On Sunday, January 28, Gregory N. Roberts, of Fayetteville, Georgia, visited St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, together with his wife, Paulette, and their friends, Judith and Ed Fuller, to present a check to the Cathedral for $96,000 on behalf of the estate of Thelma Gulamerian, who passed away in 2021 at the age of 88.
Thelma Gayane Gulamerian was born on May 22, 1933, in Brooklyn, New York, to Ohannes and Astghig Gulamerian. She was baptized at St. Illuminator’s on December 26, 1948, by Archpriest Arsen Simeoniantz, of blessed memory. After Thelma’s father passed away, his wife and daughters Thelma and Claire moved to the Atlanta area to be near their sister Seda, who had moved there with her husband. Thelma never married but was a loving sister and daughter who spent her last years taking care of Astghig and Claire. Thelma and Claire were long-time tenants of Gregory Roberts and had become good friends with him. Thelma conveyed him her wish that upon her death any property she owned be given to St. Illuminator’s. He fulfilled his promise to carry out Thelma’s wish and served without compensation as executor. Even after being away from New York for so many years, St. Illuminator’s Cathedral occupied a special place in her heart.
After the Divine Liturgy, Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian held a requiem service for Thelma Gulamerian and her family, and then presented a special program of music and tribute in the Pashalian Hall. After Hasmik Mekanejian’s performance of Armenian songs, Gregory Roberts presented Thelma’s biography and spoke about how they met and grew to be friends. Parishioner Chris Parnagian and Cathedral Board of Trustees chairman Armen Morian made remarks as well about the emotional importance of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral in the lives of the six generations of Armenian Americans who have passed through her doors like Thelma Gulamerian. At the conclusion of the program, Der Mesrob presented the visitors the “Lord’s Prayer” plaque and an Armenian handmade pomegranate ornament as a token of gratitude on behalf of the Cathedral.