Meline` Agavni Kulhanjian was born on July 9, 1929, in New York City to John & Mary Kulhanjian. They moved to Miami in 1933, where Meline` went to Ada Merritt Elementary School and graduated from Miami High School in 1947. Meline` earned her Bachelors of Arts from the University of Miami School of Music in 1951; she continued her studies in France at the Fontainebleau School of Music and then advanced her studies as a lyric soprano in Vienna, Austria.
Meline` returned to Miami in 1954, as a Soprano Soloist at Temple Israel of Greater Miami, the oldest sanctuary in continuous use in Florida, and also the Soprano Soloist in All Souls Episcopal Church in Miami Beach. In the summer months, she was the Dining Room Manager of the Kulanjian family’s famous Hye Hotel in Asbury Park, New Jersey, where she met Berge H. Markarian, who was doing his residency in Obstetrics & Gynecology at the Bronx Hospital in New York. Following the carefully developed plans they made on their first date, they were engaged three months later and got married at St. John’s Armenian Church in Miami on November 11, 1956, where over 400 invitees attended the reception held at the Musician’s Club of Miami.
The happy couple moved to New York, where Berge finished two years of his residency at the Bronx Hospital. They moved back to Miami for Berge to finish his 3rd year of Residency at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Miami Beach, and Meline` later gave birth to both sons, David and Daniel.
Working together all those years, Meline` was the Office Manager of Berge’s practice in Hialeah until their retirement on June 1, 1990. Through those many years, Meline` regularly arranged for a group of forty doctors’ wives to meet each month to prepare gifts for patients at Palmetto General Hospital, where Berge was a founding member of the hospital in 1971.
Meline` continued to perform as a featured soloist in the Greater Miami area, accompanied by her long-time collaborator, Mrs. Betty Rice. As a proud, active and devoted mother, Meline` was President of the PTA at Dupuis Elementary School and President of the Band Parents Association at Hialeah Miami Lakes Senior High School, where David and Daniel were active.
Meline’s music alumni leadership continued through the Sigma Alpha Iota Music Fraternity at the University of Miami, and she helped to develop affiliated chapters with the Schools of Music at Florida Atlantic University and the Florida International University. Meline` became SAI Provence President and continued to work closely with the local chapters and the SAI headquarters in Asheville, N.C. With deserved acclaim, Meline` was inducted into the University of Miami Iron Arrow Honors Society in 1986 for her lifetime of achievements.
In September 1982, Meline` and Berge were invited by a patient to visit Beech Mountain, NC. They loved it so much that they bought a summer vacation home there. After retirement, in 1990, they spent winters in Deerfield Beach, and later in Coconut Creek, while Summers were enjoyed in North Carolina, where Meline` contributed her talents to many organizations in the High-Country area.
Meline` was a founding member of the Appalachian State University Summer Music Festival and served on the Advisory Board of the University Library and School of Music in Boone, NC. She also chaired numerous events, including her famous 40 @ $40 luncheons every June, and was devoted to the Center for Judaic Holocaust and Peace Studies at Appalachian State University. Meline` also contributed her extensive talents to committees at Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, N.C.
In addition to raising two wonderful, accomplished sons, Meline` enjoyed her seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, and adored her nieces and nephews, Melissa, Janine, Meline, John, Margo, Arno, Sosi, Ara and Aram.
She will be deeply missed by her family and large number of friends both in Florida and North Carolina.
Meline` was the beloved wife of Dr. Berge H. Markarian, dearest mother of David (Solimar) Markarian, Daniel (Andrea) Markarian, seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. She is also survived by many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
A private funeral service will be held with Reverend Father Vartan D. Joulfayan officiating.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations be sent to St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church, 4050 NW 100 Avenue, Hollywood, FL 33024.
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