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In Memoriam: Christian Jean Adjemian

13. April 2012

News, Congregational News,


Christian Adjemian was born in Gardanne, France, to parents of Armenian and Italian backgrounds. Coming to New York City with his family while a young child, he graduated from Spring Valley, N.Y., High School in 1965 and from Colorado State University in 1970. An excellent skier, he became a member of the National Ski Patrol while in Colorado. Moving to Seattle, he obtained M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in romance linguistics at the University of Washington, receiving several fellowships and awards during his graduate career.

In 1977, he became a faculty member in linguistics at the University of Ottawa, where he taught courses, supervised student research, and published articles on French syntax and language acquisition. During his linguistics career he lectured in Canada, the U.S., and Europe.

In early 1981, Christian asked his students for someone to stay for a few days with his daughter Tamika so that he and Laura could attend a linguistics conference. The student who volunteered, Shelley Ayer, took Tamika to church with her. It was through Shelley and Tamika that Christian made the acquaintance of the Almonte, Ont., Reformed Presbyterian Church and its new church plant in Ottawa. Rich Ganz, the young pastor called to the work in Ottawa, and his wife, Nancy, extended friendship to Christian and Laura.

In fall 1983, Christian was on sabbatical at the University of Ottawa and seeking counseling for some life issues. Remembering that Rich Ganz had ...

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