Josephine D. Igidbashian

November 26, 2021


 Josephine Igidbashian, nee Tutunjian died peacefully the day after Thanksgiving, on November 26, 2021 Friday at 6:30 PM.   She was born on October 18, 1929 in Helwon Egypt. Josephine nicknamed " Fino" by her parents, she was considered to be a " Change of Life Baby" due to her mom's Zarouhy medical condition (possibly fifth child).  They were warned by the local doctor it would not be a full term pregnancy and to prepare for a tragic end, hence Josephine was born by a" miracle healthy", and mother Zarouhy recovered well. Her father Dickran had purchased a Lottery ticket from the local store, while mother Zarouhy was going thru birthing process.  Date of Birth was a BLESSED and extremely LUCKY Day, there became Two Winners in the family.....Josephine And The Lottery Dad Dickran was forever elated !      

     Josephine grew up in Cairo, Egypt.  She attended International Catholic school for girls managed by French and Italian nuns in Cairo. She spoke several languages, Armenian Dickranagertsy, Arabic, French, Italian and English.  Thru her childhood and teenager years she was a model, and modeled for a well known French designer and company in Cairo. On the runway posing for aristocrats, and diplomats at special events.  Her two older sisters worked for the French designer in alterations, they introduced her to the French designer and company.    She became an apprentice and seamstress sharpening her skills and talents on many levels, Therefore modeling, fashion and textiles became her career! 

      In 1953 Nubar Igidbashian left Khartoum (Sudan) to visit his sister Mary Kehyayan (Igidbashian) and spouse Shant (Vahe) who was married in Cairo.  Nubar was on his way to Europe for business and work travel, he had no intention of meeting or marrying at the time.  Thru the Armenian community group of friends and long distance relatives, he was coerced to meeting the beautiful Josephine.  The matching was perfect, and proposal of hand in marriage was accepted.  It was a matter of time, within 30 days there was a wedding maid of honor and best man Mary (Igidbashian) and Shant Kehyayan at the Armenian church in Cairo.  Newly married she set sail on the River Nile on her way to Khartoum (Sudan).   

       Mrs. Josephine Igidbashian was married to her loving husband Nubar Igidbashian for 62 years, deceased May 31,2015 .  Mother of first born son Vartan N. Igidbashian spouse (Lisa), and mother to daughter Maggie N. Igidbashian-Berger spouse (Tim).   Her Grandchildren Christopher, Alex, and Mark Igidbashian ; and Berger grandchildren Lauren A, David C, Timothy N and Jarrett S. She blessed and showered all enthusiastically.  As well as children and grandchildren of near and far relatives and friends....she really enjoyed going to weddings, baby showers, christenings and birthdays.  Her passion was to celebrate the " Joy Of Life" !   

       Initially moving and living in Khartoum was a big change, it was difficult and she had her struggles.  Compared to Cairo which had a European flare, large cosmopolitan city with many amenities an international hub.  At that time unfortunately Khartoum lacked in many levels of her Cairo life.   Large Igidbashian family and extended relatives were close and strong, as well as the Armenian church (Khartoum), its  leadership, congregation, members of the Armenian Club (Khartoum).  Gradually friendships grew, Josephine being the social butterfly that she was with a strong will and personality made the best of it with dignity and independence.  In a short time line she made friends, got involved in the church and social activities in the Armenian club.  In 1975, Josephine immigrated to the United States to join her children Vartan and Maggie, and paternal grandmother who had immigrated together few years before.  She did not waste time in adjusting to life in America; she put her skills as a seamstress right to work, initially at a small dress making company, then on to with John Wanamaker main Philadelphia store.  She developed quiet a following as a seamstress due to her exceptional skills, especially in tailoring, altering and mending expensive couture dresses.  Josephine also did modeling shows in a team of models on stage runway presenting variety brands in the John Wanamaker city store, it always was large events, every counter worker new " Josie" and she always shined.  The weather did not stop her nor out of work injuries that resulted in fractures.  She managed in her work 25 years amongst friends, aunt Satenig Semerdjian and sister in law Mary Kehyayan,  

       Josephine enjoyed Aquatics and fitness group classes for 22 plus years, she always was focused and determined to be in class even in later years while in facility rehabilitating from serious injuries.  She had an everlasting passion for music, loved singing, dancing favorite song "Ave Maria" sang it with heart and soul always.  She was very dedicated and committed to her Armenian heritage, her Christian beliefs and embraced St. Sahag and St. Mesrob church.  Member 40 years was active in the church choir, the church ladies guild and the Knar Armenian choir group, also in the Tekeyan cultural group Josephine and Nubar never missed Friday night meetings with the group with integrity and value amongst caring dedicated loving friends they all enjoyed.  She was an excellent cook, and especially loved making Armenian desserts, which were very popular at the church Christmas bazaar.   

       Josephine led a vibrant life traveled visiting family and friends coast -to- coast U.S.A. to Europe and Armenia.  Her enthusiastic love for being around people, her friendliness, generosity, and kindness she expressed to others gave her the vitality that she demonstrated every rises to the occasion.  Even thru these last many months and weeks when she could not communicate much at all, medical staff and all her caretakers in the facility have always commented "What a wonderful and cooperative patient she is, and was till the end", they truly have expressed her gentle ways in their guidance thru "COVID" hard days, they were moved by her.   The team did a superb job in her care.  Our Mom's passing during the week of Thanksgiving, on Friday November 26th is monumental, every year during this celebration week it was also our dads birthday November 24th we all family together celebrated our Dad's birthday on Thursday Thanksgiving day; Mom Josephine would not allow any one to forget, it was planned and conducted by Mom.  Start of Holiday celebrations, "shopping" her favorite, New Year into January 6th. She was a very busy Mamma during this time, not to mention Birthday's!  Serendipitous, she bowed out gracefully in her sleep.     

      There is only one Josephine, a unique individual  A "Miracle baby daughter"  sister, aunt, mother and grandmother...."92 years old " A Lifetime of Lottery Winnings " to continue for generations today in our family.  We thank our good Lord Father God in Heaven for Her Life, stated we would not be here today.  We miss her already, and will forever eternally.  May her soul rest with her loving husband our father Nubar, and all those who have gone before her.  Krikor Igidbashian, Mary (Igidbashian) Kehyayan, Shant Kehyayan, Garo Semerdjian,  Kokorig Lussinian and Vart (spouse) and all Lussinian family. Honoring Passed elders in the family far and near, Bedros and Mihran Kolandjian, Yezigian, Ekmekjian. In honor of  Igidbashian Family, as well as Canada Mr. Haig Igidbashian family & Kordzian family; Extended thru ought our World far and near. Also Honoring Tutunjian family, Lussararian and Guergerian, Kaladjian, Vosgueritchian Eugenie and Hrant, Maro daughter and all extended family members thru out the world. We express our loving recognition all those named in past and present with honor. Our mother; grandmother Is in God's Heavenly Home amongst all her loved ones family and friends, Josephine is dancing and singing with " God's Angels and Cherub's".   

      Josephine's favorite entertainer since childhood was an impressionist and American musical actress performing in France; Josephine Baker. She spoke of Her often ,especially in recent last  4 years: 
    *Quote: " The things we truly love stay with us always, locked in our hearts as long as life remains"~ Josephine Baker ~  

    *Quote: "  I still believe that everyone is beautiful in some way and by seeing the beauty in others we make ourselves more beautiful."  ~~Carole King~~ 

   In light of present day challenges with the pandemic, the family has elected to only have a graveside burial ceremony by St. Sahag and St. Mesrob Haysoorp officiating prayers, on Friday  December 3, 2021 at 12:00 noon... The burial will be upon our Dad Nubar's plot at Arlington Cemetery, 2900 State Rd. Drexel Hill, Pa 19026 

    In lieu of Flowers,  Donations can be made to; St. Sahag & St. Mesrob Armenian Apostolic Church, Wynnewood, PA.  19096-2214   

Family and friends attending may meet in front of the office in Arlington cemetery by 11:55am. 

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Graveside Service
December 3, 2021

12:00 PM
Arlington Cemetery
2900 State Rd
Drexel Hill, PA 19026


St. Sahag and St. Mesrob Armenian Apostolic Church
630 Clothier Rd., Wynnewood PA 19096
Tel: 1-610-642-4212

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