The community lost another pillar on Sunday when long-time education advocate, activist and benefactor Ashkhen Pilavjian passed away. She was 89.
She believed in the need to advance Armenian education and was an advocate of improving and enhancing Armenian schools. Through her support, the Holy Martyrs ARS Ashkhen Pilavjian Pre-School flourished into one of the most renowned early childhood education facilities in the Western United States.
In carrying the mantle for her late husband, Alexan, Ashkhen Pilavjian was staunch supporter of the Homenetmen and through her vision to bolster the Armenian youth, she continued to support the Homenetmen Western U.S.’s activities. In 2000, she was named honorary president of the Homenetmen Navasartian Games.
Her firm conviction that justice for the Armenian people is an absolute must and efforts to recognize the Armenian Genocide are critical to attaining justice prompted her and her family to become involved in American politics. She supported candidates for elected office and used her relations with political leaders to drive home her convictions, often hosting officials at her home.
She was a staunch supporter of the efforts of the Armenian National Committee of America and its Western Region affiliate. In 2008, she received the coveted Legacy Award at the ANCA-WR annual banquet.
Over the years Ashkhen Pilavjian had directed her philanthropic efforts in support of several prominent Armenian organizations and institutions, including the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Armenian Cultural Foundation, Armenian Relief Society as well as many Armenian schools.
Pilavjian also had high regard for the Armenian press and Asbarez was a constant presence in her home and her support for the newspaper’s advancement was a source encouragement and pride.
On behalf of the editorial board, management and staff of Asbarez we offer our condolences to the Pilavjian family. May she Rest in Peace.