April 24, 1927 ~ September 11, 2010
Mary Tokatlian was born in Nicosia, Cyprus on April 24, 1927 and died September 11, 2010 in San Luis Obispo, CA.
Mary and her identical twin, Verginie and she were the daughters of Noubar and Haigouhie Tokatlian. Born in Turkey, Noubar Tokatlian & Haigouhie Najarian were refugees escaping the Armenian massacre. They fled their country and started their family in Nicosia, Cyprus, where Mary and Verginie, the identical twin daughters were born. The family moved to Cairo, Egypt where Noubar worked as a pharmacist. Two other siblings were born, Vahe and Karnik. Vahe died in the first year of life. The Tokatlian children were raised in a small colony called Nagahamadi in Upper Egypt. Their childhood was idyllic with many stories of Girls Guide troops and friends, keeping pigeons and rabbits and climbing trees.
November 18, 1944, both twin girls married two brothers Antoine and Elie Ichkhan in a double ceremony. Mary and Tony moved to Cairo where he worked for the sugar cane factory. Several years later, their only child, Rosemay, was born in 1958. As the political climate in the Middle East became tenuous, the whole Ichkhan clan left Egypt for the USA with NO financial assets. They landed at LAX with grandma Haigouhie and began their new life here in Manhattan Beach, CA.
Mary worked at Honeywell on the assembly line, while husband Tony found employment at Hughes Aircraft. In 1974, they purchased their first home in Redondo Beach, CA. They both worked hard through the years at their jobs and taking care of their parents.
In 1990, Mary became a widow and continued to live in Redondo Beach surrounded by her extended family. She was an independent woman and kept herself busy volunteering at a local hospital. In1998, due to health issues, Mary left Redondo Beach to be close to her daughter in Los Osos, CA. She bought a mobile home and lived with her tortoise "Lucky" and cat "Bijou." Mary was tenacious and disciplined in her own health care, dealing with diabetes and recovering from 2 broken hips, living independently until 2 months prior to her passing.
Mary was fiercely loyal to family. She could be opinionated and brutally honest at times, but she was also generous, an avid reader, a very fine dresser – never leaving the house unless she was well put together. She was fluent in 4 languages - French, Arabic, Armenian, English - and was passable in Italian. Hers was the difficult life of a first generation immigrant, striving to make things better for the next generation. Mary and her husband Tony worked hard, saved their money, and succeeded in reaching the "American Dream." She loved her pets, her garden, her extended family, and is survived by her brother Karnik Tokatlian, daughter Rosemay Cameron, and grandsons Josiah, Caleb, and Daniel Cameron. Mary is buried in a crypt at Pacific Crest Cemetery, Redondo Beach, CA.
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