The American University of Armenia is deeply saddened to announce the loss of Mr. Samuel Chekijian, a remarkable individual and philanthropist who cared deeply about the future of Armenia.
Samuel Checkijian was born on July 23, 1936, in Jerusalem Palestine. At the age of 20, he immigrated to the United States with his family, settling in the Boston area.
In Jerusalem, Samuel trained as a jeweler under the apprenticeship of his uncle, Sarkis. He continued to work in the jewelry business in Massachusetts, becoming a well-respected dealer of pearls, diamonds, and fine gemstones. He traveled to India, the Far East, and Europe extensively, searching for the best gems for his customers.
Upon his retirement from the jewelry business in 2015, Samuel moved to Armenia, where he began building condominiums overlooking the Cascade in Yerevan. “He was a very hard-working individual, and always loved what he did,” remembers his brother, Yervant. “Every ambitious task that he would undertake had to be brought to an impeccable completion. He was a perfectionist.’’
In 2015, Samuel became a member of the 100 Pillars of AUA. As one of the first donors to the program, Samuel was thrilled to be joining the growing group supporters who believe that AUA students are the future leaders and entrepreneurs of Armenia.
“Growing up in Palestine, our family always dreamed of an independent Armenia,” says Yervant. “I feel gratified that Samuel’s legacy will stay at AUA, in a Western-style educational institution of higher learning, where they empower students with the knowledge and skills that they need to succeed in building a sustainable country we all will be proud of.”
Samuel passed away at the age of 80 in Yerevan on January 30, 2017. He was predeceased by his father Youhanna, mother Mary Norashkharian Chekijian and brother Vahan. He leaves behind his sister, Hermine Chekijian Adamian (Edwin Adamian) of Wellesley, MA; his brother, Yervant Chekijian of Watertown, MA; nieces Susan Adamian Covo (Peter Covo) of Wellesley and Sharon Chekijian (Yaghjyan) (Gevorg Yaghjyan) of New Haven, CT; and grand nieces, Ruth and Martha Covo.