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The Armenian Church Leader

In Memoriam: Helen Mardigian (1922-2010)

With great sorrow, the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America wishes to inform its leadership of the death of Mrs. Helen Mardigian, who passed away on August 4, 2010, in Royal Oak, Michigan, after a brief illness.  She was 88.

Helen was the beloved wife of the late Edward Mardigian, and in true partnership the Mardigians devoted their time, their material support—their whole lives, really—to the advancement of the Armenian Church, and to an array of benevolent causes.  They were genuine pillars of Armenian life in their native Michigan, throughout our Diocese, and indeed on the world stage.  Holy Etchmiadzin and the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem are among the great institutions that benefited from their love and support.

Throughout the latter half of the 20th century, churches, museums, hospitals, universities, and community institutions all came to bear the stamp of the Mardigians’ generosity.  Edward and Helen were numbered among the greatest benefactors of the Armenian community—and the legacy they created together will endure and influence generations of the future.

When her husband passed on in 1993, Helen’s strength of character, her determination, and her profound spiritual conviction led her to continue, and even expand, the family legacy.  She had a special love for the younger generation of our church, and made extraordinary contributions—financial as well as personal—to ensure that they were educated in the ancient, holy traditions of our Christian heritage.  The long-running Helen and Edward Mardigian Institute, the Eastern Diocese’s groundbreaking training program for Sunday School educators, is one beautiful fruit of Helen’s lifelong mission.

Helen Mardigian remained to the end a beautiful, humble, deeply pious woman: an Armenian Christian lady in every sense of the word.  The Eastern Diocese mourns the loss of this exemplary and gracious figure, and we offer prayers for her soul, and for the consolation of her family members, who continue to uphold the family tradition of dedicated service.

We wish to inform the public that the dahn gark (wake) service for Helen Mardigian will be held at St. John Armenian Church (22001 Northwestern Highway, Southfield, Mich.) on Tuesday, August 10, at 7:30 p.m.  The funeral will be held at the St. John Church on Wednesday, August 11, at 11:00 a.m.

The family has asked that memorial donations in Mrs. Mardigian’s name be made to the “Edward and Helen Mardigian Library Endowment Fund” of the St. John Armenian Church.
May our risen Lord remember his faithful servant on the day of his judgment.
With prayers,

Archbishop Khajag Barsamian

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Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern)
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