In Memory of Debbie Haratian(1951 - 2015)

individual picture
Debbie Haratian
Khosrow Haratian
Birth Date
February 16, 1951
Blessing Date
July 1, 1982
Ascension Date
April 5, 2015  
Local Church
NOVA Family Church
Our beloved sister, Debbie Haratian, passed into the spirit world on Easter morning at her home after battling lung and brain cancer for the past several years. Debbie was always involved and active in her community with a genuine, loving and caring heart. She touched many people's lives and is dearly loved by her many friends and her devoted family.
Let us support Debbie's family during this important time and pray for her victorious transition to a glorious new life in the spiritual world.

Following please find her biography and Seonghwa information received from Pastor Ernest Patton of the NOVA Family Church.

​​Dr. Ki Hoon Kim
Continental Director

​​​​Dr. Michael Balcomb

Debra Gurfein Haratian was born in Brooklyn, New York on February 16, 1951 to Jewish parents, Harold Gurfein and Sarah Fishman, when her brother, Ira, was four years old. Two years later, the family moved to Flushing, New York where she graduated from Flushing High School. She excelled in school and loved competitive sports: paddle ball and hand ball. She also enjoyed camping and kayaking.

From an early age, Debbie had a love for music (primarily rock and roll) and dancing, which she inherited from her father. In 1973, Debbie took a break from college to go abroad and live on a Kibbutz in Israel and was there during the October War. Then she travelled through Europe. Upon returning to the United States, she completed her studies and began her nursing career.

In February of 1975, Debbie joined the Unification Church in Barrytown, New York where she went through the international and 40-day training programs. Debbie then joined the Brooklyn Center as part of the local witnessing and fundraising teams; pioneered in upstate New York and later returned to Brooklyn Center to do Home Church and PR. During this time, she still worked part-time as a nurse in New York City hospitals. In 1981, she was invited to join Dr. Bergman’s Medical Practice and she served as a birthing coach for several Blessed Families.

Debbie was matched in engagement by True Parents with Khosrow Haratian in 1982 and they participated in the July 1st Holy Marriage Blessing in Madison Square Garden that same year. Khosrow was born in Iran to a Muslim family and came to the United States as a young student. Their engagement was the first Muslim-Jewish interfaith peace couple in the Unification Church, and their marriage is a beautiful blending of two cultures. Khosrow’s sister, Fahimeh, also received the Marriage Blessing in an interfaith marriage to William Hrabar in 1995.

Debbie and Khosrow lived in Brooklyn and later moved to Staten Island. Their home was always open to friends and family. Debbie loved to cook and she was famous for her fabulous dinners, which were a mix of Jewish-Persian cuisine. There was always a celebration for Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Christmas and Persian New Year. Debbie was always creating community and was known for her generous and loving heart. In 1989, she and Khosrow moved to Virginia. Debbie worked at Mt. Vernon Hospital and then later transferred to Reston Hospital.

She and Khosrow loved to travel and experienced many joyful moments with God and creation while seeing the country on their many road trips. In January of 1992, Debbie went to Russia for an international training program. She was able to visit Kiev, where her grandparents, Molly and Louie Fishman, were born.

In 1996, she and Khosrow became foster parents. In October of 2000 they experienced one of the greatest joys of their lives: they officially became the parents of their adopted daughter, Sierra, and welcomed her into the Haratian-Gurfein clan. Throughout Sierra’s schooling, Debbie loved to volunteer with the activities Sierra was involved in: music concerts, softball, 4H, and Girl Scouts.

Neither her trademark sense of humor nor her ability to speak her mind will ever be forgotten. She would never compromise her principles and, in such a situation, was never overly concerned with what others thought of her. Another remarkable aspect of Debbie’s character is her intellect, curiosity and innate steadfast ability to come to a satisfactory resolution in all instances.  Debbie personified the very essence of authenticity. She is also known for her love for life and especially her love for dancing. She loved young people and was an “auntie’ to many.

When Sierra graduated high school in 2008, Debbie found more time to devote to local church activities. Debbie was instrumental in locating the current NOVA Learning Center. Both she and Khosrow served on the NOVA Council for four years where Debbie served as the head of the Financial Committee. As the Learning Center “mother”, Debbie was very attentive to whatever needed to be done. She also took great interest in the Sunday Services and started a new tradition of playing a video during the offering. Everyone looked forward to see these innovative videos every Sunday. We never knew what to expect, but were always delighted.

Sierra married Will Bergeron in 2011 and gave birth to their daughter, Justice, in February of 2012. Debbie thrived as a grandmother. Justice is the love of her life. As “Mamma-joon” and “ Babba-joon” (Parsi for Grandma and Grandpa), she and Khosrow experience great joy.

Debbie touched many people’s lives. She and Khosrow began their Friday night at-home tradition to further create community.  Debbie will always be known for her love for True Parents and her faith in God’s Will for the world. She is loved by so many because of her genuine heart and her desire to “do” all that she could for others. She brought the Divine Principle to life.

Seonghwa Ceremony
The Seonghwa Ceremony will take place on Saturday, April 11, at the Fort Lincoln Funeral Home, at 3401 Bladensburg Rd., Brentwood, MD.
The ceremony will begin with a viewing at 9:30 a.m., with the Seonghwa Ceremony starting at 10:30 a.m.
Donations in Loving Memory of Debbie Haratian
Donations may be sent to Khosrow Haratian at 12124 Waples Mill Rd. Oakton, VA 22124

Seonghwa Ceremony

10:30 AM
Fort Lincoln Funeral Home - 3401 Bladensburg Rd., Brentwood, MD.
9:30 AM

Mailing Address for Donations and Flowers

12124 Waples Mill Rd. Oakton, VA 22124