In Memory of Dr. Janet (Mouradian) Markarian

The Doctor, the Scientist, the Human, the Cultivator and the Armenian

Dr. Janet (Mouradian) Markarian

Janet A. (Mouradian) Markarian, 85, of Congers, NY died peacefully in the early morning hours on February 25, 2024 in her home, surrounded by family, after a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s Disease for nearly a decade.

Janet, as she was known to everyone, was born on September 20, 1938 in Mosul, Iraq. She was the youngest daughter of Apraham Mouradian from Satukegh, Dikgranagerd, and Talia Durlissanian from Dikranagerd.

Janet received her primary education at the Armenian National school in Mosul, Iraq. She lost her father to TB at a young age. After her sister Alice’s marriage, she and her mother moved to the city of Sulaymaniyah and then to Kirkuk.

In 1955, she won first place in the baccalaureate exam of the high schools of Northern Iraq. In the same year, at the age of seventeen, she was accepted to the Medical College at the University of Baghdad. She graduated in 1961 as valedictorian of her class. In the history of the Medical College of Baghdad, she holds the record of being the first woman to receive that status.

Janet was endowed with many superb qualities.

First, she was a research medical doctor. She started her residency at Cornell Medical College in New York City in 1964 specializing in surgical pathology. She rose through the ranks, eventually attaining the rank of professor in 1984.

Janet is remembered by faculty and administration at Cornell University Medical School as follows: “During her 36-year tenure at Cornell, she was an integral part of the Department of Pathology and rendered distinguished and meritorious service to the Medical College. She was a highly respected professor at the medical college, where she trained some of the best pathologists in the country. Dr. Mouradian was an enthusiastic and imaginative teacher, especially gifted at transferring her enthusiasm to her students. She received the ‘best teacher’ award twice at the college. The world-renowned Dr. Mouradian was greatly respected and recognized by the specialists in her field for her numerous scientific research publications, chapters in books and professional articles. For years, she was the Director of the Department of Surgical Pathology at Cornell Medical College. Her dedication and professionalism will always be remembered by all those who had the opportunity to work with her.”

She received the college’s highest honorary title of Emerita Professor. She was a world-renowned pathologist and the author of more than fifty scientific research papers. She participated in numerous medical conferences in the U.S. and the world and presented papers at many local and national medical conferences. She was invited to lecture and train pathologists in foreign countries.

Outside of the Medical College, Janet assisted many individuals with her professional medical advice and saved countless lives, both within the hospital and among her community.

Along with the scientific and medical field, Dr. Mouradian was an exceptionally sensitive person within the deepest meaning of the word.

Dr. Mouradian was a lover of world culture and literature, especially Armenian literature. She kept files upon files of her favorite literary works.

The supreme merit of her characteristics was her being a solid Armenian. Armenia and Armenians were the core of her life. Unbreakable and unexamined.

Aside from her family and career, Janet’s Armenian heritage was central to her life. She was a member of the Armenian Co-Ed Youth Association of Baghdad, Homenetmen Baghdad, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, the Armenian Relief Society and the Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society. Her dedication to culture and humanitarian work was an utmost priority for her. Janet was always devoted to helping those less fortunate than her. After serving as chairwoman of the ARS “Mayr” Chapter of New York, she served as a member of the ARS’s international Central Executive. For more than ten years Janet independently undertook the monumental task of coordinating the provision of assistance to numerous schools in villages and towns on the Armenian border. Janet was also a pillar of Hamazkayin New York Chapter’s theatrical and literary efforts, serving on the editorial board of Menk literary magazine, stage-managing over 50 theatrical productions and founding the annual “Literary Gems and Wine” series. Her legacy of selfless service and dedication to her community and homeland through the Armenian Relief Society will forever shine as a beacon of inspiration.

Janet also served as secretary of the Board of education of St. Illuminator’s Day school.

She occasionally wrote for the Hairenik newspaper. With numerous articles, she described local initiatives, as well as the ARS’s Western Armenian trip, always anonymously listing her authorship simply as “An Attendee.”

Armenia occupied a special, unsurpassed place in Janet’s consciousness. Her first visit to Armenia was in April 1990, on the 35th anniversary of our marriage. Since then, she visited Armenia almost every year.

Janet’s meeting place in Yerevan was the ARS office on Sayat Nova Avenue. Together with her ungerouhis, she familiarized herself with the concerns, needs and activities of the ARS. That was the impetus for Janet to focus her efforts on the needs of the schools in the border villages of Armenia that needed much assistance. And so, for the last ten years, she undertook to help them. With the help of Armenian and foreign acquaintances in the U.S., Janet was able to provide a respectable contribution to the schools: desks, books, building repairs. With her strict attitude, she brought official receipts from Armenia to every contributor.

Janet can once again see everything clearly now without illness or barriers. She will be watching (and affectionately correcting) us all for the rest of our days. You can count on it.

She leaves behind her husband of 58 years, Herand Markarian, son Gahmk Markarian, daughter Yeraz Markarian, two grandchildren who were among her most adored treasures, Matteos and Sarine, and her four beloved nieces, Shoghig (Karjian) Minassian, Sosi (Karjian) Simonian, Lucine Karjian, Hoori (Karjian) Samuelian and their families. Janet was preceded in death by her parents and by her beloved sister, Alice (Mouradian) Karjian.

Janet’s family is extremely grateful for the relentless love and support of their friends and family and the extended family of caregivers during the heartbreak that was bearing witness to her decline. Janet was a deeply loved and adored wife, mother, sister, aunt and grandmother.

Visitation and wake will be held on Friday, March 1 from 6:30 – 8 p.m. (followed by services at 8 p.m.) at St. Illuminator’s Armenian Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street, New York, NY 10016. Interment services will be held at a private family ceremony.

In lieu of flowers, those wishing to honor Janet’s memory are asked to consider a donation to Armenian Relief Society and designate her as the honoree of their gift.

A Memorial and Celebration of Life Service will be held in the spring and will be announced at a future date.

Her enduring, tireless soul hovers over us and repeats the following Celtic elegy:
Grieve not…
Nor speak of me with tears…
But laugh and talk of me…
As though I were beside you.
I loved you so…
’twas Heaven here with you.

With love, her family: Herand, Gahmk, Yeraz, and grandchildren Matteos and Sarine

Guest Contributor

Guest Contributor

Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles or press releases written and submitted by members of the community.

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