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March 11, 2023
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Eleanor Gurdikian, 94, of Wilmington, Delaware passed away on March 11th, 2023.
Eleanor was born on April 2nd, 1928 to Hranoush and Haig DerGazarian in Philadelphia, PA. During the 1940's and 1950's, she attended St. Joe's University while at the same time working as a secretary for Katharine Boucot, M.D, who was one of the founders of preventative medicine. She was also very active in the Armenian Students Association.
In 1956, Eleanor met Karnik Gurdikian, M.D. on the beach at Asbury Park, NJ. Karnik always said that she was the most beautiful Armenian girl on the beach. They married on March 2nd, 1957 and lived in Germantown, PA. They had their first child, Robert, while in Germantown before moving to Delaware in 1960 where they had two more children, Ronald and Greta.
Eleanor became very involved in the League for Hearing-Impaired Children in Delaware after her second son, Ronald, became deaf shortly after his birth. She was a forceful spokeswoman for the right of hearing-impaired children to have access to more educational benefits.
Her husband Karnik passed away suddenly in 1977, but Eleanor persevered and continued to be an amazing mother for her three young children.
Through the remainder of the seventies, eighties, and nineties she was an active member of the Women's Medical Auxiliary of Delaware and the Junior Board of Delaware, where she spent many years volunteering.
She enjoyed working for Bamberger's and Macy's, where she formed many wonderful friendships that she continued until very recently.
During the 1990's Eleanor became an avid student at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Delaware. After a few years she became the instructor for the Institute’s travel class, which she enjoyed immensely. She invited a great many speakers to her class to share their experiences from the fascinating places they’d visited. She organized numerous trips to places as far away as New Zealand and as close as Broadway shows in New York. She was immensely proud of her instructor's badge that she wore each day when she went to the academy.
Eleanor was passionate about being an Armenian and incredibly proud of her heritage. She was a lifelong member of St. Sahag and St. Mesrob Armenian Church in Wynnewood, PA.
She is survived by her children Robert (Tina), Ronald (Celine, pre-deceased) and Greta (Jeff), her grandchildren Brett, Katharine, Greta, and Michelle, many and nephews, nieces, and cousins.
Family and friends are invited to call from 10-11am Thursday March 16, 2023 at St. Sahag & St. Mesrob Armenian Apostolic Church, 630 Clothier Rd., Wynnewood, PA 19096. Funeral service to begin promptly at 11am, Private interment at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to the church.