Memorial Dance to Benefit Children of Late, Beloved Pastor


By Tom Vartabedian

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — It is being called an event with an extreme purpose.

Members of the Greater Boston communi- ty and beyond will gather on September 22 at 7 p.m. at Holy Trinity Armenian Church, 145 Brattle St., to dance while raising money to help the children of Rev. Haroutiun (Randy) Dagley and his wife, Yeretskin Patty (Sarkisian).

A cadre of 12 musicians, including some of the finest performers in New England, will come together and donate their services — the proceeds of which will benefit the well- being and future education of the Dagley children.

A general fund was established on their behalf at the time of Rev. Haroutiun Dagley’s death in 2002. His wife, Patty, died seven years after him.

Their two children, Sarkis and Sona, are now 14 and 18, respectively.

Among those volunteering their time are the Arzigian brothers (Bobby and Johnny), Jay Baronian, Mark DerMugrditchian, Leon Janikian, Greg Krikorian, Kenny Kalajian, Joe Kouyoumjian, Kevin Margarian, Leon Manoogian, Bobby Raphaelian and Greg Takvorian.

The idea for such an all-out benefit was conceived by Becky Megerdichian following her brother’s death. When Dagley’s wife died seven years later, she became more determined than ever.

This year, marking the 10- year anniversary of the rev- erend’s death, seemed like an opportune time. “I started talking to some of the band members who have been close to me over the past 30 years and all were receptive,” said Megerdichian. “They Sona and Sarkis were also dear friends with my brother.”

The children are living with an aunt (Sharon Dardarian) in Michigan. Sona Dagley is starting classes at Michigan State University while Sarkis Dagley is beginning his first year of high school.

“Both are doing as well as can be expect- ed under the circumstances,” added Megerdichian. “There is a very large group of friends, family and clergy who care deeply for the welfare of these children.”

Sona Dagley played in the band at South Lyon East High School. She was a member of the varsity softball team, a National Honor Society member and attended Armenian School and Sunday School classes. Since the age of 13, she has been a mem- ber of the Armenian Church Youth Organization of America (ACYOA) and won an overall women’s sportsmanship award at a sports weekend.

Her younger brother also plays in the school band, travel basketball team, base- ball, tennis, swimming and cross country

He has been on the honor roll every year and already has a college in mind when he graduates in four years: the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Both children would have made their parents proud, especially their roles on the altar with Sarkis Dagley as an ordained tbir and his sister in the choir.

Rev. Haroutiun Dagley grew up attending Baptist and Congregational Church Sunday Schools but became involved in the Armenian Church at age 19 when the ACYOA seniors of Sts. Vartanantz Church in Chelmsford were seeking help with a sports weekend. Later, he took part in counseling ACYOA retreats and coached high school track and field.

Ultimately, he made a decision to go to an Armenian Church and began working at St. James Church in Watertown as youth director. In 1989, he married Patricia Ann Anahid Sarkisian.

After four years at St. James, he proceed- ed to study at the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, after which he served as assistant pastor of Church of Our Savior in Worcester, launch- ing a career that lasted just over a decade  before his untimely demise. His wife had graduated magna cum laude from Western Michigan University in 1982 with a degree in occupational therapy. Her professional career took her to Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, following a stint in Chicago and on to various school systems in Cleveland.

After being assigned to St. Gregory of Narek Armenian Church in Richmond Heights, Ohio, she became active in the choir, organized a Women’s Guild, taught Sunday School and Armenian dancing and took tremendous pride in being the wife of a priest.

His brother, Nishan, followed briefly in his brother’s steps by becoming a sub-deacon at St. Gregory Church in North Andover.

Tickets are $35 and may be purchased in advance or at the door. For further details, call Becky Megerdichian at (617) 576-3398 or e-mail her at dagleymemorial- [email protected]