My mother, Anzhik (Anzhela) Harutyuni Poghosyan was born July 25, 1944 in Gyumri, Armenia. She was the second living child of Hripsime Kaghinyan (from Bitlis) and Harutyun Poghosyan (from Mush). She was blessed with a second sibling (sister Anahit) ten years later, with whom she was very close.
As her parents were made orphans in the Genocide, Anzhik didn’t have much extended family; but she always remembered with fondness, the kind folk from neighborhood in which she grew up, who became like family to her.
Neither of her parents had a formal education, and from a very young age, Anzhik decided to become a doctor, knowing this would pay the bills and provide sustenance. Against popular opinion, regarding an uneducated man having an educated daughter, my mom studied tirelessly and was accepted into the government paid state Medical school in Yerevan, capital of Armenia. She graduated with highest marks. My grandfather was very dedicated to her and her studies to the point of bringing her soup every day by train from Gyumri to Yerevan, a distance of some 150 miles round trip.
She started her career as a traveling pediatrician, which she worked for over 10 years. After establishing her career, she married my father (Artyom Davtyan) in March 1976. While they tragically lost their first child, after I, their second, was born (1982) Anzhik went back for additional schooling and became a child psychiatrist.
In 1988 after the most devastating earthquake in Armenian history, my mom was recruited to work with HOM, an American organization which helped families who had suffered those unimaginable losses which, so often, compound the tragedy of such massive natural disasters. This required for her to go back to traveling, which she did every week Thursday and Friday until 2010. While working in Gyumri part of this time, she also worked in two other polyclinics simultaneously.
In 1993, she studied therapy, which earned her new title Psychotherapist, which allowed her to work with adults as well as children.
In 1992, shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union, my mom became acquainted with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. My mom and I were baptized in 1994, after which she held many callings in the church, being a Relief Society President, Sunday School and a Seminary teacher (Komitas branch).
She lived her life in dedication to her family, her studies/career and the church.
Working as a doctor in Armenia, post Soviet Union, often meant going months without pay, and when she did get paid, she shared her earnings with her sister who was raising two children on her own.
In 1999, she had to make the biggest sacrifice of her lifetime, allowing me to come to America to pursue education. Being only 17 at the time, I had no idea of the sacrifice and the pain that she and my dad had gone through to allow their only child to come to America. Honestly, I never understood the magnitude of that until the birth of my own daughter in 2018. I WILL forever be in their debt for allowing me this opportunity.
My mom and dad wrote me letters often (no smartphones or facetime) to teach me honest and true principles which helped me to continue to grow and become the person I am today. They had to travel to a phone center to be able to make international calls, for which I was so grateful. They had profound love for me, and I for them.
After 10 years, my husband and I had the opportunity to finally return to Armenia and I was able to see them in person for the first time, in a decade. What a tremendous sacrifice they made for me!!!
In October 2011, after much hardship and turmoil with the legal immigration process, my parents were able to join us in America.
My father fell ill and passed away in October of 2012, which became a devastating loss for my mom. Her dreams and life became meaningless to her. Yet, notwithstanding, she decided that she had come this far, and she resolved to continue her life’s journey. She dedicated herself to her studies of the English Language, and attended school and classes here to learn so as to be able to work and to become a citizen of the United States. At the age of 72, she studied the language and took the Civics test all on her own and became a U.S. Citizen in 2017.
Throughout her life she enjoyed, sewing, cooking, reading, dancing, traveling, smiling, and generally helping those in need.
She made several trips back to Armenia after the passing of my father, in hopes of regained purpose and to subdue her homesick nature, alas, the loss of my dad was too much for her, and she was not able to regain her footing. She finally met her granddaughter whom she had waited for over 15 years, and the two became deeply connected.
My mom fell ill in 2019, and succumbed to her illness peacefully on February 22, 2020.
She will be dearly missed by all those whose hearts she has touched. She is preceded in death by her dear parents, brother, her firstborn, and my father.
She is survived by her loving daughter, Ruzanna (Peter Musser), her adorable granddaughter Bailey, her loving sister (Anahit Poghosyan), nieces Armine and Hrispime and grandnephew David, and extended family on my husband’s side, too numerous to mention.
She was my mother, my friend, and my greatest role-model. I have learned to cook, be honest, and dedicated in all I do from my mom. I am eternally grateful to her, and to our Father in Heaven, who, in blessing her with me, was really blessing me, with her…
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