikran. My deepest condolences to his wonderful mother Azadouhie.