Marilyn D. Gazarian, affectionately known as Maude, formerly of Reading and most recently of Chappaquiddick, died on Thursday, June 14 at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. She was 93.

Born Marilyn Dorothy Edwards on August 18, 1924, in Arlington, she was the daughter of the late Frank Edwards and the late Harriet (MacDonald) Edwards. Both her older sisters, Rayna Edwards McCullough and Dorothy Edwards. predeceased her.

During World War II she worked as a “rivet girl,” helping to produced munitions. She would frequently tell the story that she had been just like Rosie the Riveter, the cultural icon. She would proudly display the rivet injury on one of her fingers, where a piece of rivet remained embedded for the remainder of her life. She married Army Capt. Edward Gazarian after he returned from World War II. They had two sons, Edward Michael and Frank Raphael. Big Ed, as her husband was known, was a chemist who not only served his country, but passed away in 1953 from complications sustained during the war.

Widowed at 29 years old in the early 1950s, Marilyn soldiered on as a single mother with two young sons, both of whom she dearly loved. Through difficult times, but steadfast in her independence, she graduated from business school, obtained her real estate license, and went on to become a member of the Professional Women’s Business Club of Reading and the New England Credit Executives. Along the way she worked as a telephone switch board operator and at the law offices of Latham and Latham in Reading. She then became the assistant treasurer of the Edgerley and Bessom Funeral Home in Reading, where she worked for many years.

Throughout her life her faith in God sustained her. While living in Reading, she was an active member of the First Congregational Church. Her devotion to her family and her passion for fashion, music, art, and animals were all separate but intertwined components that made her life complete. She took frequent art lessons at the Red Barn Studio in Reading, and quickly became quite an accomplished artist. A credo she lived her life by and was often repeated to her family was “Be honest and upright, fair and square. Let this be your motto and aim.”

More than a year ago she moved to Chappaquiddick to live with her son Frank and his wife, Karen. Along with a loving part-time caregiver, Serita, they devotedly took care of both Maude and her beloved cat, Wee Gordi.

Maude is survived by her sons, Edward Michael and Frank Raphael, their wives, Berjouhi and Karen, her grandson, Edward, and his wife Nairi, along with numerous friends and extended family members. At the end of telephone conversations with Maude her family would say “Be happy.” Maude would always reply, “Go lucky.” These words will be long remembered for their simplicity and profoundness. So to conclude, “Be Happy, Go Lucky.”

Family and friends are invited to gather in remembrance of her life during visiting hours on Friday, June 22 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Douglass, Edgerley and Bessom Funeral Home in Reading. Funeral services will be held the following morning, Saturday, June 23, at 11 a.m., with internment to follow at Forest Glen Cemetery in Reading. For additional information visit

In lieu of flowers and in respect for her devotion to animals, a donation in her memory can be made to the Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard or Second Chance Animal Rescue of Martha’s Vineyard.