Aida was born in Athens, Greece, April 28, 1943, to Harkine (Anleyan) and Harituin Karabatzakian. At the age of twelve, Aida, her sister Alice and their widowed mother emigrated to Montreal, Canada, where she finished high school and worked briefly. In 1965, Aida married Michael J. Pisani, Jr., of Brooklyn, NY.
The happy couple soon settled in Yonkers, NY. Aida earned her bachelor’s degree from the College of New Rochelle while also caring for her three young children. She became an active lifelong member of the St. Gregory the Enlightener Armenian Church community in Westchester County. Fluent in the Armenian language, she was invited to teach at the church’s Saturday morning Armenian school in 1975, and stayed on for 27 years, also serving as principal. She was active in the church’s Armenian dance group, book club, and Women’s Guild among many other committees that supported church activities and events. St. Gregory’s recognized Aida in 2010 with its Service Award for her many years of dedication to the Armenian Church community. The Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America similarly recognized Aida’s service with its Woman of Wonder Award in 2018. She was driven by a passionate desire to contribute to the greater good of the Armenian community and to pass down the language, heritage, and culture to the next generation of Armenian-Americans.
Aida worked at the Manhattanville College Library in the 1980s while earning her Master’s Degree in Library Science from Queens College in the evenings. In 1993, she began work as the Assistant Librarian at Grace Church School in Manhattan, retiring as Head Librarian in 2010. She spent many years as the part time librarian at both St. Gregory Armenian Church in White Plains and the St. Nersess Armenian Seminary library in Armonk (formerly in New Rochelle), NY.
Aida was a lover of the arts, from opera to Broadway to the fine arts. She took up painting and drawing after high school, and after a long hiatus returned to it in recent years. She enjoyed traveling with her family, visiting many parts of the country and the world. Aida was predeceased by her husband Michael in 2018, after 54 years of marriage. She is survived by daughter Valerie (Richard) Mendelson, sons Michael (Kristen) and John (Stacy), six grandchildren, and sister, Alice Shimshidian.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to St. Gregory the Enlightener Armenian School (Donate), St. Nersess Armenian Seminary (Donate), or Habitat for Humanity (Donate).