Chatschik Bisdikian, a loving father and husband, a scientist, photographer and drummer, died unexpectedly on April 24, 2013 at the age of 52. For the past 24 years Chatschik was a leading researcher in wireless networking at IBM’s T. J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights. He made several seminal contributions including standardization of Bluetooth technology and defining Quality of Information in sensor networks. He was a Fellow of the IEEE and on the editorial board of several prestigious technical journals. He held 25 patents, published more than 210 technical papers, co-authored the book ‘Bluetooth Revealed’ and won numerous best-paper awards in a long and distinguished career.
A native of Thessaloniki, Greece, he received a degree in Electrical Engineering at the Polytechnic School in Thessaloniki before moving to the United States and earning his Masters and Ph.D in Electrical and Systems Engineering at the University of Connecticut, garnering among the highest academic accolades throughout his university career.
He had a lifelong passion for drumming, passing his musical interests on to his two sons, both now musicians, and an equal passion and talent for photography. He was particularly fond of capturing beautiful Chappaqua scenes and light, as well as his sons’ frequent musical performances, for which he always made time to attend and participate.
He is survived by his wife of 22 years, Teresa Shen, and their sons, Eugene and Theo. Chatschik was a man of talent, beauty and passion who will be missed by all who knew him.
A Memorial Visitation and Service on May 1 at the Beecher Flooks Funeral Home in Pleasantville drew a standing room only crowd of friends and admirers from near and far. Here are but a few of the thoughts conveyed about Chatschik:
Dinesh Verma of IBM: A man is judged not by how he lived or died, but what he achieved when he was living. Chatschik had achieved a lot in his life, in technical fields, in music, in photography, but above all of these, he had achieved the love and respect of all the people around him. There are many great scientists who are brilliant in their field of study. There are many accomplished artists and photographers, and there are many amicable, benevolent and generous people. But it is hard to find people who are all three of these, and Chatschik was one of those rare individuals.
Teresa Shen, Chatschik’s wife:
…Most importantly, Chatschik was a genuinely decent person. There was not a shred of meanness in him. The world he saw was reflected in the photos he took: serene, peaceful and full of light and beauty. He made me realize that the world was much lovelier than I had perceived by showing it to me through a literal and metaphorical lens that filtered out the cynicism and prejudice and filtered in a hidden glow that so many of us walk past. I think that’s why he was so proud of his photography; it was his personal poetry. And that will remain with us, as will he. Chatschik has always been, and will forever be, my best friend.
Eugene Bisdikian, Chatschik’s son:
When you’re little, you look up to your mother or your father as if they’re an all-knowing being. They have all the answers to all the questions. And Dad really was like that; he had the answers to any question I could come up with…. I think the most important thing I learned from him is how to care for my family. My mom now calls me her rock. I’ll be honest; I can’t possibly imagine how to be a rock. But at the same time, I do. I know what I need to do to keep her up, because I do it without thinking. I know that if Theo ever needs anything from me I will know what to do for him. I cannot think of anyone else to credit for this other than my father. This knowledge is invaluable, and is probably one of the most important things he could ever teach me. And for that, I thank him.
Charlie Lagond of the Lagond Music School
Chatschik was a genuine music lover and passionate amateur drummer. His love of music was passed on to his sons, and you couldn’t help but witness, by his constant presence and enthusiasm, how proud he was of Theo’s and Eugene’s musical talents and accomplishments. ..For almost a decade Chatschik chronicled in remarkable photos the musical lives of over a thousand students, faculty, alumnae and staff at Lagond Music School…The joy he received from people liking and enjoying his work was humble and sincere. You could see, from his unique eye, how he loved people, musicians, students, nature and his community…
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any donation be made in the name of Chatschik Bisdikian for the special needs programs to the Lagond Music School of Elmsford, NY, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to contemporary music education and live music performance. For more info go to lagondmusic.org.