Alternate Bio of Ovsanna Chitjian
Bethesda Mission School Malatia
Sara Returns to her Mothers Village Malatya in 2008
Escape Route out of Malatya
Reuniting with Childhood friends from Malatia who survived the Genocide.
A lasting relationship with Nextdoor Neighbor From Malatia
Rose Tarkanian was the childhood nextdoor neighbor in Malatia of Ovsanna. The father was the treasurer of the village who would be beheaded during the Genocide. Rose escaped and would give birth in Ohio to Jerry Tarkanian.
Jerry Esther Tarkanian (August 8, 1930 – February 11, 2015) was an American basketball coach. He coached college basketball for 31 seasons over five decades at three schools. He spent the majority of his career coaching with the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels, leading them four times to the Final Four of the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament, winning the national championship in 1990. Tarkanian revolutionized the college game at UNLV, utilizing a pressing defense to fuel its fast-paced offense. Overall, he won over 700 games in his career, and only twice failed to win 20 games in a season. Tarkanian was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.
Tarkanian, the son of Armenian immigrants, was born in Euclid, Ohio in 1930. His mother, Rose, was a refugee of the Armenian Genocide during World War I. Tarkanian’s maternal grandfather, Mickael, was an Ottoman government official who was beheaded by Turkish authorities. Mickael’s son was also decapitated by the same authorities. Fearing for their lives, Rose and the rest of her siblings eventually escaped the Ottoman Empire and settled in Lebanon where Rose met George Tarkanian, an escapee of the Armenian Genocide. The couple married and moved to the United States. However, Jerry’s father died when he was 13. By this time, Jerry showed his interest in sports, but his stepfather disapproved of his involvement with sports, while his mother encouraged him to pursue it. He initially attended Pasadena City College in California and played basketball at the college in the 1950–51 season. Tarkanian then transferred to Fresno State College, where he played basketball for the Bulldogs in the 1954–55 season as a backup guard. After graduating from Fresno State College in 1955, he earned a master’s degree in educational management from the University of Redlands.
To read Jerry Tarkanian’s story, go to his wikipedia page here.
Sarkis (Sara’s Grandfather) was From Chunkush
The Doodahn Chunkush Crevaces are found near the village that Ovsanna’s father was from and was used by the Ottoman Turks to dump Armenian’s while they were alive down into these Crevices. This photo is courtesy of Joyce Piloyan who visited the location in 2009.
Kevork Kepenekian, Ovsanna’s First Cousin
Kevork (George) Kepenekian, Ovsanna’s First Cousin became the mayor of Lyon, France. Sara Chitjian remembers him fondly as being a very kind person.
Ovsanna’s Eulogy by Hampartzoum Chitjian
The eulogy written by Hampartzoum Chitjian demonstrates his merging of past and present. It reflects how his present was always was qualified by past experiences and is reflected in most of his writings found in the collection. – A strange obituary. Few words could reveal the true love he had for his wife.