The Piloyan Family Bios

The Piloyan Family Bios contains biographic information for Ovsanna (Piloyan) Chitjian, Sarkis Piloyan (her father) and Hripsimeh Kevork Hovnanian (her mother).

Ovsanna (far right) is 9 years old with her Varbed (master teacher) and her daughters. They made clothes for the Jacobson missionaries.

The Piloyan woman, Fresno CA. 1940’s

Ovsanna Piloyan Family Tree

Alternate Bio of Ovsanna Chitjian

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Bethesda Mission School Malatia

Excerpt from Book, Chapter 34. page 314: Regarding the two brothers of Hripsemeh Piloyan (Ovsanna’s uncle’s by marriage).

Both brothers had the reputation as renowned builders in Malatia. In 1915 they were in the midst  of working on the hospital which was commissioned by the Germans. They were both given “Official Assurance” they and their families would be spared, no harm would come to any of their family members. As soon as the hospital was completed all 18 members of the Hovnanian family were slaughtered along with others of malatya – Not one member between the two families was spared, small children and all. That hospital however, was eventually  into a protestant orphanage as the number of Armenian orphans began to escalate.

Sara Returns to her Mothers Village Malatya in 2008

Old Map of Region

Malatya Countryside

Escape Route out of Malatya

Ovsanna and her family left Malatya by caravan to Haleb, an escape route out of Turkey but when they reach Besneo they got held up by a bandit of Turks. They could not go forward nor could they go back, so Ovsanna’s father Sarkis immediately telegrams Effendi and tells him they can not move as they are under hostile guard. Effendi organizes with his influence a soldiers escort for Ovsanna’s family and safely guards them from Besneo to Haleb. Ovsanna always insisted that Effendi ordered 100 horseman soldiers to ensure their safety to the Syrian border.

Reuniting with Childhood friends from Malatia who survived the Genocide.

Excerpt from Hampartzoum CHitjian’s memoir, “A Hairs Breadth From Death” Chapter “Searching For Solace” Page 341:

The next day, Khosrov took us to the wool factory in Nor Malatya where he and his sons were primarily in charge. In one area, we saw machines wash and process raw wool, in another area, the wool was spun into yarn and dyed, then the yarn was woven on mechanical looms into beautiful woolen yardage, and finally sewn into beautiful costumes. This whole process was done under one roof It was sad to learn those beautiful finished products were not available in Soviet Armenia. They were sent to Europe and Russia. The knits ranged from baby clothes to women’s knit suits, which were comparable to Italian kits. Most of our experiences visiting with friends in Soviet Armenia were similar to those we shared in the previous cities of our trip. Again we were overjoyed to see and learn about those who had survived, to learn how each escaped, and also to learn about their situation and achievements. We felt very proud when we learned about success stories. In addi­tion to Khosrov and his sons, we were proud of Davros Manooshagian who was the chief director of the Nor Malatya Hospital, one of the renowned hospitals in the Soviet Union. He was the son of one of Ovsanna’s neighbors. We were friends with his uncle in Los Angeles. Ironically, when we went to meet him and to tour the hospital, he had gone to Los Angeles for a conference. During our short visit in Armenia, we were not surprised to learn that there wasn’t equality among the people after all. It was the same there as everywhere else. There were the haves and the have-nots.

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.

A young Jerry Tarkanian.

Jerry Tarkanian magazine cover

Jerry Tarkanian known for chewing a towel.

Rose holding grandchild

Sara Chitjian’s thoughts

(From WikiPedia)

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.[3] His mother, Rose, was a refugee of the Armenian Genocide during World War I.[4] Tarkanian’s maternal grandfather, Mickael, was an Ottoman government official who was beheaded by Turkish authorities.[5][6] Mickael’s son was also decapitated by the same authorities.[5][6] 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.[5] 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.[7] He initially attended Pasadena City College in California and played basketball at the college in the 1950–51 season.[8] Tarkanian then transferred to Fresno State College, where he played basketball for the Bulldogs in the 1954–55 season as a backup guard.[3][9][10] After graduating from Fresno State College in 1955,[3] he earned a master’s degree in educational management from the University of Redlands.[11]

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.

Sara’s maternal grandfather was from this village.

The Doodahn Chunkush Crevaces

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.

George Kepenekian Becomes mayor of Lyon, France

A young George Kepenekian starting his career.

George (Kevork) with the Chitjian’s

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.