Darian family mourns the daughter of Armenian Genocide survivors
“I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read and all the friends I want to see. The longer I live, the more my mind dwells upon the beauty and wonder of the world.” – John Burroughs
Gloria Darian, beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother passed away unexpectedly from a medical procedure on Saturday November 12, 2016 at the age of 80 with her family by her side.
Gloria, the youngest of three children, was born on May 1, 1936 in Fair View, New Jersey. Her parents, Harry and Violet Berberian, were both Armenian Genocide survivors who were born and raised in the village of Dickranagerd, Armenia. Harry lost his mother and three of his four sisters and Violet lost her father in the genocide.
Leaving New Jersey for the West in 1939 with their three small children, Rose, Harry Jr. and Gloria—-and Violet’s sister Mary and her Father Charlie—-they set their sights on a new life in California, settling down in Inglewood.
The Berberian family would eventually move to their family home on South Ogden Dr. in West Los Angeles where Gloria grew up. She attended Crescent Heights Elementary and received the American Legion Award at Louis Pasteur Jr. High.
Gloria was becoming quite a beauty by the time she attended Hamilton High, and she was very confident and popular! She moved through the usual adolescent rites of passage: being voted “Most likely to succeed,” becoming Homecoming Princess, and making the Honor Roll. At Hamilton High, Gloria entered a contest where the girls were to remove a tire from a car, role it around the car and replace it. With her two best friends, Adele Silverstein and Nadine Brown, they won the contest easily!
After graduating from high school, Gloria married her fiancé, Charles Daghdeverian, Jr. on June 24, 1954 at a traditional and large wedding at St. James Armenian church on West Adams Blvd. in Los Angeles. The newlyweds settled into an apartment in Hollywood and soon were blessed with their first child, Craig, on March 18, 1955. Shortly after, they bought their first home in the Silverlake District of Hollywood Hills.
In 1957, their son Bruce was born and the family of four by now lived in a home on Blythe St. in Van Nuys. By the early 1960s the family was active with the new and vibrant St. Peter Armenian Apostolic Church on Sherman Way. Chuck and Gloria Darian (now shortened from Daghdeverian) were founding members of St. Peter as were Gloria’s parents, Harry and Violet Berberian. In 1964 they had the ground breaking of the sanctuary that stands today. All of the families had pulled their resources and energies and in 1965, St. Peter was complete and home to a vibrant community congregation.
Gloria Darian was multi-talented: piano lessons as a child and an artist as she matured into adulthood, and later as a lithe and graceful fashion model. Her talents, along with her giving heart, compelled her to create a mosaic of Christ’s Last Supper that was a part of the altar of the original sanctuary. Later, as the church grew, Gloria set her vision on creating a mosaic/painting that is still hanging there today.
Gloria was a loving and devoted mother to her children. Some of the activities she found herself immersed in were Cub and Boy Scouts as Den Mother; Little League for eight seasons as her sons’ Team Mother and doing all the driving for them and their friends to the YMCA in Van Nuys; bowling league, and in summer, it was always to the beach with the whole neighborhood of children who loved Gloria for her adventurous and happy spirit.
Before the 1960 Presidential election between Kennedy and Nixon, Gloria was asked by then Senator John F. Kennedy to run the phones and get out the vote in the San Fernando Valley! Ten days before Election Day, Gloria received a personally signed thank you note from JFK for running his campaign in the Valley.
In 1974 she was licensed in real estate and worked with great success for Van Rees Realty in Woodland Hills, later joining the West Valley Realty. She worked with Julie Chamian, Pat “Ziggy” Zicarelli and Randy Kistler. She loved her new profession and was very good at it. In 1984 she moved to the large and prestigious firm of James R. Gary in Woodland Hills as one of their top agents. Gloria was a talented representative, trusted by both clients and her peers for the duration of her career.
Among her associates in the office was the late John Yaldezian, and together they located and helped acquire the large property where the Ararat Convalescent Home now abides.
She was a beautiful spirit with an elegant smile, who graced people’s lives with her enduring cheerfulness, her spiritual dedication, and abiding belief in the Lord. Gloria had an indomitable “can do” attitude about everything in her life, accepting challenges with dignity and confidence.
In loving memory, she will continue her pursuits in the remembrances of her family.
From Psalm 18, verse 28: “You Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light!” She will always be a light, her gentle love will be weaved in the stories and memories of her family and friends, and in the wisdom that throughout her life she has etched into our hearts.
Gloria is survived by her son Bruce, son Craig and daughter-in-law Kimberly, grandson Jordan and wife Jordan, granddaughter Jessica and husband Marcus, three great grandchildren – Zoe, Kaia and Sade and granddaughter Kaitlin and husband Kyle.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, 12365 Lewis St. Garden Grove, CA. 92840.