David Vartanian

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Mr David Vartanian was born 15 April 1890 in Western Armenia, the son of Azadia Vartanian and Sierma Agoian.

Vartanian worked as a laborer and lived in Oror, Township of Keghi, Province of Erzurum. Vartanian and several of his compatriots, Neshan Krekorian, Arsen Sirkanian (Titanic records incorrect list him as Sirayanian), Artin Zakarian and Mapriede Der Zakarian decided to flee the country because of the ever-present persecution and emigrate to Canada. Mr Vartanian was listed as having been married and that his wife Baizar Vartanian stayed behind in Keghi.

Vartanian boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg as a third class passenger (ticket number 2658, price £7 4s 6d). He was rescued, he claimed in Collapsible A, but it is more likely that he escaped in a standard lifeboat, possibly #13 but more likely 15. The Titanic sank on his 22nd birthday.

In Canada he went with fellow survivor Krekorian to Mr Paul Martin, 108 Princess Street, Hamilton, Ontario.

After living for a short time in Brantford, Ontario near the Krekorians, he went to Meadville, Pennsylvania and lived there as late as 1937 and was employed by the W.P.A. following the Great Depression. He finally settled in the Detroit area.

His first wife was presumably lost in the Armenian Genocide and in America he remarried. With his wife Mary Baidzar (15 April 1895-12 October 1979) he had a son Jack (now deceased) and two daughters, Rose and Alice.

David Vartanian died in Detroit, Michigan in August 1966 aged 76.

Conflicting account


/PanARMENIAN.Net/ 14.05.2009 01:00 GMT+04:00

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ An Armenian couple with a special connection to the Titanic plan to marry among the ship's artifacts at the Milwaukee Public Museum. Melissa Vartanian, 28, and Vache Mikaelian, 31, will wed on May 15 at Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, AP reports.

Melissa Vartanian's great-grandfather, David Vartanian, was fleeing Turkish occupation in Armenia when he boarded the Titanic. He planned to later send for his new bride, Mary.

When the Titanic sank on April 15, 1912 - Vartanian's 22nd birthday - he survived by hanging on the side of a lifeboat. It took him about six years after he recovered to find his wife by searching through newspapers, churches, orphanages and sending numerous letters to Armenia, Melissa Vartanian said. Then it took another five or so years for the couple to be reunited.

Melissa Vartanian said her great-grandparents died before she was born, but she grew up hearing about their story, which she called "the greatest love story I've ever known."

"This is amazing," she said. "This would be a great tribute to this amazing love story and great tribute for my family."

Viewers picked the couple as the winners of a wedding contest run by WTMJ-TV and its morning talk show. The television station paid for the rehearsal dinner, reception, honeymoon, bride's dress and other costs.

Vartanian said she and her fiance have visited the Milwaukee exhibit along with other Titanic exhibits in other cities. She said some people might think it's a bad omen to get married among Titanic memorabilia, but she doesn't.

"The Titanic doesn't symbolize death and destruction," she said. "It was a journey toward a better life, even though it had challenges."

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