Hovsep Keshishian

survived the Genocide in Cilicia and joined Near East Relief as a teacher at Aintab Orphanage. Hovsep taught math and English, which he spoke fluently. After the French evacuation from Cilicia, Hovsep helped to evacuate thousands of orphans to safety in Syria. He taught at the Near East Relief orphanages at Beirut, Jubeil, and Hilltop (Sidon) and received commendations for his work. Hovsep worked with the boys at Jubeil to create a beautiful book of botanical samples. In 1926, Hovsep was transferred to the Nazareth Orphanage; he taught there until it closed. Hovsep and his wife Lousaper, who was also a survivor from Aintab, raised five children together.

Information courtesy of Lucy Keshishian Grey, granddaughter of Hovsep Keshishian.

Lousaper Kussajikian

joined Near East Relief in Marash as a young refugee. She assisted Near East Relief workers in transporting hundreds of orphans out of Marash to safety in Syria. Lousaper studied to become a nurse with Near East Relief. She worked in several Near East Relief facilities in Syria, including the Antilyas Orphanage and the Working Boys’ Home in Beirut. Miraculously, Lousaper was able to find her sister Anna in a Near East Relief orphanage in Greece. She brought Anna to Beirut in 1924. Lousaper married Harry Sarmanian and raised a family. She was interviewed for the book The Cilician Armenian Ordeal by Paren Kazanjian in 1989. Lousaper’s children kindly donated the Lousaper Kussajikain Sarmanian Collection of photos to the NEF Archives in 2016.

Gift of JoAnn Sarmanian Janjigian, Hagop Sarmanian, Peter Sarmanian, and Esther Sarmanian Stepanian. 

Mary B. Kifer Albizzi

arrived in the Near East in 1920. Miss Kifer was stationed in Erivan, Armenia, where she worked under Dr. Ussher. While working for Near East Relief, Miss Kifer met an Italian lieutenant stationed in Tiflis. Mary Kifer and Marchese Niccolo degli Albizzi were married in New York in January 1921. The couple returned to the Caucasus to continue their work but encountered problems with the local Bolshevists. They also worked briefly in Batoum. Sadly, Mary Kifer Albizzi drowned while on vacation in Italy in May 1921.

Roy J. King

married fellow relief worker Marion Kerr in Beirut, 1922.

Hilda J. King

Left to right: Mrs. John H. Knudsen, unnamed child, Ms. Hilda J. King

Elsa Reckman Kerr

(Mrs. Stanley Kerr) worked as a mathematics instructor at Marash Girls’ College. When the Turkish Nationalist army besieged Marash in January 1920, Elsa helped to convert schools and orphanages into safe havens. Later that year, Elsa helped to evacuate the orphans from Marash to safety in Syria. Elsa Reckman married Stanley Kerr at the Near East Relief personnel house in Beirut in 1922. The Kerrs assumed leadership of the new Nahr Ibrahim orphanage in 1923. Elsa oversaw education for 1,000 boys living in the orphanage.

Sadly, a malaria epidemic swept through the town and orphanage in 1923. The surviving boys were moved to Jubeil Orphanage. The Kerrs returned to the U.S. for several years. Elsa Kerr became a mathematics professor at the American University of Beirut. In 1950 she was named Dean of Women. The Kerrs raised four children in Beirut and ultimately retired to Princeton, NJ. Elsa Kerr died in 1985.

Stanley E. Kerr

was in the first large group of Near East Relief workers to ship out after the end of World War I. Kerr began in Aleppo, where he set up a medical lab to screen for malaria and typhus. He also helped to rescue an estimated 450 women and girls from captivity in the surrounding area. Kerr transferred to Marash to become Near East Relief’s superintendent. It was there that he met math instructor Elsa Reckman.

Stanley and Elsa helped to evacuate the orphans from Marash to safety in Syria. They were married at the Near East Relief personnel house in Beirut in 1922. The Kerrs assumed leadership of the new Nahr Ibrahim orphanage in 1923. Elsa oversaw education for 1,000 boys living in the orphanage. Sadly, a malaria epidemic swept through the town and orphanage in 1923. The surviving boys were moved to Jubeil Orphanage. The Kerrs returned to the U.S. and Stanley earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry. He became Chair of the Department of Biochemistry at the American University of Beirut. The Kerrs raised four children in Beirut and ultimately retired to Princeton, NJ. Stanley Kerr published his memoirs, Lions of Marash, in 1974. He died in 1976.

Marion M. Kerr King

traveled to Marash, where she worked alongside her brother, Stanley Kerr. Marion was instrumental in the evacuation of Near East Relief orphans from Cilicia after the siege of Marash. Marion married fellow relief worker Roy King in Beirut in 1923. It was a double wedding; Ann Frances Sproule married Alfred Bastress at the same ceremony. Rev. Joseph Beach and Rev. James E. Nicol officiated, and former Near East Relief orphan Zadi Gannaway served as flower girl.

William A. Kristensen

of Los Angeles, Calif., started on November 12, 1921 for the Beirut Area where he worked with the refugees and the Greek orphans in and about the city. On October 31, 1923, he started for home where he arrived February 18, 1921. He may be addressed at 4911 Ohio Street, Chicago, Ill.

Herman Harold Kreider

of Goshen, Ind., sailed on August 20, 1921, for Syria. There he was active in aiding the refugees arriving from Turkey and in receiving and distributing the orphans from the interior orphanages at Urfa, Marash and Mardin. Later he served as Director of the orphanage at Aleppo. He has been in this country since October 26, 1923, doing full-time Near East Relief work in Ohio and Michigan and may now be reached Route 1, Wadsworth, O.

Gertrude E. Knox

(Miss), of Providence, R.I., sailed with the “Leviathan” party and worked in Samsoun. She served there until September, 1920, and then went to Constantinople to teach in the College for Girls. She came home September 11, 1921, and may be addressed 26 Jenckes Street, Providence, R.I.

Blanche Knox

(Miss), of Germantown, Pa., went across with the “Leviathan” party to do hospital work. She served at Erivan. On September 5, 1920, she reached America and is now teaching in the Training School for Nurses connected with the Germantown Hospital, East Penn Street, Germantown, Philadelphia, Pa.

Henry Tracy Kneeland

of St. Louis, Mich., left New York on July 24, 1922. He was made Director of the Koueli Orphanage in Constantinople and in that capacity took 250 orphans and 800 tons of supplies to Piraeus when it became necessary to evacuate the children from Constantinople. In December, 1922, Mr. Kneeland went to Corfu and worked with the orphans in the ex-Kaiser’s palace. At the time of the bombardment of Corfu by the Italians, Mr. Kneeland was one of the Near East Relief men who went out under fire to the Italian ship to remonstrate. He reached the United States on his return in February, 1924. He may be addressed St. Louis, Mich.

Macie N. Knapp

(Miss), of Bluffton, Ind., sailed for Sivas on June 24, 1919, was transferred to Marsovan in the summer of 1920, and returned to the States, September 20, 1920. She is now Resident Nurse of the Y. W. C. A. at 830 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Ill.

Herbert J. Knapp

of Los Angeles, Calif., crossed in late June, 1919, and was assigned to Arabkir in the interior of Turkey. There he remained for three years, giving useful and public-spirited service. He convoyed 500 children from Arabkir to Beirut at the time of the deportations. He returned to New York, July 23, 1922, and may now be addressed 1344 West 95th Street, Los Angeles, Calif.

Lex William Kluttz

of Chester, S. C., did valuable photographic work for Near East Relief in the different areas during his holidays from Beirut University, on whose faculty he was teaching. He reached America in early October, 1923. He is now Associate State Director Near East Relief for North and South Carolina, his office being at 307 Robinson Building, 300 North Tryon Street, Charlotte, N.C.

Margaret Kinne

(Miss), of Ovid, N. Y., started across on September 18, 1920, to do hospital work. She was assigned from Constantinople to the Caucasus and was one of those who remained at her post after the fall of Kars on October 30, 1920. Upon her return to Constantinople early in 1921 she was attached for some months to the Child Welfare Clinic. April, 1921, found her in Sivas in charge of the Armenian Boys’ Orphanage. She sailed for the U.S. in December, 1921, reaching home, January 14, 1922. Miss Kinne may be addressed, Ovid, Seneca Co., N.Y.

Alice Geer Kelsey

(Mrs. Lincoln D.), crossed as above to do relief work at Marsovan. Mrs. Kelsey is now keeping house for her husband and her two small children at the above address.

Lincoln D. Kelsey

of Springfield, Mass., went over on February 16, 1919, and aided in the establishment of agricultural activities at Marsovan. He returned April 22, 1920 and is now a Farm Bureau Manager with an address at 93 Court House, Albany, N.Y.

Josephine L. Huse Kelly

(Mrs. Harry J.), started on November 5, 1919, for Constantinople where she was connected with the relief store. Thence she was transferred to the Konia Unit (March 1920) and in October of the same year she joined the Beirut Unit. She was in charge of the orphanage at Sidon, the only American there. She left for home in the spring of 1921 and reached this side on the 22nd of November. She is now Mrs. Harry J. Kelly of Port Arthur, Texas. (P.O. Box 494.)

Lillian Soule Keizer

(Mrs. John), of Boston, Mass., went across on the “Leviathan” and was booked to Derindje for secretarial work and housekeeping. She married Mr. Keizer at Bardizag. See above.

John Keizer

of Lafayette, Ind., was in Paris in August, 1919, when he signed with Near East Relief. He did transportation work at the Derindje warehouse. He married Miss Lillian Soule Smith of the Derindje Unit, May 7, 1021, and they returned to America via Holland, July 3, 1921. Mr. and Mrs. Keizer are both doing Boys’ Industrial School work. Their address is Bolton, Mass. (P.O. Box 42.)

Roy Kauffman

of Urbana, Ohio, left on February 28, 1920, assigned to Jerusalem. He was Mechanical Superintendent there and at Beirut and reached New York again July 4, 1922. Mr. Kauffman is now a machinist, also doing garage work in West Liberty, Ohio.

Flora (Florence) Stanton Kalk

(Mrs.), of Washington, D. C., sailed on July 23, 1921, for foreign service, and was assigned to the Beirut Area. She was in charge of orphanages in Haifa and Beirut and gave valuable aid to Miss Mary Holmes at Urfa. She was one of those in charge of the removal of the children from Urfa to Aleppo in 1921. Her more recent work has been at Sidon, where she has been effective in establishing the older girls in self-supporting work. She reached America November 23, 1923, and may now be addressed care National Savings and Trust Company, Washington, D. C.