Zaruhi S. Simonyan of Ashton, Maryland passed away on March 13, 2020 at the age of 101. She was born on December 25, 1919 in the small Armenian village of Ghuschi (Georgia, USSR). Her father, Samuil Simonyan, was a veteran of WWI, and during WWII he was the Postmaster of an entire Upstate Tzalka region servicing on foot 40 villages. Since she was the eldest daughter in her family, Zaruhi soon became the right hand to her mother Betkhehem Ginosyan, helping her take care of her brother and three younger sisters. At the age of 20, she met her future husband, Mamikon Gulian, who had been sent from Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, to raise the cultural and political level of the remote region where she lived. They fell in love, but on the very day of their marriage, he was arrested by Stalin’s regime and exiled to Siberia (the Magadan area) as a political prisoner. For 15 years, Zaruhi waited for her fiancé to return. During WWII, while working as a school teacher, she would also take care of a number of children in her village whose parents had been drafted to Soviet Army. The family reunion took place in 1954, upon Mamikon's return. They settled in the small town of Dilijan, Armenia, and lived there happily raising their two sons and daughter. Zaruhi was a boarding school teacher before retiring at the age of 60. Her wisdom, kindness, and readiness to help others earned her the nickname “Helping Hand”. She was widowed during the turbulent early post-Soviet years and afterwards relocated to Maryland, where the family of her elder son Armen, a physics professor, settled after immigration. Soon, her younger son Tigran (an architect) and his family also joined them in the USA. She acknowledged many times that the good living conditions in the USA were an important factor in her long lifespan. Another factor was the loving atmosphere of her sons’ families. Being surrounded by three of her grandkids since their early childhood and seeing them to university graduation was a lifelong dream of hers. She is survived by her sons, her daughter Armine (who lives in Armenia), four grandkids in the US and two in Armenia, and three great grandkids. Her grandchildren fondly remember her days spent picking raspberries and blueberries outside, making tasty jams, knitting warm scarves, and tending to the yard. She was their first teacher, their greatest protector and admirer, and she will be dearly missed by all who knew her.
All services will be held in Armenia at a later date