An Appreciation: Val Asbedian

Compiled by The Bedford Citizen

Val Asbedian - Courtesy image (c) 2015, all rights reserved
Val Asbedian – Courtesy image (c) 2015, all rights reserved

Flags in Bedford are flying at half-staff today and tomorrow to honor  former Selectman Val Asbedian’s long service to the Town.

Asbedian passed away on Saturday, January 16. He is survived by his wife Nancy, his children James and Susan along with their spouses Amy Asbedian and Marco Ciaffi, and was a cherished Babig to six grandchildren.

Calling hours are taking place this afternoon from 4 to 8 pm at the Aram Bedrosian Funeral Home, 558 Mount Auburn Street in Watertown. A funeral mass will take place at 11 am on Thursday, January 21, in Saint Stephen’s Armenian Church, 38 Elton Avenue, Watertown. Interment will be at Shawsheen Cemetery, Bedford.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Camp Haiastan, 722 Summer Street, Franklin, MA 02038, or Saint Stephen’s Armenian Church.

Service to the Town of Bedford from 1979 through 2014

From his first appointment to the Finance Committee in 1979 through his retirement from the Petitioners’ Advisory Committee in 2014, Asbedian served Bedford’s Cable Television Committee, the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Capital Expenditure Committee, and the Ad hoc Information Systems Advisory Committee according to Town Clerk Doreen Tremblay. In total, that adds up to 18 years of service on appointed committees. In addition, Asbedian was more than once elected as a Selectman.

Town Manager Rick Reed said, “Val served as a Selectmen for nearly 9 years and was a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals prior to being elected as a Selectmen.  While serving as a Selectmen, his interests as a Selectman were diverse.  Val worked to improve the Town’s information systems and data processing capabilities tapping into his professional experience.  Val was a Selectman at the turn of the century, and in the two years leading up to 2000 Val helped to ensure that Town staff were focused onY2K preparations.

“He was a supporter of establishing a permanent land acquisition program for the Town that would address both open space and athletic field needs, Reed continued. “Val also understood the important role that Hanscom Air Force Base played in the Town’s economic conditions and was always worked to support the base.  Val was attentive to keeping the cost of Town services at a manageable and affordable level throughout the time he served.  It is regretful that he has  passed away and I will continue to appreciate the contributions Val made while serving Bedford and its citizens.”

“Val Asbedian served the Town of Bedford for many years on the Finance Committee and as a Selectman,” said Bedford’s current Moderator Betsey Anderson.”I always enjoyed working with Val.  He had a strong background in finance and always tried to ensure that the Town was making good financial decisions.  In addition, he had a great concern for its citizens, especially the elderly, and worked to be sure that their needs were being met.  He loved the Town of Bedford and spent many hours serving its citizens.  Val will be missed by all who knew him, especially his loving family.

“As fellow Selectmen, Val and I didn’t always agree,” noted Laura Goldenberg who served on the board with him,”but the controversy was genial and supportive.  Val knew what government was about.”

R. Bruce Murphy recalled, “The level of intellect Val brought to the Finance Committee’s deliberations was impressive. He was a smart guy without being a know-it-all.

Then-president of Bedford’s League of Voters, Meredith McCulloch recalled that  Asbedian was among the first men to join the League when the group opened its membership to voters of both genders.

As a Middlesex Community College Trustee from 1997 through 2007

Val Asbedian's official portrait as a Trustee of Middlesex Community College - Courtesy image all rights reserved
Val Asbedian’s official portrait as a Trustee of Middlesex Community College – Courtesy image all rights reserved

Former Middlesex Community College President Carole Cowan worked with Asbedian during the 10 years he was a trustee for the college, from 1997 to 2007.

Besides his business and financial acumen, Cowan said Asbedian was especially passionate focusing on the college’s information technology systems.

“Val committed a decade of service to the college as a member of the Board of Trustees, and the college benefitted greatly from his technology background and his passion for our communities,” Cowan said. “Val spent a lot of time making sure the college would be ready for its Y2K conversion in 2000, but always had an eye toward improving the way the college used technology to better serve our students, faculty, and staff. He was a real asset to both the board and the college.”


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