SPRINGFIELD–Mass.–One of the founding members of the Armenian Youth Federation–Popken J. Hachigian of Springfield–an Armenian civic and cultural leader–died July 4 at Baystate Medical Center. He was 86.
Under the leadership of Gen. Karekin Njdeh Hachigian was one of the founding member of the Armenian Youth Federation in 1933–and served on one of its first Central Executive. An active member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation–Hachigian was one of the pillars of decades-old Springfield–Mass. Armenian-American community–and a leader and an activist in the pursuit of the Armenian Cause–serving as chairman of the Armenian National Committee there.
He was instrumental in organizing Springfield area commemorations of the 1915 Armenian Genocide–raising the red-blue-orange Armenian flag at City Hall on April 24 in memory of the 1.5 million Armenia’s who died at the hands of the Turks between 1908 and 1917. Springfield Mayor Michael J. Albano proclaimed April 24 Armenian Genocide Recognition Day. Hachigian’s parents were survivors of the Genocide.
He was also a member and 40-year trustee of St. Gregory Armenian Church in Indian Orchard.
He and two brothers owned and operated Koffee Kup Donuts for 50 years–and he retired in 1995. He also opened Annoushner Candy Store at Eastern Mall last year.
Born and raised in Springfield–he was a graduate of the former Springfield Technical High School and attended American International College and the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy–New York. He also attended the Newark College of Engineering in New Jersey.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years–the former Vartouhi Shirvanian; and two brothers–Haig H. and Vaskin Hachigian–both of Springfield. His sister–Satenig Zamanigian–predeceased him in 1995. He was the loving uncle of several nieces and nephews.
The funeral was scheduled to be held Saturday–July 8 at St. Gregory Armenian Church at 10:00 am–with burial in Hillcrest Park Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Gregory Church–the Armenian Relief Society–or the Armenian National Committee–all at 135 Goodwin Street–Indian Orchard–MA 01151.