Music 01

Marilyn J. (Sarkisian) Woloohojian

April 30, 2022

Obituary

PATRON OF NEWPORT ARTS DIES

Marilyn J. Woloohojian of East Greenwich, RI, and North Palm Beach, FL, died on April 30, 2022, at Jupiter Medical Center in Jupiter, FL.  Marilyn was the wife of the late James H. Woloohojian.  She leaves three children and their spouses, Merrill and Glenn Friedemann, M. Peter and Rhonda Woloohojian both of East Greenwich, RI, and James H. and Susan Woloohojian of Bridport, VT, and her beloved grandchildren, Lauren, Menas, Cara and Mikhail Woloohojian and Alex and Katie Friedemann.  She also leaves her brother, George D. Sarkisian and wife Aramene of Arlington, MA, and her nieces, Kristin Sarkisian, Stephanie Jewell and her husband Russell, and Wendy Zannini and her husband Jay. 

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, she was the daughter of the late Aram and Beulah (Ansbigian David) Sarkisian.  Marilyn was raised at her family homes in Arlington and North Falmouth, MA, summering on Old Silver Beach with family and many friends.  She graduated from Arlington High School, Class of 1950.  She earned her B.S. degree in Communications from Simmons College in 1954.  While at Simmons, she worked for The Mirror Spectator, an English-language Armenian newspaper, as Assistant to the Editor.  Following her graduation, she joined the Editorial Staff at The Raytheon News, the Raytheon Company’s employee publication.

Marilyn married James in 1957 and moved to Providence, RI.  Marilyn and James lived in East Greenwich for over 40 years and enjoyed their home in Bonnet Shores with their family.  They were married for 50 years prior to James’ passing.  She has been an active member of Sts. Sahag & Mesrob Armenian Church in Providence for 65 years, teaching Sunday and Armenian school for many years. Marilyn was also an announcer on the Armenian Radio Hour.  Proud of her heritage, she was a member of the Armenian Students Association and a charter member of the Armenian International Women’s Association.    

In the late 1970s and 80s, Marilyn was a dedicated member of the former National Conference of Christians and Jews (NCCJ), an organization which promoted brother- and sisterhood of all people, tolerance, civic and social justice as well as understanding and mutual respect through education and dialog among persons of all races, ethnicities and faiths.  She also served on the Rhode Island Heritage Commission.

In 1982, Marilyn joined Weight Watchers of North America as a Leader/Ambassador.  She was instrumental in the creation of the Corporate Solutions At Work Program, which led her to travel throughout the United States to implement this program at WWs’ various locations.  She worked for WW for 30 years, universally admired and well-respected by 100s of clients whom she guided through weight loss.

Marilyn was generous patron of the Arts and many other charitable organizations in both Rhode Island and Florida too numerous to list.  Of these, her work with the Newport Music Festival (now Newport Classical) was her proudest accomplishment.  She served on the Board of Directors for 30 years.  Marilyn was also a sponsor of the festival, creating the Woloohojian Family Foundation for such purpose.  She also served on the Board of the Island Moving Company, Newport’s contemporary ballet company as well as Opera Providence, and was a member of the Hope Club in Providence.

Marilyn loved her alma mater, Simmons College (now University) and was an active alumna.  She organized many wonderful events with her peers throughout these many years, her favorite among these were the “picnic” outings at Newport Polo.  In 2016, Marilyn was honored by Simmons with the Alumnae Achievement Award for her many years as President of the Class of 1954 and for her 25-year tenure as the Treasurer of the Rhode Island and Southeastern MA Simmons College Club.

In 2003, she joined the Daughters of Vartan, celebrating close to 20 years of membership. She was elected Chair of the Providence organization, Aik Otyag, and led many successful social and charitable fund-raising events.  Additionally, Marilyn served as Chaplain of the national organization for two years.  She was also a contributing member of AHARI, the Armenian Historical Association of Rhode Island.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend her Funeral Service on Wednesday, May 11th at 11 a.m. in Sts. Sahag & Mesrob Armenian Church, 70 Jefferson St., Providence, followed by burial at Swan Point Cemetery, Providence. 

The family requests in lieu of flowers, donations to Newport Classic Musical Festival, P.O. Box 3303, Newport, RI for The Marilyn J. Woloohojian Emerging Artists Fund or at https://newportmusic.secure.force.com/donate/?dfId=a0t4P00000RBHW8QAP& , Simmons University (College) or her church are requested.

 

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