SOAR - St. Louis Chapter
St. Louis joined the SOAR family in November 2012. During the first decade of the 20th century, a group of immigrating Armenians settled in St. Clair County. Industrial East St. Louis provided opportunities for those seeking jobs. Most planned to return to Armenia, but some wanted to become permanent residents of the United States. The first Armenians to settle permanently in St. Clair County were Mr. and Mrs. Arman Magarian, Mr. and Mrs. Mike Fouryigian, and Mr. and Mrs. Hampartz Vartanian.
In St. Clair County the Armenian population grew to several hundred, with one count going as high as one thousand. In East St. Louis, they lived near Brady, Broadway, Converse, Division, Gaty, Kansas, Missouri, and St. Louis Avenues, and between Tenth and Nineteenth Streets. Many started to work at the Granite City steel mills. Others began small businesses. Armenian-owned grocery stores, dry cleaners, ice cream shops, and taverns.
Of the first Armenian children to arrive, some graduated high school, but most ended their schooling in the freshman or sophomore year to help bring in more income for the family. But for the first generation of American-born Armenians things were different. Most completed high school and some went on to college and to graduate school to become attorneys, accountants, doctors, and teachers. As the children immersed themselves in America, they also held on to their heritage. The Armenian Women's Education Association, founded in the late 1920s, taught the Armenian language and culture.
Board of Directors:
Pat has been a registered nurse for 39 years. Her nursing degree is from the University of Missouri St Louis and before that she received her diploma from Barnes Jewish School of Nursing, now Goldfarb School of Nursing. She is currently working at Siteman Cancer Center as an oncology nurse coordinator. She is certified in Healing Touch, Pain Management and Oncology and serves on the BOD of Healing Touch St Louis and The American Society for Pain Management Nursing - St Louis Chapter.
She has been married to her husband Tim for 38 years and they have 4 wonderful children, 2 beautiful daughter-in laws and one grandchild.
Her interest in SOAR was born during summer trips to Lake Nagawicka in Delafield Wisconsin where she would visit her high school friend Mary Kay (Ebel) Hajinian and her husband Chuck. When Chuck returned from his 2015 trip to Armenia (a trip taken to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the Armenian genocide by the Ottomans) he shared many stories and pictures about the orphanages there and in Syria. Her support has been strictly spiritual and financial in past years but inspired and deeply troubled by the 2017 political climate regarding refugees, she feels called to give more in the form of time and talent to "the least of these".
Diane Cash was born and raised in St. Louis, MO. She currently lives in St. Charles Co. Her niece, Kristen Tumanyan, is also a member of our SOAR chapter. She enjoys hanging out with Kristen and her family. Diane loves helping others in her spare time.
Armen Tumanyan was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, and came to the US as a refugee in 1993. He graduated from St. Louis University in 1998 with a degree in chemistry. Later, he graduated from SIU - School of Dental Medicine in 2002. Armen has two dental practices in St. Charles, MO (suburbs of St. Louis). His family includes his wife and 3 kids.
Kristen Tumanyan grew up in St. Louis, MO. I currently live in St. Charles, MO with my family. I am married to my husband, Armen, and have three wonderful children. I am currently pursuing my Bachelors Degree in Nursing from Barnes Jewish College (Godfarb School of Nursing).