Shamrig Marifian

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Shamrig (Jamgochian) Marifian a survivor of the Armenian Genocide. She was born in Van, Armenia. At the age of 6, she and her family had to flee because of the genocide conducted by the Turkish government against the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire. Mrs. Marifian and her two sisters survived, but her parents and two brothers died of starvation and illness. Before immigrating to the United States in 1926 she lived in orphanages. In the US she lived with cousins in the St. Louis area until she married George Marifian, who was also from Van (now a part of Turkey), in 1931. Over the years, she helped her husband, who owned dry-cleaning establishments in East St. Louis and Belleville. When he died in 1959, Mrs. Marifian and her son John continued to run the business until it was sold in 1978. In the mid-1950s, Mrs. Marifian was an active supporter in getting the first Holy Shoghagat Armenian Church formed in East St. Louis. The church has since moved to Swansea.

Mrs. Marifian died Monday (Jan. 3, 2005) of natural causes at Memorial Hospital in Belleville. She was 94. Among survivors are two sons, John Marifian of Downey, California, and George E. Marifian of Belleville; two daughters, Amie Nersesian of Belleville and Julia Matoesian of Edwardsville; 13 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.

Memorial was held at Holy Virgin Mary and Shoghagat Armenian Church, 400 Huntwood Road, Swansea, Ill., 62226.