September 10, 1922 – July 14, 2019
Maida Aghababian was born on September 10, 1922, in Baghdad, Iraq, to Mgrditch and Tsaghig Aghababian. She married Alfred Leon Basil in April 1944 and they settled in Basrah, Iraq. While living in Basrah, Maida and Alfred had five children. In 1962, the family moved to Baghdad, Iraq. Shortly thereafter, Maida resumed her education and graduated Teacher’s Training College, before beginning a twenty-five year career of teaching sixth-grade mathematics and occasionally physical education, impacting hundred of children. In 1989, she and Alfred immigrated to the United States to be with their four grown children and their families.
When people think of Maida, it is quickly synonymous with a brave and resilient woman. While she was an incredibly strong minded, intellectual woman in her early life, she remained as unwavering in the decades to come in the United States. Her strength and faith in God underscored every decision she made – whether it was raising her children, working and taking care of the home, and ultimately being the driving force behind her family immigrating to the United States, understanding the dire consequences of a misstep leaving her home country.
Maida was predeceased by her precious daughter Ida in 1969 and by her dearest husband Alfred in 1996. She is survived by her daughter Edwig (Garabet), by her sons Leon (Anne), Mack (Grace), and Ara (Kristen).
She was a mother to 5, grandmother to 10, great-grandmother to 7, and respected by all. While an educator by profession, Maida was a perpetual learner of life – she always had her head buried in a book, re-reading the Bible, reciting the Psalms and rosary, or watching a documentary with the family. Transcending the physical work she did to ensure security for her family, she was always looking to give back to those less fortunate, making donations to people she encountered at every turn, constant donations to Armenia with what was left in her bank account, and providing an example of how to remember how fortunate we were in this life.
Maida knew where she came from, knew where she wanted to go, and knew how to get there – both mentally and physically. This was an undercurrent obvious and prevalent in every phase of her life, from getting top honors as a student to being a fantastic educator, to moving her family to the states and continuing to be a constant love of life. She was a trailblazer and a feminist before the name was assigned to the masses. She was a devout Christian, mother, a grandmother, a great-grandmother, a teacher, a learner, and the go-to for the absolute best manti, dolma, biryani, and dozens of other traditional dishes that we will all hold close to us for generations moving forward.
For nine decades, through our eyes, one of Maida’s main reasons for living was her unswerving faith in God and love of family. She was ferocious about living each day to the fullest –even at close to the end of her life, she was adamant about making it to attending college graduations, traveling near and far to attend weddings, and being present at family parties.
Maida left this world in peace. As a perfect testament to her character, there was nothing left unfinished; no journey incomplete. She was unafraid of all but God. She has indubitably left a mark in each one of us – a one that loves, a one that remembers to be better than the day before, and a one who puts God and family first. We thank you. We love you.
Family and friends are invited to St. Gregory the Enlightener Armenian Church on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 from 6:00 - 9:00 PM for visitation. Private funeral services will be held on Thursday, July 18, 2019 from 9:00 - 10:00 AM, with a funeral mass at 10:00 AM for immediate family members and friends at St. Gregory the Enlightener Armenian Church 1131 North Street White Plains, New York 10605. Interment will be private at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York with her beloved husband Alfred who predeceased her in 1996.
~ In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you please consider a donation to St. Gregory the Enlightener Armenian Church in Maida’s memory ~