Vasken Kassabian, age 93, died peacefully Dec. 8 with his loving family by his side.
He leaves his wife of 54 years, Anahid; his son and daughter-in-law, Levon and Aline; his daughter and son-in-law, Aline and Manuel; his four grandchildren, Lia, Raffi, Armen and Alex; and his extended family and many close friends.
Born in Beirut, Lebanon to Levon and Azniv Kassabian, both survivors of the Armenian Genocide, Vasken lived and built a thriving business in Beirut until the civil war of 1975, when he left everything behind and moved with his young family to the United States.
Vasken attended the American University of Beirut then earned a law degree from the French Law School of Beirut. He partnered with his father to build a successful import/export business, traveling the world to expand the business while at the same time investing in other ventures and real estate in Europe and the United States. Because of the civil war in Lebanon, he moved his family to the United States and started a new career, this time focusing on commercial real estate. His involvement in what he turned into a thriving family business continued until his passing.
Throughout his life, Vasken supported various Armenian causes both through the Armenian Church and a number of philanthropic organizations, as well as privately, particularly as it related to Armenian students. As a young man he loved water sports and traveling. He also had a lifelong passion for classical music, and was an avid reader and consumer of current events. Vasken will be fondly remembered for many qualities, among them how his worldliness and many interests made for engaging conversations with people of all ages.
In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to the Armenian General Benevolent Union Annie and Vasken Kassabian Scholarship Fund, 55 East 59th Street, NY 10019.
A wake was held Friday, Dec. 9 and the funeral service was held Saturday, Dec. 10, at the Armenian Church of the Holy Martyrs, 209-15 Horace Harding Expressway in Bayside, New York.