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Alice “Areknaz” Melkonian Shartzer, 99, Passed on 1/15/24 at her assisted living in Walnut Creek, CA. She was born in Providence, Rhode Island, to the late Stephen Melkonian of Moosh, Armenia and Vartanoush “Rose” Davidian Melkonian of Turkey. Her parents were survivors of the Armenian Genocide of 1915.
Alice grew up in East Providence and graduated from East Providence High School and Edgewood Secretarial School in Cranston. She played the violin in the orchestra in Junior and Senior High School. She loved the Armenian music and attended many Armenian dances. She attended RI Philharmonic Orchestra.
She would help her father at his shoe repair business originally at Watchemoket Square Historic District and later in Kent Heights. After graduating Edgewood Secretarial School, she was a bookkeeper for the Chase Brothers at Chase Auto Body Works and Providence Automotive. Alice and her husband, Allen, purchased Chase Auto Body Works and owned it for over 25 years. They were owners of Mark Allen Dartmouth Apartments in Providence since the early 1960’s. One year, Providence Herald included Alice in the top ten business women in Providence.
Alice was a member of Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church since she married M. Allen Shartzer and was a member of the Ladies’ Guild. Prior to joining Sts. Vartanantz, she attended St. Sahag and Mesrob Armenian Church. As a young child, on her walks to Watchemoket Square, she would attend the neighborhood Catholic Churches.
Aside from her Christian faith, her small family meant a great deal to her. Her volunteer work was to support the activities of her children and Allen. With her love for music and art, she supported Cynthia’s Piano lessons, Stephen’s drum lessons and Linda’s voice and drama lessons. As a resident of Kent Heights in East Providence, she was the biggest cheerleader at Stephen’s football, ice hockey and baseball games at East Providence High. She supported Allen’s weekly golf with the Armenian Hye Hackers and annual AYF Olympics Alumni Golf. She supported the Sts. Vartanantz Armenian School and Sunday School that Cynthia, Linda and Stephen attended. She supported the Armenian Youth Federation, Providence Varantian Chapter, where Cynthia and Linda were both President of AYF Juniors. She supported Camp Haiastan where Cynthia, Stephen and Linda were campers for several years and Cynthia was a counselor. Alice was proud to visit us at Vassar, Boston College and University of RI.
Alice loved to travel on road trips to Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, New York City, upstate New York and Canada. She enjoyed day trips to Newport, Southern Beaches and Barrington Beach in RI. We visited dad’s family in Ohio and Pennsylvania at the Enlow, Dean and Shartzer Family Reunions.
Alice encouraged us to travel on international trips where we visited churches and religious sites. In 1978, we visited Cynthia in Egypt, Dead Sea in Jordan and in Beirut we had a private visit with the Armenian Catholicos. She and Allen spent time with Cynthia in Costa del Sol, Spain. We visited Stephen’s family in Newbury, England. We toured the Vatican, St. Peter’s Basilica and Sistine Chapel, Rome, Italy. Whenever mother traveled, she enjoyed day cruises; Blue Lagoon in Capri, Italy, Bosphorus River in Istanbul, Turkey and Resurrection Bay on Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. In Armenia, we visited many churches, Mt. Ararat, Lake Van and Etchmiadzin Church and Seminary.
Alice is predeceased by her parents, sisters; Virginia Emerian and Sylia Melikian, husband M. Allen Shartzer, daughter Cynthia Lynn Shartzer and her son in law Brian Green.
She is survived by her daughter Linda Rose Shartzer of Houston, TX. She is survived by her son Stephen Allen Melkonian Shartzer, daughter in law Stacey Allison Frost Shartzer and twin granddaughters Alexandra Vartanoosh Davidian Shartzer and Victoria Josephine Melkonian Shartzer of Danville, CA. She is survived by her niece Stephanie Emerian Day, her husband Donald Day and nephew David Emerian of Griswold, CT. She is also survived by her sister-in-law Harriet Shartzer Reynolds of Akron, OH and several nieces and nephews in Ohio and Pennsylvania. She is survived by her cousins in Rhode Island, Florida and Georgia.
Alice had a positive attitude and shared her big smile. She would always say, “be kind to everyone”. Alice will hold the wooden cross she received in Etchmiadzin Armenia. She will rest in peace with Allen and Cynthia, who both passed in 2012.
Funeral services at Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church, 402 Broadway, Providence, RI 02909 at 11:00AM on THURSDAY February 15, 2024.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend, her visiting hours from 10:00am -11:00am in the church.
Burial will follow in Lakeside Cemetery, East Providence.
In Lieu of flowers, please make donations to Sts. Vartanantz Church, 402 Broadway, Providence, RI 02909.
Arrangements by the REBELLO FUNERAL HOME, East Providence.