Dr. John Bashian, age 89, passed peacefully on April 9, 2014, surrounded by family and friends.
Dr. Bashian (birthname Ohannes Odabashian) was born in Bolis (Istanbul), Turkey on May 25, 1924. He was the son of the late Artin and Zabel (nee Gazarian) Odabashian. Dr. Bashian's brothers Tavit and Garbis are also deceased. His parents, along with his two older brothers, were born in Sivas, Armenia. They survived the Armenian Genocide and fled Armenia to a safe haven in Bolis.
He is survived by his wife Peggy Bashian (nee Dunbar); loving children, John of Cleveland, Carol (Tim) Cole of Columbus, and Debbie of Pepper Pike. He had two loving grandchildren, Ryan and Lauren Cole of Columbus.
Dr. Bashian attended The Private Armenian School of Pangalti (former Mihitaryan Ermeni Mektebi) in the Sisli district of Istanbul. He attended the University of Istanbul Medical School and graduated in 1948. He served his military obligation for six months as a Medical Officer in the Turkish Army while stationed at St. Giragos church in Diyarbakir in 1949.
In 1950, Dr. Bashian immigrated to the U.S. and to become an American trained Surgeon. Between 1950-1953, he did a rotating internship, residency in General Surgery and post-graduate studies in Surgery at Allentown General Hospital in Allentown, PA. Here, he met Nursing Student Peggy Dunbar, his future wife.
Between 1953-1954, Dr. Bashian was a house Physician at Trumbell Memorial Hospital in Warren, OH. Between 1954-1957, he was a surgical resident at Aultman Hospital in Canton, OH. Between 1957-1958, he was a house Physician at a private hospital in Cambridge, OH.
In 1958, Dr. Bashian joined a private practice in Painesville and also joined the Surgical Staff at Lake County Memorial Hospitals in Painesville and Willoughby, Ohio. Within a year, he opened his own private practice in Mentor, Ohio. He retired from surgery in 1990 but continued practicing as a General Physician until his retirement in 2001.
In 1998, Dr. Bashian celebrated his 50th year in medicine (since graduation) at the Lake County Medical Society banquet. The emcee stated "I observed Dr. Bashian perform his first surgery in 1958 and found John to be an obsessive compulsive perfectionist. John maintained that reputation until his final surgery in 1990".
Dr. Bashian was known as a kind, generous and compassionate gentleman with a great sense of humor. He always said that his greatest joy was to help others in any way that he could. He enjoyed giving advice and encouraging people to work hard to achieve their dreams.
Dr. Bashian enjoyed entertaining in his home, ballroom dancing, tennis and fitness, landscaping and traveling with his family. He was always working on a project and was meticulous in everything he did. He enjoyed reading and discussing history, politics, world events and medicine. His motto was "there is no end to learning". At the hospital, he was known for telling jokes, riddles and for his witty phrases. He loved playing backgammon and participated in tournaments - traveling nationally and internationally to compete.
Dr. Bashian was a member of the Lake County Medical Society, the American Medical Association, the Painesville Men's Exchange Club and The Ohio State Backgammon Club. He was affiliated with St. Gregory of Narek Armenian Church and was proud of his Armenian roots.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to St. Gregory of Narek Armenian Church, 678 Richmond Road, Richmond Heights, Ohio 44143 or Hospice of the Western Reserve, 17876 St. Clair Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44110, in memory of Dr. John Bashian.
Visiting hours are between 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, April 14 at St. Gregory of Narek Armenian Church. A Hokehankit Requiem Service (prayer for the repose of the soul) will follow at 7:30 p.m.