Sylvia M. (Messerlian) Agabian, age 88, passed away on Friday, August 12, 2022, at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Needham, Massachusetts, surrounded by her loving family. Born in Providence, Rhode Island on February 2, 1934, she was the daughter of the late John and Vivian (Biberjian) Messerlian. She was raised in Cranston, Rhode Island, where she graduated from Cranston High School with the Class of 1951. Sylvia continued her education at Rhode Island College of Education, earning her bachelors degree in 1955. Following her graduation, Sylvia took a student teaching position with the Cranston Public Schools, before earning her own second grade classroom with the Roosevelt Avenue School in North Attleborough.
Sylvia married her beloved husband, Merritt "Skip" Agabian, on October 27, 1957, in Worcester, Massachusetts. The young couple initially made their home in Norwood, Massachusetts, before building their home on Old Post Road in East Walpole in 1961. After welcoming her children, Sylvia took on the role of a homemaker, raising and caring for her family. As her three children grew up, Sylvia returned to her career, serving as a substitute teaching position with the Walpole Public Schools. In the late 1970s, Sylvia took a role with the Brockton Art Center and Museum, serving as a docent, giving tours to school children. She took several courses at the Art Center, learning about fine art and art history in preparation for her role, which she held for over thirty years. For over ten years she served on the Walpole Arts Council, including as President. In 1986 she began volunteering for the Walpole Public Schools to incorporate arts programming into the curriculum. She was soon granted a full time paid position as Cultural Arts Coordinator, bringing writers, performing artists, and visual artists into classrooms to teach the children of Walpole while also organizing extracurricular visits for students to experience cultural events in Boston.
Sylvia's love for art continued well beyond the Brockton Art Center, as she loved working with various mediums, including watercolor, oil paint, and sculpture. She frequented museums on a weekly basis, her docent card often her ticket to innumerable art institutions. She also loved going to local theater, music, and dance events. She was a member of the Sts. Sahag and Mesrob Armenian Apostolic Church in Providence and was an active member of the Boston area Armenian community, often attending events at NAASR in Belmont and ALMA in Watertown. As an avid traveler, she and Skip visited almost every state in the country. Back at home, Sylvia enjoyed keeping up with the current fashion trends, catching a movie, or spending the night with Skip at one of her favorite restaurants. She was most happy when surrounded by her family and closest friends.
Beloved wife of Merritt "Skip" Agabian.
Loving mother of Susan V. Agabian of Watertown, Kenneth P. Agabian of Boston, and Nancy M. Agabian of North Attleborough.
Sister of John Messerlian and his wife, Virginia, of Sun City, Florida.
Also survived by several nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend Sylvia's visitation on Wednesday, August 17, 2022, from 10 to 11 AM in the James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home, 48 Common Street, Walpole. A Funeral Home Service will follow at 11:00 AM and interment will take place in Maple Grove Cemetery in Walpole.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Sylvia's name made be made to The Fuller Craft Museum at www.fullercraft.org or by mailing a check to 455 Oak Street, Brockton, MA 02301.