Born: November 26, 1934 - Deceased: July 17, 2020
Amelia Joan “Amie” Nersesian (nee Marifian),1934 -2020 a lifelong resident of Belleville and loving wife, mother, and grandmother, passed away peacefully at home Friday, July 18, with her beloved husband Henry by her side.
The two were married for more than 62 years. Amie’s kindness, humor, generosity and deep love for her family and friends will be forever remembered and cherished. She was born in East St. Louis, IL., the daughter of George and Shamrig Marifian, who immigrated to the United States in the 1920s following the 1915 Armenian Genocide. Her father, and following his death, her older brother operated the family dry cleaning business in the East St. Louis and Belleville areas for five decades. Amie began working in the family business as a teenager. Amie was a graduate of Signal Hill Elementary School and Belleville Township High School.
Amie and her soulmate Henry married in 1958, but the relationship began many years before when the pair met at a birthday party when Amie was two and Henry was six. Years later as they courted, Amie always said they had to delay the wedding until Henry paid off the debt on his delivery truck. In 1956, they were among the first members of the newly formed Holy Shoghagat Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church in East St. Louis and enjoyed the distinction of 1 being the first Armenian couple to marry in the new Church. Following their marriage, Amie and Henry settled in Belleville, and together they owned and operated Bridgedale Cleaners in Cahokia for 60 years.
During their decades of marriage, Amie and Henry enjoyed many activities. Among their most treasured was their Saturday night “date night,” when they would go dancing. They also loved traveling, taking Caribbean cruises, playing tennis, card playing, watching Cardinals baseball, supporting their church, and, most importantly, raising their two children Neil and Julie. Amie spent her entire adult life steadfastly supporting her Armenian church. She was an active parishioner, member of the Women’s Guild, Sunday School assistant and a member of the Armenian Church Youth Organization. She was a born organizer, heading up many church events including the annual dance, bake sales, picnics and dinners, and, as friends lovingly remember, had her special way of organizing the activities. Even in her advancing years she enjoyed baking with the Women’s Guild. Amie and Henry faithfully participated in Sunday services via Facebook Live during the last few months.
In addition to her parents, Amie was predeceased by her father-in-law Seragan Nersesian, sister and brother-in-law, Alice and Len Mooradian; sister-in-law Barbara Marifian; niece Georgea Matoesian, and nephews Norm Melton and Richard Brewer; and a cousin Samuel Nersesian.
She is survived by a large and caring family including her son and daughter-in-law Neil Nersesian and Lori Diamond; daughter and son-in-law Julie Nersesian Wiegers and Joshua Wiegers; grandsons Davis Nersesian and James Wiegers; granddaughters Laurel (Roman) Garcia and Madeline Wiegers; and great-grandchildren Winnie and Leo.
She is also survived by brother John Marifian; sister Julie Matoesian (Andy); brother George Marifian (Nina); nieces and nephews Lisa (Joseph) Torani, Christine Brewer, Theresa (Ray) Sonnenberg, Kathy Marifian Zaring, Kim Melton, John Jr. (Teresa) Marifian, Jeff (Kathie) Marifian, goddaughter Jane (Albert) Matoesian Van Amburg, Mark (Alexandra) Marifian, Elise Marifian, and Gregory Marifian; cousins Rose, Doreen, and Paul (Michelle) Nersesian; and many great-nephews and nieces, cousins, and dear friends.
Throughout her adult life Amie was a volunteer extraordinaire. The Belleville community honored her by voting her “Volunteer of the Year” in the Belleville News Democrat Readers’ poll. It was a befitting tribute that recognized her many years of dedication to social service organizations, including the Salvation Army and the Junior Service Club. She was also active for many years in the Loyal Order of the Moose, and Dorchester and Oak Hill Clubs, where her tennis enthusiasm earned her the nickname “TC” for “Tennis Champ.” She was an avid dog lover, and fondly remembered her cherished chihuahuas and Maltese furry friends. Amie had an engaging sense of humor and quickly became friends with anyone she met. She and Henry generously offered their home as a second residence to many, including visiting pastors. An accomplished cook, she replicated many wonderful Armenian dishes handed down from her grandmother to her mother and from her grandmother to her. Amie’s friends and family recall her fabulous “leftover nights,” which were always special.
Amie is remembered for her unwavering commitment to her family, faith and friends. A wise and loving mother, sister, grandmother, aunt, cousin and friend, she was one of the “Silent Generation” who blessed the community with her life and presence.
Memorials: Memorials may be made to Holy Virgin Mary and Shoghagat Armenian Church, 400 Huntwood Road, Belleville, IL 62226.
Visitation: Visitation from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm Thursday, July 23, 2020 at Kurrus Funeral Home in Belleville, IL followed by a Wake Service officiated by the Rev. Fr. Voskan Hovhannisyan.
Funeral: Private funeral service will be held for family members on Friday, July 24, 2020 with Entombment at Lake View Memorial Gardens Mausoleum in Fairview Heights, IL.
Dear Aunt Amie, It was an honor to have spent the precious hours with you and Uncle Henry, weekly, for the past four months. You continued to draw me in with your loving ways as if you were entertaining me. I could see your body was tiring but your mind was not. You will always remain a very special part of my being and I will always miss you terribly. My heart has ached since mom died in March and will continue to hurt now for you both. I love you now and forever. Kathy
Dear Julie, Josh, Madeline, and James, Jeannie Gross let me know that your Mom, Amelia, had passed this week. Her obituary was incredible and demonstrated what a wonderful, mother, mother-in-law, grandma, friend, volunteer, etc. she was. Rob and I are so sorry for your loss. We will be unable to make it tonight, but please know our thoughts and prayers are with you. You are wonderful neighbors and Julie we can see her wonderful qualities are part of you too. With sincere sympathy, Rob and Jean Deitz
To Amie’s Family:
Because Amie and I were part of the extended Belleville West End neighborhood, our paths crossed often over the past 30+ years. I was always happy to run into Amie, and we enjoyed catching up on family news and activities. I’m sad to know that she is now with us only in her smiling spirit. On behalf of myself and my family, I extend sympathy and love to each of you who were a part of Amie’s rich family life.
Nancy Ryan Macklin, Glenview Drive, and my children: Anne Koleson, David Koleson, and Janet Koleson Hubbard
My name is Gagik and I am apparently Amie’s second brother from Armenia, Yerevan. Her grandmother and mine were sisters from Van, Turkey and they escaped from there to Yerevan after Armenian genocide in 1915. After that Amie’s grandmother and her father immigrated to the USA. Now I did the same thing just arrived to the U. S. in July 19, 2020.
I was unlucky I did not find Аmiе alive for only 2 days. But by her obituary I see that she was a great Armenian woman which name being written with capital letters. I extend sympathy to her family.