KERNEKLIAN, Melanie Bandazian, 77, of Manakin-Sabot, Va., passed away on Monday, February 25, 2019. She was preceded in death by her parents, Khoren and Virginia Bandazian; and brother, Krikor Bandazian. She is survived by her husband of 59 years, Dr. Murad Kerneklian; daughters, Sona Kerneklian Pomfret, Seta Kerneklian Michel, Seran Kerneklian Taylor; grandchildren, Talene and Kevin Pomfret Jr., Logan and Savannah Taylor and Josh and Shane Michel; brother, Bedros C. Bandazian (Estelle); and sister, Ardemis Jerikian (John); her brother-in-law, Mickey Kerneklian (Clara); numerous nieces, nephews and godchildren whom she loved dearly.
Melanie was passionate about Republican politics, Armenian causes, her family, Rummikub, the Armenian Heritage Cruise and her newfound talent for painting. She loved gardening and her flowers.
Melanie was a legislative aide to former House of Delegate Eric Cantor and served on the Armenia/Virginia Advisory Commission under Gov. George Allen. She was a member of the Advisory Board on Service and Volunteerism under Gov. James Gilmore. She also served as a member of the James River and Goochland Republican Women’s Club and the Richmond Dental Auxiliary.
Melanie was instrumental in having the Armenian Genocide included in the Standards of Learning (SOL) exams in Virginia. She was a member of the Armenian Relief Society (ARS), the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF), the Armenian National Committee and an active member of St. James Armenian Church, where she served as a Sunday school teacher and Women’s Guild Chairwoman.
The family will receive friends 12 to 2 and 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, February 28, at Bliley’s-Central, 3801 Augusta Ave., Richmond, Va. 23230, where a “Hokihankisd” (wake) service will be held at 7 p.m. A funeral ceremony will be held 11 a.m. Friday, March 1, at St. James Armenian Church, 834 Pepper Ave., Richmond, Va. 23226. Internment Westhampton Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Armenian Relief Society, Richmond “Hooys/Hope” Chapter, c/o Hasmig Schein, 2133 Boardman Ln., Richmond, Va. 23238, or the Armenian National Committee of Richmond, Va., c/o Bedros Bandazian, 2 Foxmere Dr., Richmond, Va. 23238.