With the deepest sorrow, the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America wishes to inform its leadership of the death of the Reverend Fr. Dajad Avak Kahana Davidian, who passed away after a period of illness on July 14, 2018.
Der Dajad was a remarkable figure in the Eastern Diocese: one of the earliest American-born clergymen, who in the course of his long ministry became known and admired throughout the worldwide Armenian Church. A man of profound intellectual gifts, he always wore his learning lightly, and was able to connect with people from every station and walk of life—within the Armenian community and in the broader society.
He was most famously associated with the St. James Church in Watertown, MA, where for 30 years he was the friendly, garrulous, fatherly face of the prominent and vibrant Armenian community of the city. But he was warmly remembered among the people of his earlier pastorates in New York, Racine, and Tenafly. Der Dajad’s influence over the local people could be felt even long after his departure from the parishes he led.
A thoughtful memorial tribute from the Watertown church remembered Der Dajad as “a dedicated priest, gifted homilist, and loyal leader. He had an ability to connect with faithful of all ages with his charismatic personality, warm smile, and love for others. He touched the lives of countless parishioners and friends of St. James, always proclaiming, without reservation, the importance of God and the Armenian Church in our lives.”
In his later years, he brought these gifts to our homeland as an itinerant preacher and pastor to the emerging generation of Armenian Christians in the free Republic of Armenia. He was predeceased by his wife, Yn. Rosemary, and is survived by his children Ari, Susan, and Raymond, his grandchildren, and loving family and friends.
Funeral arrangements for Fr. Davidian are as follows: Visiting hours will be held at the St. James Church (465 Mt. Auburn St., Watertown, MA) on Thursday, July 19, from 4 to 8 p.m. The dahn gark (wake) service will be at 7 p.m.
The Divine Liturgy and Final Anointing will be held on Friday, July 20, at St. James Church, beginning at 10 a.m. Interment will be at Ridgelawn Cemetery in Watertown, followed by ahokejash at the church. Diocesan Primate the Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan will preside, with Archbishop Khajag Barsamian performing the final anointing. Other clergy wishing to participate in the services should contact St. James pastor Fr. Arakel Aljalian.
The family has requested that in-lieu-of-flowers donations in Fr. Davidian’s memory be made to the St. James Armenian Church (465 Mt. Auburn St., Watertown, MA 02472) or to the Armenia Tree Project (400 W. Cummings Park, Ste. 3900, Woburn, MA 01801). Please refrain from sending flowers.
I ask that the 40th-day karasoonk service be observed in our parishes on Sunday, August 26, 2018. In the meantime, please take a moment to read the attached biographical notes on Der Dajad’s life and ministry.
The Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan