Jamaica Plain resident Anahid Khanbegian recently celebrated her 100th birthday.
Khanbegian lives at the Armenian Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Jamaica Plain, and celebrated her birthday on March 2 while surrounded by family members, staff, residents, and friends. The party included flowers, homemade chocolate pudding, cakes, ice cream and gifts.
But most of all, she beamed with happiness being with her family -- her daughter-in-law Sandra, her grandson Peter and his wife Kwan, her niece Linda, and her husband Dennis Tarzian, were all 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, she 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. She lived in Roslindale for 66 years, 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.
She also worked for McGraw Hill/Dodge Reports as a researcher and at Diane’s Bakery in Roslindale.
A resident at the Armenian Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for the past three years, she is a favorite among both residents and staff members.
Salpy Yeterian, Activities Director at the Armenian Nursing Center, said Khanbegian has not slowed down at all, even at 100 years old.
“Anahid never misses the daily activities,” said Yeterian. “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.”
Khanbegian is very proud of her Armenian heritage, prays in Armenian, listens to Armenian music, and savors the traditional foods. Yeterian explained Khanbegian’s personality best.
“Anahid is always cheerful and friendly,” said 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.”