It was a joyous occasion at the Armenian Nursing and Rehabilitation Center when Anahid Khanbegian celebrated her 100th birthday on March 2. Surrounded by family members, staff, residents, and friends, Anahid enjoyed the day’s festivities, which included flowers, decorations, homemade chocolate pudding, cakes, ice cream and gifts. But most of all, she beamed with happiness being with her family. Anahid was thrilled to have her son Dichran, daughter-in-law Sandra, her grandson Peter Khanbegian and his wife Kwan, her niece Linda, and her husband Dennis Tarzian, on hand for the festivities.
Born on March 2, 1923, in Portland, Maine, Anahid (Parnagian) Khanbegian was always an active, happy child. After graduating from high school, Anahid met and married Hrayr (Harry) in 1946. They first lived in Brooklyn, NY and then relocated to Massachusetts, where they raised their son Dickran in Roslindale. Anahid spent 66 years in Roslindale, working as a hairdresser with her aunt Arousyag, her father Asadour and her uncle Dickran, both of whom were barbers, at the family-owned “Metropolitan Barbershop.” The shop was located at the center of Metropolitan Avenue and Washington Street. Anahid also worked for McGraw Hill/Dodge Reports as a researcher and at “Diane’s Bakery” in Roslindale Square. It was at the bakery that Diane developed her legendary “sweet tooth!” Family was always important to Anahid and she made it a priority to take good care of her mother and her father throughout their lives.
A resident at the Armenian Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for the past three years, Anahid is a favorite among both residents and staff members. Salpy Yeterian, Activities Director at the Armenian Nursing Center, noted that Anahid has not slowed down at all, even at 100 years of age. “Anahid never misses the daily activities,” remarked Salpy. “Her favorites are Trivia, Bingo, religious services, and Resident’s Council. Musical activities, however, top the list. If there’s any kind of music playing, you can be assured Anahid will be there, swaying to the melodies. She loves music.”
Anahid is very proud of her Armenian heritage, praying in Armenian, listening to Armenian music, and savoring the traditional foods. In addition, she loves anything chocolate. Anahid can often be found snacking on Hershey kisses, chocolate ice cream or chocolate pudding.
Life at the Armenian Center provides Anahid with socialization and support. She is beloved by residents and staff alike. “We appreciate all the staff does to elevate the care, maintenance of the Armenian Home for the elderly,” said Anahid’s niece, Linda Tarzian.
Salpy explained Anahid’s personality best. “Anahid is always cheerful and friendly,” stated Salpy Yeterian. “In fact, her favorite term of endearment is ‘honey.’ Every morning I end morning announcements by saying ‘Have a nice day and God bless you.’ Anahid never fails to respond first, always with, ”God bless you too honey.” For Salpy, it’s a wonderful way to start each day!