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Dr. Javad Abdollahian passed away peacefully on October 13, 2022, at the age of 92, after several months of declining health. He passed surrounded by family and loving caregivers who were with him during the last months of his life.
Javad always placed a high value on education. He was born in Mashhad, Iran on December 26,1929 to father Abolghasen Abdollahian and mother Masoume Fazel Abdollahian. Javad was the eldest of three sons and one sister. After growing up in Mashhad, he attended medical school and graduated from The Faculty of Medicine in Tehran in 1955.
Javad worked hard his entire life. Upon graduation from medical school, he worked as an epidemiologist and parasitologist for The World Health Organization, in the Khorasan Province, the largest province in Iran at that time. In 1957, he immigrated to the United States where he repeated his internship in Charleston, West Virginia. He completed his residency in diseases of the chest at Berthod S. Pollak Hospital in Jersey City, NJ. He later moved to Philadelphia to practice cardiology at Episcopal Hospital where he met his wife, Jean, who was a nursing student at the time. They married on October 21, 1961 in Burlington, NJ.
Javad loved his family a great deal. His eldest daughter, Andrea Jean, was born in Lower Bucks County Hospital where he was a staff physician. Seven years later, Leila Rebecca was born. Disregarding the rules as an actual staff physician at Frankford Hospital, he snuck Andrea in at night, climbing the stairwell, bypassing the elevators, and into the nursery to meet her new baby sister.
Javad was unconventional. Small talk bored him favoring politics to light conversation. Everyone who met him has a Javad story from the lightly comical to the completely absurd.
He loved to travel. He did so extensively throughout the world with his family and later with Jean. In 1978 he took his children and traveled with his brother and his family to their native Iran. They traveled for several months introducing his wife and children to his history in Mashhad and the beauty of Isfahan. The trip was not without its risks given the time, but Javad knew it would be the only opportunity his daughters would have to meet his mother given the politics of the region.
They traveled to Germany to visit Leila and her family, while stationed there with her husband Alan, who was serving in the Navy. Being a lover of history and movies, Javad particularly enjoyed traveling to Salzburg with his grandchildren, singing every song on The Sound of Music bus tour. Javad would travel extensively to Costa Rica in the decade before he retired teaching at the medical school.
He and Jean owned a home in Ocean City, NJ for many years where they spent their summers with the girls and later years with their grandchildren. A lifelong dream was filled when he bought a boat. Javad loved to be out on the water with guests taking them on daylong trips to the casinos that were mostly voluntary. No one was excluded. If someone was underage he would say “just tell them you are 21”.
Javad was charming and outlandish. He rarely missed an opportunity to make his children uncomfortable. His wicked sense of humor was repeatedly unleashed on innocent waiters and waitresses, his daughters’ friends, neighbors and even a few nuns. On vacations, he loved to torture hotel desk clerks who would regretfully ask where was he from. He usually responded “Finklestein” located in “Eastern Europe” with the chief export being “bananas”, of course. He left many questioning their knowledge of geography in his wake.
Javad loved the arts and was an artist himself. At points in his life he sketched and painted. He enjoyed listening to a variety of music from classical to The Carpenters. There was even a Donna Summer “summer” during the Disco years. He was the life of many parties because he loved to dance especially if Persian music was playing.
As poetry runs like blood through every Persian, Javad was an avid reader as well as a prolific writer. He loved movies. In the last year of his life, he made a list of his favorite romantic movies and watched them repeatedly like Out of Africa and The Way We Were.
Javad passed one week shy of the 62nd wedding anniversary of his marriage to Jean. In addition to his loving wife Jean he is survived by his daughters Andrea and Leila; his sons-in-law Alan and Marc; his grandchildren Aidan, Ava, Ella and Ethan; his sister Haydeh Khademzadeh. His brothers, Amir and Taghi, predeceased him.
Javad instilled in his daughters a resolute independence to retain control over their own lives. To honor his dreams for his daughters and his dedication to his work as a physician, his family invites donations to be made in his memory to Planned Parenthood. The family is planning a private burial.
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