Mary Josephine (Mary Jo) Agbabian, age 86, passed away on Sunday, April 12, 2020 after a brief hospitalization. She graduated from Highland Park High School in 1952 and attended the Harper Hospital School of Nursing. After becoming a Registered Nurse, she worked as a surgical scrub nurse in the Ear, Nose and Throat Department at Detroit Osteopathic Hospital in Highland Park. A devoted wife and mother, she cared for her home and family often helping out her husband of 52 years, Dr. Vahagn Agbabian, at his private medical practice.
She was an avid swimmer all her life and volunteered as an aquatic aerobics instructor at the Birmingham YMCA for 25 years. Mary Jo was a member of Saint Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church (Dearborn, Michigan) and a founding member of the Armenian Renaissance Association (ARA) Sophia Chapter. Together with fellow ARA members, she established the ARA scholarship committee. An avid reader and writer, she would often write articles, poems and editorials, which were submitted to and published in the Armenian Weekly, the Armenian Reporter, the Elk Rapids Town Meeting and other newspapers and periodicals. She and her late husband enjoyed traveling; Mary Jo loved spending vacations in Northern Michigan, particularly the Traverse City area and the village of Elk Rapid, regularly swimming in the waters of East Grand Traverse Bay (Lake Michigan).
Mary Jo is predeceased six years by her husband, Dr. Vahagn Agbabian. She is mourned by her children: Vahan Agbabian (Julie), Vartan Aghababian, Joanne Agbabian-Black (Glen) and Aram Agbabian; loving grandchildren: Ani Elizabeth, Alexander Vahagn, Lauren Anahi, and Alexandra Tamar; dear sister of Margaret Etienne, Barbara Presnell (Robert), Richard Wonacott (Lee), and the late Dr. Robert Wonacott MD (Dorothy); loving sister-in-law of Suzanne Derbabian (Edward). She is also survived by many cousins, nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Donations can be sent to St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church, 19300 Ford Rd, Dearborn, MI 48128. Arrangements in the care of Simon Javizian Funeral Directors.