Adele Flora (Koundakjian) Manuelian of Belmont and Watertown passed away on September 3, 2021.
Beloved wife of the late Haig Der Manuelian. Devoted daughter of the late Gabriel and Flora (Der Boghossian) Koundakjian, survivors of the Armenian Genocide. Loving mother of Mark Manuelian and his wife Deborah, Matthew Manuelian and his wife Anahit Atayan, Michael Manuelian and his husband Gregory Welch, and Martin Manuelian. Also survived by nine grandchildren: Ara, Ami, Ana, Asa, Haik, Romen, Kolbey, Kinley and Konley. Sister of Anne Gregoire, Elizabeth Koundakjian, Marion Osterberg and the late Margaret Boyajian. Sister-in-law of Dr. Lucy Der Manuelian. Also survived by many loving nieces and nephews.
Adele was a consummate local girl. She was born on Tremont Street in Jamaica Plain, grew up in Newton and Waltham, graduated with the Waltham High School Class of 1945 (where she was an excellent student and athlete), and raised her four sons in Belmont and her adopted daughter Alma (the Armenian Library and Museum of America, now the Armenian Museum of America) in Watertown. She was a huge Boston sports fan, namely the Patriots and the Red Sox.
Adele had a zest for life and found joy in family, friends and community. She loved socializing and was an avid tennis player, a professional tennis fan and passionate bridge player. She was a dedicated volunteer and supporter of the Armenian Museum of America, where, since its founding, she devoted many hours each week to everything from accounting to mailings to gardening and for decades, with her husband Haig, was one of its pillars. Growing up she sang in a church choir, and afterwards continued to enjoy playing piano and singing. She loved music, especially opera and hymns. She also loved gardening and flower arrangements. She was a committed member of the Belmont Woman’s Club and Belmont Garden Club. She was the base of support for her husband Haig; together they made tremendous contributions to Armenian and non-Armenian communities.
Adele was a deeply compassionate human being. Like her father, she thought often of her distant relatives in Armenia (most of whom she had never met), followed their news and helped if there was a need. Not ever having experienced the joy of having grandparents in her own life, Adele had a special place in her heart for the elderly. In her years as a young mother, she volunteered at the Armenian Nursing Home in Jamaica Plain. She appreciated the elderly and maintained strong opinions about respecting their values and wishes, ideas that she carried forward in helping to care for her mother-in-law and later her own mother. Although not a political person, in her later years, she followed the news and current events closely and was often deeply impacted by the plight of others.
Funeral service will be held on Wednesday, September 8, at 12:00 noon at Armenian Memorial Church, 32 Bigelow Avenue, Watertown. Visitation will be at the church from 11:30 to 12 noon. Interment following the service at Mt. Auburn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Armenian Museum of America, 65 Main Street, Watertown, MA 02472.