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Dr. Nermin D. (“Dr. Nermin”) Lavapies of Los Angeles, CA, and Martins Ferry, OH, died Friday, January 26, 2024, at her residence, Belmont Village, in Los Angeles, CA.
She loved large gatherings of friends, her garden, fashion, her numerous cats, travel, chocolate, baking desserts (especially baklava), Roger Federer, Olympic figure skaters, music, movies, the color red and her family.
She was born April 5, 1932, in St. Etienne, France, the daughter of the late Sadi Demirbag and Yvonne Maldant. At age three, her family moved to Turkey. She was valedictorian of her high school class and went on to receive her medical degree from the University of Istanbul.
Dr. Nermin was a family physician. She arrived in Ohio Valley in 1956 to work at Wheeling Hospital. It was there that she first got her nickname “Demi” (short for her maiden name “Demirbag”). There she met Dr. Felipe V. (“Dr. Lava”) Lavapies, whom she married in 1958.
In 1959 she gave birth to their only child Stephen. A month before his birth, her husband’s visa expired and he had to return to the country of his birth, the Philippines. While working as a physician, Dr. Nermin raised her son on her own (and with the help of kind friends) until Dr. Lava could return to the U. S. in 1962.
In the early 1960s, Dr. Nermin began working at Ohio Valley General Hospital in the emergency room, a job that she loved and where she made lifelong friends. She was naturalized as a U. S. citizen in 1968.
Dr. Nermin served on the board of the Ohio State Medical Association, the first woman and first foreign graduate to achieve that distinction. She belonged to the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians and American Medical Association. She was the consulting physician at the drug and alcohol rehab center.
Dr. Nermin derived some of her greatest joy by volunteering and contributing to medical missions to the Philippines.
She retired in 2004 and began to spend half of every year in Palm Desert, CA. After her husband passed away in 2015, she spent more time in Los Angeles to be near her granddaughters.
Surviving is her sister Sermin Büyükakinci of Istanbul, Turkey; her son Stephen Lavapies, married to Monique Hart, of Los Angeles, CA; her granddaughters, Demi Lavapies and Mina Lavapies of Los Angeles, CA; her niece Asli Akkor and nephew Erhan Büyükakinci of Istanbul, Turkey; and grandniece Pinar Akkor of Boca Raton, Florida.
She will be missed by all who were inspired by her and who loved her.
Friends will be received at the Wilson Funeral Home 920 National Road Brookside on Tuesday February 6, 2024, from 4-8 pm, where services will be held on Wednesday at 11 am with Fr, Carlos Melcoton officiating, interment in Mt. Calvery Cemetery Wheeling, wake service will be recited at 7:30 on Tuesday of the Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Belmont County Animal Shelter or Defenders of Wildlife.
Belmont County Animal Shelter
45244 National Road West, St. Clairsville OH 43950