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Lillian "Shoushan" C. (Rafaelian) Markarian

April 17, 1928 ~ September 2, 2020 (age 92)


Lillian died peacefully on Wednesday, September 2, 2020 with her loving family by her side. 

She was born on April 17th to immigrant parents Melkon and Mariam Rafaelian who were survivors of the Armenian Genocide. After losing her mother when she was just 16, Lillian became not only the big sister, but the primary caretaker and homemaker to her sisters Virginia Gregorian, Anna Demetrakas, and the late Ralph Rafaelian (survived by his wife Lucy who she considered her sister). The family bonded with a deep love that has endured to this day.

She was a dedicated and devoted wife to the late Varkis A. Markarian who has been waiting patiently with their baby son Peter to be reunited with her. 

She was quite proud of her children, Valerie Jurman and her husband Werner, Annette Akqulian, and Vark Markarian and his wife Elizabeth, and have left them with a genetic disposition for  helping others and trying to make a difference in the world. 

She was the best Nana to her grandchildren John Akqulian, Lauren McNeely and her husband Eric, Vark Markarian Jr. and his wife Tayla, Michael Markarian and her step grandsons Richard and Philip Jurman, who will all remember her famous soup and monkey bread. 

She was fortunate to have experienced the joy and fun of her two great-granddaughters, Chloe and Anya Akqulian. 

Auntie Lil leaves a lasting impression on her numerous nieces and nephews.

The Lillians of the world don’t often make headlines but their impact is immense. They pull communities together by helping those in need and by example, Lillian reached out into the Armenian and non-Armenian communities in that special way. 

She served many years on the board of directors for the International Institute, was an integral part of the first ARS Social Services Program, volunteered as a Sunday school teacher, was a long standing member with the Armenian Community Chorus of RI, volunteered her services in the Occupational Therapy Dept. for Women at the Institute of Mental Health, and was a Hospice Care volunteer. She adopted a number of Armenian children through various orphan programs and helped support needy Armenian families. She was devoted to her church and loved its mass and its music. 

Lillian was a Certified Graphoanalyst and was thrilled to read personality traits through handwriting.

She had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, interested in so many subjects, loved to read, study history, learn about her heritage.

And everywhere in her home there were vases filled with her beautiful handmade beaded flowers. 

Her strong faith and belief in the Lord kept her grounded and unafraid.

In her compassion for people, in her passion for life, she died the same way she lived— with grace and dignity.

Funeral service and burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her name may be made to: Sts. Vartanantz Church, 402 Broadway, Providence, RI 02909


Hope Hospice of RI, 1085 North Main St., Providence, RI 02904.


Miss me, but let me go

When I come to the end of the road,

and the sun has set for me,

I want no rites in a gloom-filled room,

why cry for a soul set free?

Miss me a little, but not too long,

and not with your head bowed low.

Remember the love that we once shared,

miss me, but let me go.

For this is a journey we all must take,

and each must go alone.

It’s all a part of the Master’s plan,

a step on the road to home.

When you are lonely and sick of heart,

go to the friends we know,

and bury your sorrows in doing good deeds,

miss me, but let me go.

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