Sylvia Barmakian died calmly and at peace in hospice care on March 27. She was four days shy of her 87th birthday.

She no doubt enjoyed a joyous reunion and birthday celebration with her identical twin sister Lillian, who died in 2020. Sylvia and Vahan Barmakian were happily married for 60 years, raising three children — Adreena, Nyree and Adam — until Vahan’s death in 2018.

She was much loved and is now deeply missed by a multitude of family and friends,

She was born Syrpouhi Tatigian in Ville-Émard, Montreal to Ohonnes John and Youghaper Tatigian, who had left Armenia for Canada to escape the genocide. They met, married and created a successful life in Canada, first owning a French bakery and later moving to Lachine, where they operated a hamburger restaurant that was a favorite local hangout for teenagers.

Sylvia loved working at the bakery and the restaurant with her twin sister, brothers Charlie and Emile and their father, who was a sociable jokester. She herself was quite the mischievous prankster, such as the time she poured marbles into the baker’s mixing bowl, destroying the bread business for the day.

She traveled the world but her favorite place by far was her home on Martha’s Vineyard, where she cherished every summer with the extended Barmakian families. In their later years, she and Lillian sat on their front or back porches while a steady stream of friends and family stopped by to chat. Syl and Lil were Oak Bluffs fixtures.

Sylvia was an inveterate sports fan, primarily of baseball and hockey, but she was happy watching almost any sport or just listening to radio broadcasts. She quickly became a Boston fan, replacing the Montreal Canadiens with the Bruins, and was a true fanatic. When the Red Sox heartbreakingly lost the 1986 World Series, she barely spoke for two days.

She was a fabulous cook, especially of Armenian delicacies, and an energetic gardener. She was a talented athlete who enjoyed badminton and golf. She excelled at tennis and bowled in leagues well into her 70s. Her feisty sense of humor and enthusiasm made every activity fun.

Her favorite quiet hobbies were painting, knitting, which she continued to her final days, and all manner of needlecraft. She was skilled at creative, intricate knitting patterns and made countless sweaters and hooked many large rugs for her family. She knitted hundreds of squares that she donated to be turned into quilts for charities.

A woman of understated elegance and uncommon grace and wisdom, Sylvia was humble and judgment-free, treating everyone magnanimously with the same warmth, compassion and understanding. Out of respect for others, she was always smartly but simply dressed, even when ill. She was comically uninterested in jewelry, which is ironic considering that was the family business.

Although she had short-term memory issues in her last years, she still regaled family and friends with entertaining, long-term memories. She never ceased reminiscing about her idyllic childhood and teen years in Canada. To the end, she maintained her keen wit, delightful sense of humor and love of family, friends and community.

In addition to her children, Sylvia is survived by Nyree’s husband, Eduardo Valdes; grandsons Evan and his wife Sarah, Emil and Oliver Valdes; four nieces — Lillian’s daughters to whom Sylvia was also a maternal figure — Sima and her husband Bruce Seymourian, Liane and her husband Edward Bush, Krista and her husband Marc Janigian, and Deanna and her husband Michael Jimenez; and grandnieces and grandnephews Ariana, Jacob, Gabi, Talene, Isabel, Greta, Leo, Lily, Diran and Berj.

Memorial contributions may be made to Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary at P.O. Box 494, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568 or