His Eminence Anoushavan, Prelate, and the Religious and Lay Councils learned with great sadness of the passing of Julia Ishkanian, a lifelong parishioner of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral and faithful Prelacy member, on January 6, 2022. The funeral services at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral and the interment service at Cedar Grove Cemetery in Flushing, New York, presided by Archbishop Anoushavan, were held privately on January 10. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers donations be made to St. Illuminator’s Armenian Apostolic Cathedral or to The Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Julia Ishkanian was born on March 2, 1928, to Baghdasar and Mary Aylaian, in New York City. She grew up in Hell’s Kitchen with her brother Michael, and later her family moved to Yorkville, where she attended Julia Richmond High School.
At 11 years old, she demonstrated musical interest in the piano. One day, while at the St. Illuminator’s Church balcony, she began playing a current tune on the organ. The parish priest was in the church and overheard the tune and asked her to start playing for Sunday services. Thus began her voluntary career of more than 70 years as the devoted organist for St. Illuminator’s Cathedral.
She married Vahe Ishkanian, whom she met through the church choir, in 1951. She actively participated in the Ladies Auxiliary and the and was involved in church life for many decades. Along with her husband Vahe, she participated in the formation of the Armenian Prelacy along Patriarchal Legate Archbishop Khoren Paroyan (later Catholicos Khoren I).
Mrs. Julia Ishkanian is survived by her daughter, Linda, husband Edward Munshower, and their daughter, Mary, along with her son Gary, wife Andrea, and their children Ariana, Nicholas, and Matthew. Her beloved husband, Vahe, passed away in 2006.
May God illuminate her soul.