BURBANK–Zabel Kafesjian–of Pacific Palisades–generously donated $100,000 to the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America–to be used towards the Bell Tower and Bell Tower Cross of the proposed Church.
Archbishop Vatch Hovsepian–Primate of the Western Diocese–exuberantly announced that–"Mrs. Zabel Kafesjian–a most gracious Lady–in the true sense of the word–low-keyed and humble–whom I have had the good fortune of knowing her and her husband Takvor for many years–has graciously made a queenly donation of $100,000 toward the Bell Tower and Bell Tower Cross of our Cathedral–in memory of her beloved husband James Takvor Kafesjian. Each time the Bell Tower chimes–it will be a reminder of the altruistic donation and the kind sentimen’s of Mr. and Mrs. Takvor and Zabel Kafesjian. In fact–I must emphasize that when the Western Diocese first purchased the St. John Garabed Church in Hollywood–Takvor was one of the first generous donors."
The Kafesjians came to this country as a direct result of the Turkish Genocide. Takvor Kafesjian was born in Sepastia–Sivas. Zabel Kashian Kafesjian was born in Smyrna–Izmir. They met and married in Chicago where Takvor developed a very successful decorating business while Zabel raised their four children. and helped her husband in the business. Their three daughters and son attended Chicago schools and went on to colleges in the Mid-west.
In 1955–Takvor and Zabel decided to move to California and retire. The couple built a spectacular home in Pacific Palisades and Takvor plunged fully into retirement and became active in Armenian charities and by assisting his son-in-law–Ralph Nahigian–in the plastics business. In Chicago–Takvor was President of the AGBU and both he and Elizabeth were lifetime benefactors of the organization. In California–they continued their deep commitment to Armenian causes; Takvor spent many hours of his time working with others to create the Larchmont Center for AGBU. He participated in all areas of the negotiation and renovation of the center. When UCLA was recording the history of the survivors of the Genocide–Takvor Kafeshjian gave a complete oral witnessing of his past years in Turkey.