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Longtime TIU professor Joseph Alexanian dead at 88

Trinity CommunicationsMay 22, 2019

Joseph M. Alexanian, a longtime professor at Trinity International University, has died at his residence in Olympia, Washington. He was 88.

Alexanian taught in the department of Biblical studies at Trinity from 1973 until his retirement in 1995. Starting as an assistant professor, he achieved the distinction of full professor and served as chair of the department.

He became Professor Emeritus at TIU in 1995.

“Dr. Alexanian was a kind and gentle, always positive colleague with whom it was a pleasure to work,” said professor of Biblical studies William J. Moulder, who served in the same department with Alexanian for 20 years.

“Joe loved the New Testament and loved his students, setting a fine example for the rest of us,” Moulder said.

Alexanian’s son Dan said his father maintained strong connections with his former TIU students.

“Students wrote him letters for years after they had him in class,” Dan Alexanian said. “They loved him, and he loved them.”

A native of Oakland, California, Alexanian earned a Bachelor of Arts at Wheaton College, a master of divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary, and a doctor of philosophy from the University of Chicago.

From 1957-1962, he served as pastor at Bethany Armenian Congregational Church in Oakland, but determined that he could better fulfill a call to impart Scripture from the teaching profession rather than the pastorate.

According to a biography published in Vahan H. Tootikian’s book Fifty Years of Christian Service, Alexanian “published 11 scholarly articles in various prestigious journals and books and he presented 10 major papers to seminars and symposiums.”  The biography says Alexanian held membership in more than a dozen academic and religious organizations.

The biography says Alexanian participated in various ministries of the Armenian Evangelical Union of North America and the Armenian Missionary Association of America.

Esther, his wife of almost 65 years, survives Alexanian, as do two sons and two daughters. The couple enjoyed 13 grandchildren.

The family scheduled a memorial service for Saturday, July 13, in Olympia, Washington.

In lieu of flowers, the family invites donations in Joseph Alexanian’s memory to be made to Trinity International University. Please put Joseph Alexanian in the memo section.

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