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Armen Der Marderosian passed away peacefully on December 1, 2022. Born October 30, 1937, Armen lived in Needham, MA for over 80 years.
Armen is survived by his wife of 57 years, Ann (Picardi), and three children – Diane and her husband Peter Burdick of Needham, Lia of Needham, and Armen Jr. and his wife Kathie of Long Valley, New Jersey. He was proud Papa to Peter (PJ) Burdick, Armen Burdick, Emily Burdick Lachance, Armen Der Marderosian, III and Ava Der Marderosian, loving brother to Lucy Guzelian (Astor), Anoush Knaian (Armen) and the late Dikrun Der Marderosian, son of the late Nerses and Siranoosh DerMarderosian, a survivor of the Armenian Genocide, uncle, cousin, and friend to so many.
Armen graduated from Needham High School in 1954. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in 1958, JD in 1960, and Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in 2006 from Suffolk University. It was during his undergraduate years at Suffolk that he met his wife, Ann, the love of his life, and they married in 1965. In 1975, he earned his Masters in Business Management from the MIT Sloan School. However, Armen recognized that his most valuable lessons came from his family. These included the importance of integrity, perseverance, flexibility, humility, gratitude, giving back, collaboration, and most importantly, doing the right thing – no matter what – even in the most challenging situations, all of which were critical to his professional and personal success.
From a young age, Armen worked at the family rug business, Brookline Oriental Rug Company, on Hunnewell Street in Needham, alongside his father, uncles, and cousins. After graduating from law school, Armen briefly worked as a defense attorney and in private practice. In 1963, he shifted course and started working at GTE, where he stayed for the remainder of his successful career. Armen joined GTE as a contract negotiator and took on numerous roles of increasing responsibility until his retirement in 1999 as Executive Vice President, Technology and Systems. During his time at GTE, Armen traveled the world, visiting dozens of countries and developing a passion for exploring diverse places and meeting new people. Armen’s professional achievements were many, but he was best known for his care for and dedication to the people with whom he worked. They became an extension of his family, remaining connected long after his retirement. In 1979, one of these friends risked his own safety to help Armen and his team escape from Tehran, Iran during the U.S. Embassy take over.
Armen was proud of his family, Armenian heritage and Needham roots. After his retirement from GTE, he enjoyed staying closer to home. Making up for many years on the road, he loved spending time with friends and family, especially his grandchildren. Armen never missed an opportunity to attend a school concert, little league baseball game, or family gathering, and would think nothing of driving just “down the street” to New Jersey to watch hockey and lacrosse games. He was always eager to support his family and friends by lending a compassionate ear, providing sage advice, or offering a helping hand. There was nothing he wouldn’t do for those he loved. In his later years, Armen found a new community of Needham friends at the town’s Center at the Heights, a place where he always felt valued and loved. During this time, his village grew to include a team of extraordinary care givers who partnered with his immediate family to keep Armen in the home he loved until his final days.
Respected for his wisdom, selflessness and kind spirit, Armen’s legacy will live on in the hearts of all who knew him.
Visiting hours will be held in the Eaton Funeral Home, 1351 Highland Ave, Needham, on Friday, Dec. 9th from 4-7pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held in St. Joseph Church, 1360 Highland Ave, Needham, on Saturday, December 10th at 10am. Interment will follow at Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Friends of the CATH, Center at the Heights, 300 Hillside Avenue, Needham, MA 02494 or the Ann and Armen Centennial Scholarship Fund, Suffolk University, 9 Ashburton Place, Boston, MA 02108.