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ARISIAN, Khoren Humanist leader, passed away peacefully after a dignified battle with dementia. He was 88 years old. Influenced by his immigrant father, who survived the Armenian genocide, Khoren used his great intellectual gifts to work passionately for human and civil rights throughout his career as a Unitarian Universalist minister (serving congregations in Iowa City, Sarasota and Minneapolis), and as Leader of the Ethical Cultural Societies in Boston and New York City. He was educated at Tufts University, Crane Theological School, Manchester College, Oxford, Starr King School of Ministry, and Harvard Divinity School. He received an honorary doctorate degree from Starr King in 1988.

Khoren, always a fierce defender of our democracy, courageously spoke out against McCarthyism, marched in Selma, co-founded the New York Society's Prison Reform Task Force, co-founded the Humanist Institute for new humanist leaders, spoke out for LBGT rights, and created New York Society of Ethical Culture's public political forums before and during the Iraq war. From the pulpit, he was a classic preacher with a powerful voice that intertwined research information with elegant prose that inspired us to be our best selves. Khoren published hundreds of articles, edited professional journals, and wrote the well-known book, The New Wedding.

He leaves us wishing for another honest conversation full of wit, kindness and awe of all things beautiful...and of course a pint of Guinness. Our beloved Khoren is survived by his wife Leigh McKay, his sons Christopher Arisian and Derek Arisian (Silvia Arisian), his stepdaughters Megan Elliott (Eddie Elliott) and Amy McDaid (Richie McDaid), his grandchildren Sofia, Serena, Veronica, and GianLuca Arisian, Natasha and Aidan Arisian, Levi Elliott, and Finn McDaid and his brother, Rodney Arisian.

Arrangements are by the Van Horn-McDonough Funeral Home, LAMBERTVILLE, NJ 08530,

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Published in Boston Globe from Jan. 18 to Jan. 19, 2021.
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January 28, 2021
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