SEA CLIFF, N.Y. — Margaret “Marge” C. Tellalian-Kyrkostas, 90, of Little Neck passed away on February 15. She was an anthropologist, an Armenian activist, a wife and mother, an author, a professor, a Yaya, a museum director, an actress and producer, and an aspiring stand-up comic.
She is survived by two children: Theo W. Kyrkostas, Jr. (Ann) of Sea Cliff, NY and Peggy Hanlon (Liam) of Port Washington, NY; four grandchildren: Samantha Mills (Billy) and Calvin Kyrkostas (Isabella Gambuto), Tim O’Hanlon and Ani O’Hanlon; and one great-granddaughter, Nellie Day Mills. She also leaves behind a sister-in-law, many nieces, nephews, cousins, and relations in Romania, France, and Argentina. She was preceded in death by her second son, Mark Kyrkostas, her parents, her brother, Jack Tellalian, and her husband, Ted Kyrkostas, Sr.
She was born in Astoria, Queens to Garabed and Haiganoush (Yemenedjian) Tellalian, immigrant parents from Anatolia who had survived the Armenian Genocide and fled to America to build a new life.
Marge was raised by her parents and grandmother, Mariam, among many Armenian friends and cousins in Astoria. She attended Julia Richmond High School, where she excelled in painting and made life-long friends.
She married Theodore W. Kyrkostas on February 15, 1948. After moving from Astoria, they made their home in Little Neck, NY, where they raised their three children. As a mother, Marge shared with her children a great curiosity for the world, taking them on a six-week trip across the US in a Greyhound bus, driving them through Alabama during race riots, and on many international trips, including to communist Romania in 1966. Her love for all cultures and countries inspired her children and grandchildren to travel the globe. Often, Marge came along.
At 43, Marge achieved a lifelong goal, returning to school to earn her BA at Queens College and MA in Physical Anthropology at New York University. Her archeological work sent her further afield- to Greece, where she studied the Petralona Man with Dr. Aris Poulianos, England, and Kenya. She taught in the Department of Anthropology at Queens College for 15 years.