Mar. 9, 1989 Springfield Delaware County Pennsylvania, USA
Sarkis Sookiasian was born in Malatya, Turkey to Nazareth and Manoushag Sookiasian. He grew up practically an orphan because his mother died only a couple years after he was born, and his father had moved to America in search of a better life in 1900. Sarkis was raised lovingly by his paternal grandparents. Despite the hardships, he always remembered growing up in Malatya fondly. In 1909 at age 10, Sarkis moved to America to live with his father and other relatives who had established themselves in America. He left Malatya and went on a long trek with two of his cousins across Turkey and then on to France, likely by ship. There they made the voyage to Ellis Island and then on to Philadelphia. There he attended school and grew up, living with his father and uncle's family. In 1922 a marriage was arranged for Sarkis to Tacouhi Tekian, who had recently come to America after living in Constantinople. Tacouhi was the daughter of the Sourpik Tekian and the late Bedros Tekian. They had two children, Theodore and Nazareth, and they were raised in the Armenian Catholic church. Both their sons served America in World War II and then went on to get married and have children of their own. Besides Sarkis and Tacouhi's 5 grandchildren, they went on to see many of their 10 great-grandchildren. Sarkis was a butcher and later a grocer. In the 1960s, Sarkis returned with Tacouhi to Malatya for the first time since he had left over 50 years before. After living in America for so long he found it to be very backwards and it had barely made any advancements since he left. Also it was now nearly devoid of the Armenian he had known growing up because they had all fled or were massacred in the Armenian Genocide, which occured just a few years after he had left. After that disapoointing last visit Sarkis never saw his homeland again. Back in America, he was a member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, and Tachouhi was very involved with the Armenian Relief Society. As the Philadelphia neighborhoods around them changed for the worse in the 1960s, they moved to the suburb of Springfield. In their last few years, Sarkis and Tacouhi moved to a nursing home, where they died just six months apart after living to see many of their 10 great-grandchildren.