|Birth: ||Jul. 13, 1893, Armenia|
|Death: ||Apr. 9, 1984|
San Diego County
Astor Basmajian (war records state "Astoor") was born in Armenia (when it was still Armenia before Turkey took most of it). My great grandfather came from a very well to do family that lived in a grand mansion that had an inner courtyard, much like a palace. His family was either of royal blood or involved in a high position of authority there. He spoke of being raised by lake Van and being able to see Mount Ararat from his home. He loved his country, until the Turks came in and slaughtered his entire family. Some of his family escaped in the night, only to be separated.
He, his older brother Gazar and other brother Adam were able to escape and board a ship eventually making their way to America. They had nothing yet at such young an age the three of them opened their own Jewelry and Fur Company in New York, becoming Jewelers to some of the biggest stars of that time period (Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, etc).
He served in WWI and was blinded by mustard gas, but eventually regained his sight. Later he married Esther, the love of his life (who happened to have been previously married to his brother Adam). When Adam died in 1926, he felt compelled to take care of Esther and her young son. He loved Esther with his whole heart and they lived a very long life together.
They moved eventually to Ohio where they had a daughter Clara. When Esther's son from her previous marriage died in a terrible auto accident they later moved to California to start over.
Astor then bought many pieces of property in San Diego and became a very successful real estate entrepreneur. He had a chance of purchasing prime real estate in Point Loma or Valencia Park (this was when it was rolling hills and countryside). He chose the latter and built two houses, the one at the top of the hill remained the family home for generations. He broke off plots of land and helped develop it into the neighborhood that is now Valencia Park.
At one time the community was known as Astor Heights, named after him. Astor also donated some of his land to Valencia Park Elementary. He died a very old man, who had a very good life, and one who respected everyone, worked hard and had a great sense of values. He lived the "American Dream" and always gave credit to God for all his blessings.
In his old age he caught pneumonia and later passed, when Esther learned that he had passed she couldn't live without him and died a few weeks later from a broken heart.---
Esther Praither Basmajian (1895 - 1984)
Clara Basmajian MacLaren (1929 - 2013)*
Greenwood Memorial Park
San Diego County
Created by: J. Rubio
Record added: Jan 28, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 104325007