Fares Shemali

Obituary of Fares Suleiman Shemali

Fares Suleiman Shemali was born in Beirut, Lebanon.  He lived a beautiful life, blessing the lives of everyone he knew from June 15, 1926 to March 1, 2021.  He is survived by his loving wife, Souad, and his three children, Claire, Elie, and Mike.  His grand-children, Gizzelle, Morgana, Darian, Austin and Jasmine, and great grand-children, Inara, Ikenna, and Nnaji, all of whom were privileged to have him as a patriarch.

The eldest of seven siblings, he left school to work as an apprentice at the barbershop when he was just 7 years old to help provide for his family, as his dad was injured.    Since he was a child, he always did everything he could to assist his family.  He even carried rocks on a donkey with his father to earn money.   He lived through perilous times, World War II, the Lebanese civil war, and many other adversities.

After losing his livelihood and his house during the Lebanese civil war, he brought his family to America at the age of 50.  Speaking no English and having no money, he was able to secure employment and build an admirable life for himself and his family.   We are forever grateful for his love, strength, compassion, and generosity.  He was a wonderful example.

At age 53 he learned how to drive and purchased his own car.  He was hooked after that.  He loved his car for the freedom and the spontaneity that it gave him.  Every morning he wanted to go somewhere to get in-touch with friends and family.  Even on his death bed, he asked his family whether or not he should buy a car. He was active and engaged in life and others.  He loved the gathering of family and friends.


He was a man of faith.  He believed and saw miracles.  When he had a minor stroke and lost vision in his eye, Saint Anthony Tamish appeared to him during the night.  When he woke up, his vision was restored.  His belief in God was an integral part of who he was.   It was very important for him to go to church.  Regardless of how much pain he was in, he still went to church.  It brought him joy and happiness.


He enjoyed exercising and the benefit it gave others.  He could not stand to see anyone in pain and always wanted to offer his message and gentle words to relieve someone’s pain.  His nickname was “Doctor Fares”. He loved listening to and singing Arabic music.  He carried his reel-to-reel recorder when going places in Lebanon and America bringing laughter and music.  Later, he upgraded to a radio that he loved.  He used to place the radio next to our bird and the bird would sing along.  There was always music in his soul and in his home.

It is with sadness that we say goodbye.  We know that God has received His angel home.  And now he sings with the angels.

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