Terrence (Terry) Tashji, son of the late George and Izabel Tashji, passed away peacefully on October 11, 2020. Terry was 93 years old and a longtime resident of Brooklyn, New York. Born in Troy, New York, Terry later moved with his parents and younger brother Edward to Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan where he attended public school and encountered some of the rough life that dominated that part of the city in that era. As a teenager, Terry enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in World War II as a stenographer and translator. After the war, Terry served as a translator on Ellis Island where his parents had entered the United States in the early 1920’s as emigres bearing passports from French controlled Syria. His father was a Syrian pressed into military service for the Ottoman Empire and his mother was an Armenian genocide survivor. Terry’s mother had a beautiful singing voice which distinguished her from the other Armenian refugees. Her musical talent was a saving grace and, with her husband’s service, kept them both safe from the atrocities of that time. After settling in Troy’s Armenian community, the family spoke multiple languages at home and Terry developed fluency in Turkish, Armenian and English. He later added German and some Arabic to his linguistic skills. Terry inherited his mother’s beautiful voice and performed in nightclubs in Boston and New York City. He was a proud union member of the American Guild of Variety Artists. Terry was also a gifted storyteller and in the 1950’s worked as a disc jockey and in the emerging new world of television. He helped to produce a TV show, The Merry Mailman, and also worked on the Flash Gordon show. He later worked as a legal secretary and court reporter. Having started roller skating as a youth, Terry became a competitive skater and placed 4th in the U.S. National Competitions. After winning this title, he obtained commercial sponsorships enabling him to travel across country. His love for travel was kindled by these trips. Subsequently, he became an accomplished ice skater, performing in ice shows, coaching and judging compulsory figures for aspiring skaters and traveling the world to attend international ice competitions. Terry was fascinated with cars and loved taking care of the many Cadillacs he owned over the years. This hobby served as the basis for his brief entry into the used car business at his own shop, Rocket Auto Sales in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. In addition to his parents, Terry is predeceased by his wife of 64 years, Marie Abdallah Tashji, his sister Josephine who died as a young child, his brother Edward, his sister-in-law Mary Tashji and brother-in-law Eli Abdallah. He is survived by four daughters, Laura Tashji Clauss (Tucker Clauss), Janette Mellor, Georgette Tashji and Irene Tashji; eight grandchildren Daniel and Thomas Mellor, Helena Clauss Goodall, Tucker, John and Kurt Clauss, and Isabella and Stephen Rutkowski; 8 great-grandchildren, Levi, Jordan, Jeremiah, Ariel, Tucker, Caroline, Garrett and Treviana; sister-in-law Rose Abdallah and her children Yvonne, Thomas, Kim and Eli. There will be a private service on October 14, 2020 at 10am at St Mark’s Syriac Orthodox Cathedral at 55 W. Midland Ave. Paramus, New Jersey 07652. A burial with military honors will follow at the Fairview Cemetery at 500 Fairview Ave. Fairview, New Jersey 07022.
A Memorial Service at St. Mary’s Antiochian Orthodox Church in Brooklyn will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to:
St. Mark’s Syriac Orthodox Cathedral
55 W. Midland Ave.
Paramus, New Jersey 07022
Assyrian Orphanage and School Assoc. of America, Inc.
644 Paramus Road
Paramus, New Jersey 07652