H. Vasken Aposhian
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Rockport - Dr. H. Vasken Aposhian was born to Levon and Manishag (Aghajanian) Aposhian in Providence, RI on January 28, 1926. His parents were survivors of the Armenian Genocide and lost most of their family members in it. As a child and teen, Vas worked with his father in his father's grocery store. Later in life he told stories of walking two miles in a blinding snowstorm to deliver groceries. From a young age, he was told by his parents to save his pennies for college. He attended Brown University, where he met and then married his beloved Mary (Zaidan) Aposhian. During WWII, he served in the U.S. Navy and was stationed on the Midway. He obtained his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Rochester.
Vas did a post-doctoral fellowship with Nobel Laureate Dr. Arthur Kornberg at Stanford University. He was a professor and scientist at Vanderbilt University, Tufts University, the University of Maryland, and the University of Arizona. Over the years he taught microbiology, cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, pharmacology and toxicology. He mentored numerous graduate students and supervised their research and dissertations.His research focused on mercury, lead, and arsenic, as well as gene technology and autism.He, his wife Mary (a chemist), and various graduate students traveled the world doing toxicology research on mercury, lead, and arsenic.The group published many research papers in various scientific journals. He retired from the University of Arizona as Professor Emeritus, but remained active in his field for many years, writing articles, speaking at conferences, serving as a consultant, and testifying as an expert witness in court cases. He received numerous scientific awards.
Vas displayed a tremendous zest for life. He was an avid reader, especially of military history, The New York Times, and spy novels. He was a connoisseur of ice cream and other sweets. He loved musicals, particularly South Pacific. When he saw the musical on Broadway, he teasingly threatened to stand up while in the audience and sing "Some Enchanted Evening" with the cast. In his later years he enjoyed living in the seaside communities of Gloucester and Rockport.
He leaves his daughter, Christine Aposhian, grandson, Solon Wayne Aposhian; granddaughter, Anna Wayne Aposhian, and niece, Laura Youngs. He was fond of saying if he knew how much fun it was to have grandchildren, he would have had them first. He was predeceased by his wife Mary, his son David, his daughter Mary Ann and his sister Hasmig (Aposhian) Simonian. Among his dear friends, he leaves Dee Melton, Danny and Gloria Simone, Jean Martinian, Eddie Aprahamian, Rich Fischer, Michael Fleming, Ron Gilson, Bob Prichard, and long-time family friend Esther Sherberg.
The family would like to thank his devoted caregivers. Their patience, kindness, and knowledge enriched the last two years of Vas's life and enabled him to spend his final days at home, as was his wish.
Arrangements by the Greely Funeral Home, 212 Washington Street, Gloucester. For online condolences, please visit www.greelyfuneralhome.com.
Published on September 26, 2019


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1 posts

Prof S V S Rana
Oct 03, 2019
I May the divine soul rest in peace. We lost in him a good toxicologist.