Obituary: Mardiros Martin Kanayan (1938-2009)

Mardiros Martin Kanayan died on Sat., Dec. 26 at the age of 71 after a long illness. Marty was born May 1, 1938 in Bucharest, Romania to Gayane Kanayan and the noted Armenian hero General Dro Kanayan. He lived in Romania, Germany, Italy, and Lebanon before settling in Watertown, Mass. in 1951. He graduated from Northeastern University in Boston and served in the United States Army Signal Corp. He was employed by Shell Oil Company in sales and marketing and as an economist in Shell’s Pecten International before retiring in 1997.

After retiring, Marty took an active interest in the Republic of Armenia. In 1998, he was invited to attend the 80th anniversary of the first Armenian Republic and at that time the Armenian government asked to have his father’s remains returned to his homeland. Marty worked tirelessly on this project and was delighted when General Dro’s remains were re-buried in Armenia in 2000. The reception of the Armenian government and the Armenian people moved him deeply. In addition to his many trips to Armenia, he loved to travel, particularly cruising.

Marty married Alice Daghlian in 1967 and they had two sons, Dro and Philip. He was predeceased by his parents and three brothers, Luther, Suren, and Gourgen. He is survived by his wife, Alice, his sons Dro and wife Lynn of North Andover, Mass., and Philip and wife Catherine Grace of Houston, and one granddaughter, Grace. He is also survived by his sister, Olga Proudian of Watertown, and many nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends on Wed., Dec. 30 from 7-9 p.m. at the Klein Funeral Home, 16131Champion Forest Dr. in Spring, Texas. An Armenian funeral will be held on Thurs., Dec. 31 at 10 a.m. at the Klein Funeral Home. Burial will follow at the Houston National Cemetery, 10410 Veterans Memorial Drive in Houston, Texas.

Please, no flowers. Memorials in Marty’s name may be made to Armenia Fund, U.S.A., Inc., 80 Maiden Lane, Suite 301, New York, NY 10038 for the General Dro Institute.


  1. God Bless Mardik, he was active in the A.Y.F. & former member of the A.R.F. Our condolences to his wife and two sons. His father General Dro Kanayan will also never be forgotten in protecting & fighting the Turks for the Armenian Nation.

  2. For my Kurdish  people,  Armenians were our  immediate neighbours, sometimes friends and  sometimes adversaries.  Both of our peoples have never resorted to “exterminate” the other, throughout our histories. Our poets wrote songs and poems, whenever they saw a courageous and chivalrous Armenian Fedayi adversary.  We never ever intended to exterminate each other ….until the arrival of the Turks.
    I have heard about Gen.  Dro, but not his son.  We never ever had a chance to call Gen. Dro a courageous adversary and foe. But the General fought a fair fight. All Armenian generals were of highest caliber and were admired for their chivalry.
    I want to take this chance and thank the Armenian people for having had such great generals, the likes of (apologoes if I misprint any of their names here):
    1. Gen Silikian (my favourite, and one of the most courageous of all, executed on Stalins order). The republic of Armenia has to acknowledge this “kind and unpretentious” general with a statue.
    2. Gen. Nazarbegian (generous and humble general)
    3. Gen. Dro (exemplifies Fire and Ice)
    4. Gen. Andranik ( a good leader, our gallant adversary)
    5. Gen. Nzteh [Turks always were scared of this great general, until today some Turks talk about Gen. Nzteh with awe,  (their ultimate headache,) as if he still was alive].

    These generals never shied away from personally leading their soldiers to the front.
    May they all rest in peace. Their job has been done. Armenia was saved. 
    Kurdish nation salutes all these chivalrous and kind generals.
    May one day, our young Kurdish soldiers be as gallant and chivalrous as were these great generals.

    PS: Currently I am reading  two books about the Republic of Armenia 1918-1921.  A life and death story of your courageous people. Interesting and awe inspiring. 

  3. Dear Ferhat, how good of you to remember practically all our wonderfully great generals of the recent past, for indeed they were all admirably courageous and intelligent leaders.  I do indeed hope that your future Kurdish soldiers would be as gallant and as chivalrous as our generals were.  As a matter of fact, General Dro was once a host at my grandfather’s house as my own grandfather fought against the Turks on the mountains of Cilicia for about 2 years, because he also had his own troop and used to tell me many stories about it when I was very young.  General Antranik wrote books and in one of his tiny books that I owned, he said somewhere that the Turkish people are like “bashebozook” and they cannot form a truly good nation because of it.  And we can see today the crumbling nation as it is.

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