Mary M. Aposhian

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APOSHIAN, Mary M., 82, of Gloucester, MA and Tucson, AZ died on September 9, 2009 in the Addison-Gilbert Hospital, Gloucester, MA. Mrs. Aposhian was born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1926 to missionary parents, the Reverend and Mrs. Joseph Zaidan. The family moved to Fall River, MA when she was two years old. She attended Westminster College and graduated from Brown University in 1948. Mary took many graduate courses in biomedical sciences at Stanford, MIT and The University of Arizona. She also studied Arabic, in which she became fluent. Above all, she was a devoted mother and wife. She was also a recognized educator and scientist. Mary Aposhian taught chemistry at Friends School in Baltimore, MD and was the Head of the Science Department of St. Gregory's Preparatory School in Tucson, AZ for a number of years. She was an essential member of the Aposhian research laboratory at the University of Arizona. Mrs. Aposhian was a major participant in studies of human populations in remote areas of Chile, Inner Mongolia, Southwest China, Romania and Mexico. She was entrusted to make, in the field, the most crucial measurements that were the basis of evaluating the health of people in these rural and poor areas whose drinking water was contaminated with arsenic. She was honored for her work by the local and national governments and was revered by the individual citizens of the areas. Mrs. Aposhian was also involved in mercury toxicity studies of humans in Mexico and the United States. Not only was she known for her scientific and intellectual contributions, she also was an internationally recognized gourmet cook, often solely preparing dinner in her Tucson home for as many as 35 guests at the same time from all over the world, including members of royal families. In her quiet, smiling manner she encouraged and helped young people to strive for as much education as possible. She often personally made resources available to those who could not afford them, especially minority students. Her family will fondly remember her for her steadfast love, continual support and creative problem solving. She is survived by her husband and scientific collaborator of 61 years, Dr. H. Vasken Aposhian; daughter, Dr. Christine M. Aposhian of Somerville and Gloucester, MA; son, David L. Aposhian of Cambridge, MA; grandson, Solon Aposhian of San Francisco; granddaughter, Anna Aposhian of Watertown, MA and son-in-law, Joseph Santa Maria of Santa Clara, CA. Her younger daughter, Dr. Mary Ann Aposhian Santa Maria of Santa Clara, CA died in 2001. Arrangements will be private. Greely Funeral Home, 212 Washington St., Gloucester, MA 01930

Published in the Arizona Daily Star on Sept. 11, 2009