“I don’t want anything named after me,” Mr. Avedisian told BU in September. But he said, ‘I will only do this if your name is attached.’ So we are connected.
Mr. Avedisian, a clarinetist who previously performed with the Boston Pops and the Boston Ballet Orchestra for decades, died Dec. 7 of a rare lung disease. He was 85 and lived in Lexington.
“Ed Avedisian brightened our world with music and improved the lives of countless individuals through his thoughtful philanthropy,” said BU President Robert A.
He did this with a smile, said people close to him.
“Ed was a fun-loving man,” said his wife, Pamela Wood Avedisian, who contributed millions to schools and universities over the years. “Always smiling and laughing.”
Mr. Avedisian and Mr. Chobanian lost relatives in the Armenian Genocide. Although both rose far from their workplaces, the Pawtucket, RI, neighborhood, Mr. Avedisian felt it made more sense to name the medical school for Chobanian, the renowned cardiologist and medical school dean emeritus who was first identified.
“Who knows me? No one,” Mr. Avedisian told the Globe in late September, though he may have known that was an understatement.
He and Pamela He was honored in his parents’ home country in 1994 after they planned to open a public school for his parents in Armenia called Le Koren and Shoshanig Avedisian School. In the year It opened in 1999 in one of the poorest neighborhoods of the capital Revan, with 75 students and now teaches 1,000 each year, from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade, according to the families.
“I recently experienced that it offers these kids the same path out of poverty that they did in America, but without having to leave the country,” his nephew, Craig Avedisian, of New York City, told E-mail. Letter.
Mr. Avedisian, who funded the Armenian Medical Center and other health care projects, donated $3 million to the Rhode Island College School of Nursing, which is now named for his sister, Zvart Avedisian Onanian.
“We want to give families who don’t have money the opportunity to get a good education,” he told the Globe in January, “and after all, that’s what we’re supposed to do — help and help others.”
Mr. Avedisian has amassed a fortune by paying close attention to the financial markets, as if to remember the effect he played on performance.
“Success is a combination of luck and preparation,” he told the Globe in October, adding, “You should have done your homework.”
His arrangement brings financial publications and other research to tours with the Popes or to work with many other organizations, including over the years the Atlanta and North Carolina symphonies, the Boston Lyric Opera, the Harvard Chamber Orchestra, the Armenian State Philharmonic. , and the Armenian National Chamber Orchestra.
Although Mr. Avedisian has used his philanthropy to support music, healthcare and local Armenian organizations, he credits his immigrant parents, Koren Avedisian and Shoshanig Englishian Avedisian, as a major inspiration in directing his efforts and money to schools and universities. .
“Our parents always emphasized education. The first words I learned in Armenian and English were education and education,” he said in a January interview. They never wanted us to work in a mill like them.
Edward Avedisian, the third of four siblings, was born in Pawtucket on June 23, 1937, and is now president of the graduating class at William E. Tolman High School in Pawtucket.
He graduated from BU with a bachelor’s degree in 1959 and a master’s degree in music in 1961.
In addition to being a clarinetist, Mr. Avedisian previously held positions as artistic director of the Harvard Chamber Orchestra, and worked on securing union contracts for organizations such as the Boston Ballet Orchestra.
Mr. Avedisian, who retired 20 years ago, was previously personnel manager of the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, performing with many artists including Aerosmith, Tony Bennett, Whitney Houston, Luciano Pavarotti and Big Bird from “Sesame Street.”
Among musicians, Mr. Avedisian does not wear his financial success on his sleeve, either literally or figuratively.
“He was a regular guy,” recalls Dennis Alves, Pops’ director of arts planning. “I don’t wear expensive clothes or fancy watches.”
Mr. Avedisian, who taught clarinet at BU and Endicott College, met Pamela Wood at Endicott in 1973. She decided not to pursue a career as a concert pianist and heard him conduct the college’s all-female choir.
“I walked into the room and asked if he wanted an accompanist for the choir,” she said.
Five years later, they started dating and got married in 1994.
“He was so wise and always knew the right thing to say,” Pamela said. “That’s what I miss.”
In addition to his wife, Mr. Avedisian is survived by his sister Zvart Onanian of East Greenwich, RI and his brother Paul of Cranston, RI
A memorial meeting will be announced for Mr. Avedisian, who was honored many times for his philanthropy, including the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
Former Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan twice awarded him the Movses Khorenatsi Medal, which recognizes outstanding achievements in the fields of art, culture, literature and education.
The University of Rhode Island and BU awarded Mr. Avedisian an honorary doctorate.
“Not only was he a great friend, but his death means to me that the world has lost a great human being who gave his life to help those in need,” Chobanian said of the BU tribute.
Mr. Avedisian said the education provided by his Armenian immigrant parents was the foundation of his and Chobanian’s success in life, leading to his name joining the BU School of Medicine.
“Our parents told us, ‘Hey, study.’ So that was the call, and that was our response,” he told the Globe in September. “They are the heroes, not us. That’s how I see it.”
Bryan Marquard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.