DETROIT — Armenian Genocide survivor Ramela Carman died on August 6 at the Manoogian Manor. She was 102.
Carman was believed to be the only Armenian Genocide survivor in Michigan.
Her family and friends gathered at Manoogian Manor in Livonia in April to mark her birthday. On the occasion, the local paper did a story on her, which the Mirror-Spectator reproduced.
She was born on April 7, 1914 in Yozgat, Turkey, to the late Mihran and Makrouhi Nishanian.
She was the wife of the late Masa Carman; sister-in-law of the late Edward Carman, Agnes Carman (Peter) Hovsepian, the late Harry (Rosemary) Carman, and the late Margaret (the late Mardig) Hatcherian; cousin of Silva Trika and family, Istanbul, Turkey.
Carman was too young during the Genocide to have horrific memories of it, but relatives told her that her father was one of the people whom the government forced to march off one day.
“He turned back,” she said, explaining that he wore disguises, changed his name, went into hiding — did whatever was necessary to stay alive. He later reunited with his family but died of kidney disease after just a short time.
With her mother and grandmother, Carman relocated from their small village to Istanbul. Her mother worked in a factory and her grandmother worked as a cook. By the time she was 16, both her mother and grandmother became too ill to work and Carman took responsibility for supporting them.
She worked in a factory and later bought a sewing machine and assembled men’s shirts.
In 1960, she came to the United States, leaving her mother in the care of a cousin. She hoped to bring her to America but her mother died before the necessary paperwork was approved.
Just a few months after arriving, she married Masa Carman. She taught herself English and was later hired by Hagopian World of Rugs to repair their Oriental rugs. She retired in 1976 and she and her husband enjoyed travel together.
Services were held at St. John’s Armenian Church, Southfield. Interment was in Woodlawn Cemetery. Arrangements were made by the Edward Korkorian Funeral Home.