With great sadness we want to inform that a great humanitarian, mother and educator passed away…
Armine Zambak was born Armine Tahtalyan in 1916 in Ankara, Turkey, the youngest of three children. Her father was taken in the genocide before she was born. Her sister went to live in an orphanage and their uncle took care of the rest of the family.
Armine attended Uskudar American College in Istanbul where she graduated first in her class. As a young woman she worked in a bank – unprecedented for an Armenian at that time – and excelled as a top employee.
She married Garabed Zambak in 1944, a successful business man and an influential leader in the Armenian community in Istanbul. He served as treasurer and as the financial backbone of Tibrevank seminary as well as the Sourp Pirgich Armenian Hospital. Armine had a large part to play in her husband’s success. She supported him in his business and volunteer work and traveled extensively with him, sometimes serving as his translator. She was also a worldly and gracious hostess, entertaining with elegance. The couple had two daughters, Agavni Pontish and Marie.
Garabed Zambak died in 1977 and in 1984 Mrs. Zambak moved to the United States where she remained a committed and passionate supporter of the Armenian community. She was a regular attendee of the St. Sahag and St. Mesrob Armenian Apostolic Church in Wynnewood, PA and an active supporter of the Armenian Sisters Academy in Radnor, PA. She followed politics closely and was committed to the development of strong national leaders. She funded a scholarship program in the early 1990’s for Armenian graduate students in the United States. She then transferred the fund to the Fund for Armenian Relief, dedicating it to supporting graduate students in political science and public administration at Armenian Universities.
At home, Mrs. Zambak enjoyed entertaining. An avid bridge player, she had a keen eye for the cards and a delightful demeanor. People loved to play cards with her. She enjoyed knitting and teaching the craft to boys and girls alike, and was fond of reading biographies of great leaders.
To all who knew her, Mrs. Zambak was the gentle teacher of life lessons. People around her were always left learning something valuable, about being graceful, about how to be in relationship with others, about being a lady. She was filled with practical wisdom.
Throughout her life, Armine Zambak was a constant source of strength for her family, always praying and always standing for everyone’s success. She is survived by daughters Agavni Pontish and her husband Ara Yeramyan and Marie Zambak Gregory; by granddaughters Araks Yeramyan and Ani and her husband Daniel Speirs, and by five great-grandchildren. She will be deeply missed.