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Former Armenian Primate in America Dead at 85

September 3, 1989

NEW YORK (AP) _ Archbishop Tiran Nersoyan, former primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, has died of cancer. He was 85.

Nersoyan died Friday at St. Luke’s Hospital.

He was elected primate in 1943. During his 10-year tenure, 11 new churches were established and 21 priests added to the clergy.

Nersoyan, a naturalized U.S. citizen, also was a founder of St. Nersess Seminary in New Rochelle and a religious scholar who lectured extensively.

Nersoyan was born in 1904 in Aintab, Cilicia, in southern Turkey. His family emigrated to Syria in 1915 during the massacres and deportations of Armenians by the Ottoman rulers.

He was ordained a priest in 1928, and in 1939 he was named pastor of the Armenian community in London.

Nersoyan was elected Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem in 1957. But his tenure ended when he was deported from Jordan the following year.

He is survived by two sisters, Mariam Jebjian of Fort Lee, N.J., and Teshkhouyn Nersoyan of Aleppo, Syria, and a brother, Hagop, of Dayton, Ohio.

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