Jean Caldwell Kashgarian

December 31, 1933 ~ December 4, 2019 (age 85)


Jean Gaylor Caldwell Kashgarian was born in Matapedia, Quebec (a town famous for the meeting of two famous salmon rivers) on December 31, 1933. She was the youngest of the three daughters of Harry and Elizabeth Delaney Caldwell. Her family moved to Norfolk, Connecticut when she was eleven years old. She attended middle school in Norfolk and graduated high school from the Gilbert School of Winsted. Following graduation from the Jackson College for Women of Tufts University in 1956, she worked as an Assistant in Research for Professor Talbot Waterman studying marine animal navigation. While at Yale she met and married Dr. Michael Kashgarian then a recent graduate of the Yale University School of Medicine. They started married life in Goettingen, Germany while Dr. Kashgarian was doing a post doctoral fellowship at the Physiology Institute of the University. Upon returning to New Haven they were appointed the Faculty Head of Harkness Dormitory where for seven years she administrated student life at the medical school. Later, she was an Editorial Assistant to Professor Waterman and subsequently the Managing Editor of the American Journal of Pathology. Jeanie had an abiding interest in child development and education. Both daughters were enrolled in nursery classes at the Yale Child Study Center. Later they attended the Foote School where she served on the Parents Association. After moving to North Haven, the daughters attended Ridge Road School where again she served on the Parents Association where she developed a catalog of extracurricular activities. When both girls attended Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, she served as President of the Mothers Association. When Choate and Rosemary Hall were officially united, she became President of the Parents Association and a member of the Board of Trustees of Choate Rosemary Hall. An avid gardener she was a member of The Garden Club of New Haven where she was awarded all of the major honors of the club including the Stancliff Bowl and the Waterman Bowl as well as the TopTulip. She was honored for 40 years of Distinguished Service by the Garden Club of America. She excelled both in flower arranging and in the design of English Border gardens. Active in civic affairs she worked on many projects benefiting the Arts Council, the Long Wharf Theater, the neighborhood Music School, the Yale New Haven Hospital Auxiliary and the League of Women Voters. She a long time member and Board member of the North End Club. She served served on the Board of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra and later as its Secretary. She also served on the Board of The Friends of the Grove Street Cemetery. She is survived by her husband of sixty years, Dr Michael Kashgarian, her two daughters, Dr. Michaele Kashgarian (Mark Rose), Thea Kashgarian Obstler (David Obstler), her four grandchildren, Alison Gaylor Obstler, Eugenia Coley Rose, Andrew Caldwell Obstler, Harry Caldwell Rose and Nieces, Denise Buchanan, Alexis Talbott, Jeanie Curtiss, Elizabeth Murray, Dr. Erin Curtiss and Nephews, Robin Curtiss, William Vucetich.


A memorial is being planned for the Spring. Contributions in her memory may be made to The Michael and Jean Caldwell Kashgarian Scholarship fund of the Yale School of Medicine, c/o the Office of Development, P.O. Box 7611, New Haven, CT 06519-01611.  Arrangements are with the Hawley Lincoln Memorial, New Haven. To sign the online guestbook please visit




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