“I was sitting in the dentist’s chair when Kay Oser (a dental hygienist and Alpha chapter member) said to me, ‘I heard you were joining Tri Kappa!’ ”
“I said, ‘What???’ I guess it had been announced!” laughs Aggie Sarkissian.
Beth Smith had asked Aggie several times if she was interested in joining the Bloomington chapter, but Aggie had always dodged the bullet, so to speak. Because it had been “announced,” Aggie decided to give it a try. And that’s where she met her best friend.
“Beth knew Angie Martin, and we would all sit together at meetings,” Aggie says. “Then, of course, we’d sign up for things together, since it was so much fun to be together.”
As any member of the Alpha chapter now knows, Angie and Aggie have been best friends since they first met at that meeting way back 1995.
Agnes Rose Bajaksouzian grew up in a loud, loving Armenian family in the Cleveland area. She attended Brecksville High School and went on to the University of Akron, where she studied education with a business minor. She taught in an area junior high school but soon realized being an educator wasn’t for her. So she joined the family grocery business – Si’s Bi-Rite – and found her passion.
“We were a family business, so we did everything,” Aggie says. “That’s where I learned catering.”
Catering is a career she carried with her to Bloomington, where she built a name for herself cooking up beautiful (and delicious!) food for over 40 years. She finally hung up her apron in early 2019.
Aggie met her husband, Armen, at an Armenian picnic in the Cleveland area. After a whirlwind courtship, they married and moved to Bloomington so Armen could work on his master’s and doctorate at Indiana University.
They never intended to make Bloomington their home, but after their children, Alex and Aliese, were born, they realized it was a pretty good place to raise a family. Tri Kappa gave Aggie access to a huge group of friends, which is something she still cherishes to this day.
“I liked the women I met when I joined,” Aggie says. “Then, a few years ago, there was this new influx of women. I had been ready to move on to the associate chapter, but I decided I wasn’t ready for that old-lady stuff!”
Aggie is glad she stayed active for a number of reasons – mostly centered on the little things members do for each other.
“Something that really tickles me is that the board sends you birthday cards and thank-you cards. It’s the contact – they keep you engaged. No one is going to fall through the cracks. They keep the community-spirit going.
“I also love it when Lisa Carmin reads the birthday list and, more importantly, I also love hearing about the little kindnesses our sisters do for each other.
“It’s the nice little touches.”
Aside from the sisterhood, Aggie loves that fact that the money Tri Kappa raises stays local.
“That’s probably what attracted me (when I joined) the most,” Aggie says. “Now there are so many good things we do. I think the small sacrifice has evolved into something really good, really meaningful.”
More About Aggie:
She's 100 percent Armenian
Has a soft spot for the "underdog"
Loves to find deals when shopping
Isn't wild about pizza
Has to have the money in her wallet always facing the same way!