Allen Yekikian was born on March 10, 1985, to Asik and Henrik Yekikian in Glendale, California. Determined to instill enduring Armenian values within their first-born, they sent Allen to Chamlian Armenian School and made sure that he followed in his father’s footsteps by joining Homenetmen Ararat scouts. After Chamlian, Allen attended Crescenta Valley High School, where his aptitude and passion for computers emerged. In 1999, Allen became a big brother with the birth of Natalie. He visited Armenia for the first time in 2005, and returned with a newfound sense of national pride. In the fall of that same year, he began studies at UCLA where he earned a degree in History and a minor in Armenian Studies.
Sosé Thomassian was born on September 10, 1982 to Emma Dermardirossian and Varand Thomassian in Newport Beach, California. Two years later, she became a big sister to Vaché. Sosé attended Ari Guiragos Minassian Armenian school in Orange County, where the foundation was set for her academics as well as her strong Armenian identity. She graduated from Woodbridge High School in 2000, and went on to earn degrees in Psychology and Sociology from UCLA in 2005.
At UCLA, Allen was an active member of the Armenian Students Association and fully engaged in his studies while becoming the “technology maven” for his friends and family. During this time, he developed a strong interest in the political future of the Armenian nation, interning with the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) and joining the Crescenta Valley “Zartonk” chapter of the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF), where he held local leadership positions, and served on the AYF Western Region Central Executive for multiple years. Allen revolutionized the AYF’s public relations and online presence, and contributed greatly to Haytoug magazine. He was well-known for having an insatiable appetite for knowledge, devouring information on Armenian history and the Armenian revolutionary movement while still managing to graduate summa cum laude.
From her teen years Sosé was a leader in the Orange County “Ashod Yergat” chapter of the AYF. She worked tirelessly within the local community in all facets and also served on the AYF Western Region Central Executive.
She embodied the word dedication, always humbly leading by example and mentoring new generations of activists. Sosé’s passion for the Armenian community was shown through her unwavering demand for excellence from herself, and those she worked with. She first visited Armenia in 2007 with the AYF Youth Corps program and was immediately captivated by both the country and the program. In 2008 she took the helm of the Youth Corps committee and was the catalyst behind the its restructuring, growth and expansion. Both Allen and Sosé shared a passion for AYF Youth Corps – an experience that set them on the path to eventually move to their homeland.
In 2007, Allen went to work for Asbarez, the oldest Armenian daily newspaper. A revolutionary at heart, Allen brought the publication into the 21st century by redesigning Asbarez.com, and creating the first Armenian news smartphone app. In May of 2009, following his ideals and convictions, Allen joined the ranks of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, and faithfully served as a dedicated member of the ARF “Shant” Student Association.
Some would call Allen stubborn, but those who knew him recognize that characteristic to be determination. When he put his mind to something, nothing short of perfection would suffice. He was smart, charismatic, endearing, passionate and hard-working. In his career he rose to become the Assistant Editor of Asbarez, the Chief Technology Officer of Operation Hope, the social media strategist for Armenia Fund, Webmaster at CivilNet, and Director of Communications at the American University of Armenia. Sosé worked for many years as a senior contracts and grant analyst at the Beckman Laser Institute and TEC Business Center at UC Irvine, where she was beloved by her colleagues for her thoughtful humor and work ethic. She loved pies, Radiohead and a good sample sale. Her favorite term was “avant-garde” which was reflected in her hobbies, as well as her tastes in fashion, film and food. She was always excited to try new things, from paleo-cooking to learning Eastern Armenian, and always wanted to share new experiences with friends. Sosé loved to travel, mainly for AYF meetings and seminars, to visit friends, or with Allen in search of good food and adventure.
In their brief lifetimes they achieved many impressive things, but of all their accomplishments, the greatest was finding one another. Sosé & Allen’s love story began at AYF Convention in 2007 and blossomed into an incredible journey that touched countless lives.
By September 2010 the two were engaged and began their life together. They were married on August 11, 2012 at Kecharis Monastery in Tsaghkadzor surrounded by close friends and family. In the beginning of 2013 Sosé & Allen went tebi yerkir, repatriating to Armenia, embarking on a new chapter of their lives. Sosé & Allen were eager to contribute to the positive developments in their homeland. Most importantly, they were happy and in love.
They had set out to live their dream, but their lives were tragically cut short on May 10, 2013, in a fatal car accident en route to Tbilisi for a weekend adventure.
Sosé & Allen created two blogs to share their adventures with friends and family around the world. “The Wedding Blog” documented the planning of their wedding at Kecharis Monastery in Tsakhkadzor, Armenia. Their second blog “How to Make it in Armenia” documented their move to Armenia and their life together in the homeland.
These blogs have been preserved in their original form and can be viewed here: