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Mohammad Ali Samei

Mohammad Ali Samei died December 22, 2014 in Durham, NC, due to complications following a stroke. He was born on an unrecorded day in 1924, in Shemiran, Iran. His father was a prominent businessman who disciplined both him and his teacher on his first day of school, forbidding him to “waste” his life on education. He later taught himself, managing a level of mastery that enabled him to become a magazine editor and write poetry, his only past-time. He pursued a multiplicity of occupations from acting, to violin performance, to small business ownership. He eventually became a senior road construction manager. He married Parvaneh Lotfi in 1948. In a marriage that lasted 62 years, they raised five accomplished children through the privations of post-war Iran, the brutality of the Shah’s regime, the 1979 Revolution, and the Iran-Iraq war. They eventually immigrated to the U.S. to be close to their children and grandchildren.

Mohammad Ali, or "Baba-Ali" as he is known by his family, will be remembered for his sweet, generous smiles, his personable demeanor and affection for people, his love of conversation and poetry, his moodiness, his expressive face, and his willingness to let his grandchildren pull his beard!

Mohammad Ali was preceded in death by his wife Parvaneh Lotfi (2010). He is survived by his daughters Parvin of Durham, NC, and Nasrin of Toronto, Canada; his sons, Hossein of Atlanta, GA; Hassan of Morrisville, NC; and Ehsan of Chapel Hill, NC; 11 grandchildren; and 2 great-grandchildren. Mohammad Ali will be interred in a private family ceremony at Chapel Hill Memorial Cemetery on Friday, December 26, 2014. In lieu of flowers, donations in his honor can be made to the American Heart Association at