Photography

Eugenie Karebian

December 6, 1929 ~ July 30, 2022 (age 92)

Obituary

Eugenie passed away peacefully at the age of 92 on July 30, 2022 with her family by her side.

Beloved wife of the late Harry. 

Loving mother of John (Terrie) Karebian and Lillian (James) Durham.

Cherished grandmother of Tara Karebian, Nicholas (Sarah) Karebian, Christopher (Alexander) Durham and Brittany Durham.

Dear great-grandmother of Isla Karebian.

Visitation Wednesday, August 3, 2022 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at St. John Armenian Church with a 11:30 a.m. Funeral Service.

Daughters of Vartan at the St. John Armenian Church Veteran's Building (located across the church parking lot next to the gymnasium) at 12:30 p.m.

Memorial Luncheon (Hokejosh) to begin at 12:45 p.m. also at the St. John Veteran's Building.   

Entombment Service at Glen Eden Cemetery, Livonia at 3:00 p.m. 

In lieu of flowers memorial donations are to St. John Armenian Church.  

 

We all dream of having a mother and grandmother who is kind, loving, and genuine.  Someone that loved us unconditionally and was there with us every step of the way.  Someone who taught us the importance of faith and the love of family.  Simply Eugenie had an abiding love for her family. 

Eugenie Kinizian was born in 1929 in Baghdad Iraq.  She lost her Father at an early age and her mother raised her and her two sisters, Valentine and Servart under difficult circumstances.  She experienced first hand the importance of family as they relied on extended family for love and support.

Eugenie was always an adventurer and at the age of 24 followed her dreams and travelled alone from her hometown of Baghdad to Israel, England and then on to Detroit to visit her Godmother.  It was this trip to Detroit that was the turning point in her life as she met Harry Karebian, a strapping young man, who woo’d Eugenie off her feet.

They married in 1954.  John was born in 1955 followed by Lillian in 1956.  Their family was complete and they bought a home in Allen Park, Michigan and raised their family.    John and Lillian were the apples of their eye. 

Harry was a hard worker, a lithographer by trade, and worked at General Motors on the night shift.  He picked up as much overtime as he could and Eugenie took on many of the traditional roles of raising the children.  She taught John and Lillian many things that hold them good and steady today, including good manners, respect and sound moral values.  She taught them the importance of the church and how to speak Armenian before they spoke english. 

Even in those early days when money was a bit tighter, they annually partnered with a local charity to distribute toys to children of need at Christmas and modeled the importance of sharing with others.  John spoke of remembering that they would never pass by someone who was less fortunate holding out their hand without his father or mother giving them some coins to share. 

In 1963 she found time to become a U.S. Citizen and taking her oath was such a important day in her life. 

Eugenie was an amazing seamstress and sewed her own dresses and Lillian’s without even a pattern.   She spent all her time with her children and John and Lillian both spoke fondly of the stories she would tell about growing up in Baghdad and the home baked Armenian food she would cook (ESPECIALLY HER PILAF)  that they all enjoyed.  She always made sure the family had enough to eat before she ate herself, a lesson her children have never forgotten. 

In 1973, her and Harry built their dream house in West Bloomfield and started a new chapter in their life.  Her new home kept her busy as John went away to college and Lillian finished her last two years of High School. 

Once the kids were adults, Eugenie found time to expand her horizons and build upon those dreams and experiences she had enjoyed in her life.   She used her artistic talents to create beautiful faberge eggs many of which had religious themes to them.  She also found more time to get active in the church and you would regularly see Eugenie in the Church kitchen baking for the bazaar or active in Women’s Guild and Daughters of Vartan.  She taught Sunday School at St. Johns and many of her grandchildren’s friends would remember her as their teacher.  Eugenie also became active in the Eastern Star eventually becoming the Worthy Grand Matron of the Michigan Chapter.   Her and Harry found time to travel as well, with the Eastern Star,  and filled an important item on Eugenie’s bucket list when they vacationed to Europe visiting England, France and Switzerland. 

The 80’s brought the wedding of John and Terrie, and Jim and Lillian.  Those were such proud and happy days.  You couldn’t get Eugenie off the dance floor while the Armenian music was playing at both receptions.  She always treated Terrie and Jim as her own kids and called them daughter and son.  Those weddings produced grandchildren and that became the most important joy in Eugenie’s life and such an important part of her legacy. 

Tara, Nicholas, Christopher and Brittany were everything to Eugenie and Harry.  Although they stayed active in many things, nothing took away from their time with their Grandchildren.  I can’t imagine any grandparents being more generous with their time and love.  Both Harry and Eugenie helped raise their grandchildren while John and Terrie and Jim and Lillian worked until they all reached school age.  They provided a major support system but were much more than that, serving as playmates for their grandchildren, models and mentors, historians teaching christian values and passing on the importance of their Armenian heritage.  She gave them her unconditional love, kindness, patience, and comfort. 

There were so many special memories the kids had with Grandma.   The family will always remember Christmases together at Grandma and Grandpa’s.  The presents under the tree, smell of Armenian delicacies in the kitchen with no shortage of pilaf, singing songs at the piano, celebrating Grandpa’s Birthday, and being surrounded with more love than some people experience in a lifetime.  Eugenie’s grandchildren completed her circle of love.

Eugenie’s family tree added new branches as Nicholas married Sarah and Christopher married Xander.   Both Xander and Sarah were welcomed with open arms by Grandma Eugenie.  She loved both of them and there was always bacheegs and prayers for both, like the rest of the family.  When Nicholas and Sarah’s daughter Isla James Karebian was born in 2020, she was able to experience having her first great grandchild.  Great Grandma loved Isla and the way she held her in her arms was heartwarming when they were together.   And Isla was the best medicine for Great Grandma when she would give her a big hug or blow her bacheegs on face-time.  Isla thought she was so special that she called her Great Great Grandma!

Eugenie was a humble woman who stood as tall as any queen.  She never yearned to be the center of attention yet her presence filled a room with her love and kindness.  She has been the Matriarch of the family.

She was incredibly beautiful.   She had a real sense of dignity and she never wavered from her faith in God.  Her family repeatedly says that they felt closer to God when they were with their Grandmother.  Her legacy is not measured by money but the bond of her family that carries her and her values in their hearts. 

She was kind to everyone and when she always included all of us in her prayers.  Today there is one more angel to look after us and one more shining star in the sky. 

 

 

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.


Services

Visitation
Wednesday
August 3, 2022

9:30 AM to 11:30 AM
St. John Armenian Church
22001 Northwestern Highway
Southfield, MI 48075

Funeral Service
Wednesday
August 3, 2022

11:30 AM to 12:15 PM
St. John Armenian Church
22001 Northwestern Highway
Southfield, MI 48075

Daughters of Vartan
Wednesday
August 3, 2022

12:30 PM
St. John Armenian Church
22001 Northwestern Highway
Southfield, MI 48075

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