|Emile Najeeb Mahfood was born in Jamaica, West Indies, September 17, 1922. He was baptized in the Anglican Church of England as a boy. He came to America in 1943; settling in Wichita Falls, Texas. His father died before Emile came to America, and he became the breadwinner for his four sisters and mother. In 1947 he moved to Detroit, Michigan and married Maryrose Rasak. After ten years of marriage and four children, he moved to Longview, Texas to be near his brother, Kamel. |
Emile taught himself to repair televisions, and for the next thirteen years owned and operated his own television repair and sales business. In 1965 his fifth child was born and five years later he moved his family to Tyler, Texas where he continued to be an entrepreneur and businessman.
He suffered a crippling stroke in 1995, and turned his attention to building a web site detailing the history of the Mahfood family and other branches therein. His limitless curiosity and eagerness to learn new things made the web site a work of continuing historic importance. He died December 21, 2002, after a short illness.
During his lifetime he fathered five children, who in turn gave him sixteen grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. He taught us all the meaning of commitment by virtue of his fifty-five year marriage to Maryrose. He is survived by his five children, Phillip E. Mahfood, Michael E. Mahfood and David E. Mahfood, all of Tyler, Texas and his two daughters, Rosemary Primeaux and Michele Marie Smith, both of Beaumont, Texas.
His surviving grandchildren include Ben Mahfood, Emily Smith, Vincent Mahfood, Sara-Michael Mahfood, Matthew Mahfood, Mary Margaret Mahfood, Hannah Mahfood, and Julia Mahfood, all of Tyler; John-Phillip Mahfood of Lake Brownwood, Texas; Elise Primeaux and Valerie Mahfood, both of Beaumont, Texas; Cortney Smith of College Station, Texas; Meghann Smith of Houston; and Sebastian Mahfood of St. Louis, Missouri.
One grandchild, Joshua Primeaux, preceded him in death.
His unswerving devotion to his beloved wife, Maryrose, as well as his unconditional love for their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be the yardstick against which all of his descendents will always measure themselves. He will be sorely missed; he will never be forgotten.
My father was my best friend. |
No matter how royally I screwed up, no matter how big a mistake I made, he never stopped being my friend.
That was his strength. He loved unconditionally. This is not to say he wasn’t critical. Oh, no.
When I did something stupid, he’d be the first to tell me how big a bone head I was.. But he never stopped loving me. He never stopped loving me.
As a boy, I wanted a soapbox racer. Some of you may remember those. They consisted of four wheels, a steering mechanism, and a pipe fitting attached to the back so someone could push you with a broom handle. I wanted one and he built one for me.
But dad was a purist, and a perfectionist, and wanted my racer to be the best ever built. He didn’t use nails, but rather crafted it with tongue in groove workmanship and glued it together. He admonished me not to take it out of his workshop until he finished it. It looked finished to me. I took it out for a spin. It fell apart. He hadn’t glued it yet, so it could do nothing else but fall apart.
He came home from work that afternoon to find his pride and joy of a soap box racer in several pieces. If he was angry, I didn’t know it. I didn’t need to be yelled at, or chastised with a belt. The look on his face was punishment enough for me. His expression spoke volumes.
But still he loved me.
A few years later, for reasons that I cannot to the day explain, I took six finishing nails and drove them into his new desk. It was a magnificent desk…wide…finished in a light blonde stain.
I could stand here and tell you story after story of how as children we tested this man’s patience, how we made his life miserable, how we broke his tools, lost his valuables…wrecked his cars. But the point is, no matter how much any of us screwed up…he still loved us.
As many of you know, he was from a small island in the West Indies. Not exactly a cosmopolitan beginning. But his wisdom surpassed any I have ever witnessed. When I told him that I wanted to drop out of school, when I told him I wanted to work with him full time and give up education, he said, “Okay, but really, you should finish at least the eighth grade. Let’s get that done and you can drop out next year.”
Years later I managed to lose a small fortune…his small fortune…in the stock market. He wasn’t happy about it. But he didn’t berate me. He didn’t tell me what an idiot I obviously was. No, he just said that maybe we should rethink my investment plans.
Last Saturday, my father went ahead of me to wait for me again. He left this place and went to a better one. He didn’t want to go, I’m sure. But I absolutely know one thing about him that I will swear is true.
Phillip Emile Mahfood
Friday December 27, 2002|
Allow me, if you please a moment and the opportunity to eulogize our father Emile Mahfood.
In his life he had been a peddler, a haberdasher, a banker, and an auto industry manager. He was, during his life, an owner of a gas station, a TV repair shop, a record shop, then many record shops, an arts and craft business and later in life a shoe factory. He was a man of many talents and a master of many talents, always in the pursuit of providing a living, always self-taught. He had work ethics, he had social ethics, he had honor. He was a loyal man, a good friend, and "hail-fellow-well-met"
Perhaps you didn't know but he was mild of manner, mild of anger, and soft of heart. He called it the Mahfood Horaney curse-the fact at he was disposed to shedding tears easily. It bothered him all his life, perhaps he thought it was weak. I never saw weakness, I always saw a man that was kind, gentle, and caring and lead with his heart.
· Our father was both an inventor and a peddler by nature-from his Presto hot dog cooker to light bulbs with a lifetime warranty .
One of my earliest recollections of his influence and direction was at 7 years old. I do not remember the exact circumstances that lead to this but apparently I perceived that my life was in the gutter and any further attempts to live at home were futile and I ran away.
I told you that I wanted to speak to you like my father would have. Let me share a few colloquialisms that seemed to flow effortlessly from his lips to our ears. Sayings and expressions that once pondered were to have meaning to all five us for all our lives
I too grieve the loss of Emile. |
May he rest in peace. Thanks to him we have a genealogical website.
God bless his surviving family.
U S A
I was certainly saddned to find out of Emile's passing. (I knew him as MILO).|
I had the pleasure of fixing his computer whenever he had problems with it. Though sometimes it seemed a hassle to receive a call from him 1-2 times a week, it was well worth it when I got that Thank you and that bright look on his face once his computer was back into operation.
His computer and website seemed to give him the greatest pleasure after his stroke.
I was at IGI Research a week or so ago, and learned of him being in the hospital, but I didn't bother visiting, because I figured he would pull through as he had in the past and in a few days I would be coming to work on his computer again.
I will certainly miss his calls early in the morning or his msg on the answering machine from the weekend, so that he would be first on the list.
Jon T. Garrett
It seemed like every other day when I checked my mail, there it was...|
"How are you today, my favorite cousin?" That would always be the first line of Emile's correspondence with me.
I never remember him talking about himself or about anything bothering him. Instead, he filled my days with cheer and caring for me.
If I did not write him over the space of a week, he would send a concerned letter asking if I was alright, and if my daughters were well.
When hurricanes through the past couple years came close to Florida, he would call to check on us. At other times, he would call just to say "Hi, you know I'm thinking of you!"
I regret that I did not meet Emile personally, although he always assured me he would welcome us anytime in Texas.
I am so saddened & heartbroken at Emile's passing. I will be forever thankful to Emile for all he did for me & for my family.|
Through him I saw a picture of my Grandfather for the first time. And I learned about the wonderful family, through pictures & stories, that I am connected to.
I will miss his emails & cards terribly. And although we never met in person I will feel a void from his passing. I am forever grateful for the short time I had knowing my cousin Emile.
I can't help but think of Emile now looking down on this wonderful family and smiling.
My sincerest condolences to MaryRose & family.
Carol (Carly) Carpenter
My friend Emile,|
You are now with the Lord and hopefully looking down on us.
Though our hearts and minds met, but one of my biggest regrets is that I didn't meet you in person.
I sure miss your sense of humor, your love and caring.
Your courage and determination motivated me. I always admired what you've done to your family, close and far, you gave them a look at their roots, your work was acknowledged and well summarized in a few words by your son Phillip:
Your quote from "The Song of Life" is for people like you:
and departing leave behind us ..footprints on the sands of time" .
Believe me, you touched many hearts, your footprints are every where and your legacy is staying for ever.
Hashem Y. Hashem
Dear Maryrose and family,|
I am very sorry and saddened at hearing the news of the passing away of Emile. I have prayed for his soul at Church last night.
As we all celebrate the coming of the life of a man who had changed the life of so many people on earth, all of the Mahfouz family will also celebrate the life of the great man who spent so many dedicated years to bringing us all closer together.
No one will forget the legacy he has left. May his soul rest in the Kingdom of Heaven and may he look upon us all with a smile on his face.
He can rest assured that he has made such an important impact on so many lives across the globe.
My most sincere condolences to you and the family and a big special thank you for all of Emile's work.
I hope that we can all in our own ways make a difference to people's lives as Emile has done.
Bassam Hafez Salim Eid Mahfouz
and family (Hafez, Enaam, Vicky and Elham-Maria)
|My deepest sympathies to Maryrose and the rest of Emile's family. |
I didn't know Emile very long but what I had encountered I liked very much.
I am sure he was very well loved and is now in the greatest of comforts in Gods kingdom. I was saddened by the news that he was ill and now more so by all our loss.
He will always be remembered for initiating contact with my family and uniting us into the family fold through this website. I am smiling as I remember him.
I have never seen him but I know he was a wonderful man who lives in everyone's fondest memories.
Again sincere sympathies.
Nasima (Mahfood) and Adelmo Marchioni and family.
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