Natalie Gazoorian Barmakian of Belmont and Oak Bluffs died on Oct. 16, a few weeks shy of her 95th birthday.

Natalie Regina Gazoorian was born Nov. 12, 1928 in Worcester to Maritza and Sarkis Gazoorian, who had fled the Armenian Genocide from his home in Malatia, Turkey. She grew up in Worcester and graduated from North High School in the class of 1946.

She went on to acquire a secretarial certificate from Salter Secretarial School in Worcester. From there she worked for the American Red Cross and the Worcester Art Museum.

She was proud of her Armenian heritage but also very patriotic and appreciative of the opportunity the United States provided for her father. When describing how her father came to the United States, he always ended stories about his plight with the phrase God Bless America.

She was introduced to her future husband, Ara Barmakian, by Ara’s mother at an Armenian event. After that, Ara’s choice was made and they married in September 1952.

Natalie loved to stay active, taking care of her children and grandchildren, cooking, playing tennis, entertaining friends and family and attending her grandchildren’s activities. If there was ever music playing, she was dancing — to everyone’s delight.

Her husband introduced her to Martha’s Vineyard. His parents had a home on Waban Park in Oak Bluffs since the early 1940s and his uncle Krikor (Jerry) Barmakian built and ran the Boston House and several other Oak Bluffs businesses.

One of Natalie’s first experiences of Island life was being here with her two-year old daughter during Hurricane Carol in late August 1954. Nevertheless, she continued to spend almost every summer in Oak Bluffs with her growing family who all shared the Island pleasures of the time: endless days at the neighborhood beach, rides on the Flying Horses, sailing in the family catamaran, chocolates at Hilliard’s, crabbing at Farm Pond, picking mussels off the beach and picking grape leaves up-Island.

She also made her mark on the Island later in life between the ages of 88 to 90 years old in the skillet toss at the West Tisbury Agricultural Fair. She was a three-time winner of the Silver Skillet Award for the oldest contestant to legally throw at 90 years old. She always accepted the award happily and graciously and she danced a jig off the field.

Natalie was the wife of the late Ara Barmakian. She leaves her children, Karen Herosian and her husband Glen Herosian, Gail Barmakian, Janice McCullough and her husband David McCullough Jr., and Ara Barmakian and his wife Beth Barmakian; 11 grandchildren; and her sister Marcia Gazoorian of Worcester.

In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by her parents, Sarkis and Maritza Gazoorian; her sister, Rosalie Chorbajian; and her brother, Sarkis Leon (Lee) Gazoorian.

Her service was held on Oct. 23 at the St. James Armenian Apostolic Church in Watertown.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. James Armenian Apostolic Church or to the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NASSR), 395 Concord Avenue, Belmont, MA 02478.