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 Ethel M <I>MacDougall</I> Alemian

Ethel M MacDougall Alemian

Death 7 Jan 2010 (aged 100)
Burial Weymouth, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, USA
Memorial ID 106736036 · View Source
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Ethel M. Alemian Ethel M. Alemian ORLEANS Ethel (Cameron MacDougall) Alemian, friend to many, teacher and beloved family member, died peacefully on January 7 at the age of 100 at the Orleans Convalescent and Retirement Center where she had happily spent the last six years of her life. Family members were with her on the last day of her life. Ethel was born on June 2, 1909 in Berlin, New Hampshire to Ethel Cameron MacDougall and John MacDougall. Both parents had immigrated to the United States from New Brunswick. Ethel was raised in a loving family with her sisters Hazel, who died at age 13, Mary Louise and Beatrice. At that time Berlin was a thriving cultural center that hosted two symphony orchestras. Music was an early love of Ethels that would evolve into her passion for opera. She later became a patron of the Boston Opera House. But it was the written word that most captured her imagination. As a child her mother read to her from the family Bible and so she began to appreciate the sound and poetry of words. As soon as she could read on her own, she and her mother would spend hours in the library and walk home with armfuls of books. Music and books were not the only influences during that time. Her beloved White Mountains drew her to them in many ways. When she was old enough to have summer jobs she would rise at 5 a.m. and hike up Mt. Jasper to watch the sun rise before reporting to work. In the winter, she and her friends would drag their skis up the sides of a mountain , chair lifts and formal trails had not arrived yet to the northern woods, and ski down only to start the process all over again. Hiking, blueberry picking, enjoying every season as it arrived, and a great appreciation of nature would be continuing themes throughout her life. Ethel was also accomplished at knitting, crocheting and needlepoint. Her sister Beaty remembers many a winter evening during the war years that Ethel created beautiful needlepoint coverings for chairs in their home. Another passion throughout her life was her love of animals. Many dogs and cats benefitted from her love, devotion and sense of playfulness with them. Like many animal lovers, she saw each of them as having distinct personalities and worthy of endless attention. She loved every animal that lived with her as deeply as any family member, and was often heard to say, I could just watch them all day. Ethel excelled in her studies and upon graduation from high school attended and graduated from Colby College in 1931. For the next 17 years she taught English and directed the theater group at Berlin High School. She loved teaching and her students, and often commented upon the rich tapestry of nationalities and their cultures in Berlin that added so much to the classroom. Summer vacations during this time were mostly spent furthering her study of English literature and especially her love of Shakespeare. She did graduate work at Boston University and studied at Oxford. At Oxford she not only enjoyed the course work but the stimulating and often raucous nightly discussions in nearby pubs on philosophy, politics and the approaching war. In fact, she left Oxford on the last boat that would leave England for the United States as World War II broke out. After 17 years of teaching in Berlin, Ethel accepted a position to teach English at Weymouth High School in Massachusetts. She kept in touch and continued to see friends from Berlin and Colby as well as making many new friends on the south shore. The easy proximity to Boston afforded many opportunities for theater, opera, museums and lectures. During this time she met and married Dr. Arsham Alemian, Chief of Staff at South Shore hospital and survivor of the 1917 Armenian Holocaust. Arsham shared Ethels love of animals, books, cultural activities, socializing with friends and world travel. They also spent time at their second home in Orleans on Willie Atwood Road that overlooked the beach and Cape Cod Bay. They eventually retired there. After Arshams death in 1983, Ethel continued her life in their home with their animals and enjoyed visits from Arshams three children from a previous marriage, along with keeping up with many friends. Ethel enjoyed reading the New York Times and many other periodicals as well as having lively political discussions with anyone who would engage. Another endless source of entertainment were the crossword puzzles - and always the Sunday New York times crossword puzzle - listening to NPR and following the characters in many of the wonderful British PBS television series programs. As one century ended and another began, Ethel embarked on a new tradition of immersing herself once each year in the re-reading of Tolstoys War and Peace whose characters felt like family and friends to her. She was also an avid Red Sox fan. In the last six years of her life, the staff at the Orleans Convalescent Home made sure the game was turned on and a cold beer sat nearby as she routed for her beloved Red Sox and her favorite player, Big Papi. Ethel is survived by her sister Beatrice Juskalian of Stockbridge, step children Bruce Alemian and his wife Claire of Hanover, Dr. Richard Alemian and his wife Kimberlee of Cohasset and Diana Alemian Ferman of Weymouth. A celebration of Ethels life will be held on Saturday, January 30, at 1 p.m. at the Captain Linnell House in Orleans. She will be buried privately next to her husband Arsham in Weymouth. Anyone interested in attending the celebration on January 30 should please call Bruce Alemian at 781-826-9244. Memorial donations may be sent to the Orleans Convalescent Employee Education Fund, 60 Daly Terrace, Orleans, MA 02653.

Published in The Patriot Ledger on 1/13/2010

Bio by: Carol Bestick

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  • Created by: CopeSullivan
  • Added: 15 Mar 2013
  • Find A Grave Memorial 106736036
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Ethel M MacDougall Alemian (2 Jun 1909–7 Jan 2010), Find A Grave Memorial no. 106736036, citing North Weymouth Cemetery, Weymouth, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by CopeSullivan (contributor 47735663) .