My Grandbaba: A Man of Faith and Science

I never got to meet my grandfather, but I have got to know him through memories he made with others. The information below comes from a book written in Armenian entitled: “Armenian History of Aintab.”

Dr. Yervant Kherlopian was born in 1890 in Aintab, which is currently called Gaziantep in south central Turkey. His father Hovannes was a prominent merchant and a pillar of the Protestant Armenian Church in the Kayajik district of Aintab. Hovannes was known for his prudent and ambitious commercial ventures and for his wisdom. Hovanness graduated from Central College, class of 1880.

Yervant grew up in Aleppo, Syria, where his father’s businesses had taken him. After completing grade school in Aleppo, he came back to Aintab to attend Central College, where he graduated in 1912. Later, Yervant enrolled in the Ottoman Medical University in Damascus, Syria. Since it was during the Great War and because the Ottoman’s were in need of medics, he was enlisted in the Ottoman Army and given the military rank of Captain. He was in charge of field hospitals near the Suez Canal. Because of his enrollment in the army, Yervant avoided being sent to Deir-Zor, Syria to be massacred in the Armenian Genocide. After the war, in 1917 he resumed his medical studies. Yervant graduated in the fall of 1918, at a ceremony where King Faisal personally gave him his certificate as a Medical Doctor.

Between 1918-1920, Dr. Kheropian served in the ruling British Army and settled in Aleppo, where he was the head of the Red Cross Hospital and the National Orphanage. During that time he was offered several opportunities to relocate to U.S.A., but he decided to remain in Syria to help both the Armenian and non-Armenian people there.

In 1930, Dr. Kherlopian married Anna Kalpakian (Daughter of Dr. Avedis Kalpakian) and had three daughters and two sons.

Yervant started a hospital in the small village of Ras-Al-Maara, Syria, which is between Aleppo and Hamma, further expanding the clinic in 1938 to the City of Homs which he used as base of operation, until he passed away at age 78. His funeral was on a Thursday October 24, 1968, for which hundreds of people of all ethnic origins and social classes had come from far and wide to give their respects.

Up to his passing, Dr. Kherlopian ceaselessly operated  both hospitals. Never to have been known to take vacation or time off for the 47 years that he dedicated himself to tend to the health of all people.

Dr. Kherlopian was a devout Christian. He preached the Gospel regularly at the Armenian Evangelical Church in Homs when resident clergy were not available.

He was also a leading supporter of AGBU and a veteran member. He dedicated his life with pleasure to the community in all aspects, including schools, orphanages, churches, and the arts. Dignitaries used to travel to see him and gave their respects to Dr. Yervant Kherlopian.

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