Jack Fuchs Remarks

When I think of Sameer, I recall unbounded thoughtfulness, humor, and comfort.

Sameer was thoughtful about people in his life, actions that he took, and topics of conversation.  He cared deeply about us, staying in touch well – even as our lives got more and more complicated.  He was thoughtful about almost every subject.  Start a conversation with Sameer, and you would always get a response based on a depth of consideration.  He had strong opinions about economics, markets, business, education, religion – almost any weighty topic.  Unlike most people, Sameer freely shared his opinions with anyone who would listen (and many who didn’t ask).  With Sameer, though, you could discuss and debate these topics, regardless of whether your beliefs and his were similar.  Sameer always considered your opinion, occasionally even allowing it to have an impact on his position.

Of course, Sameer had thoughtful, deeply held opinions about topics that deserved MUCH less thought.  He was the first to teach me the terms boondoggle, OAG, and GUE.  He taught me how to get the best upgrades to business class, maximize frequent flier miles, and optimize travel time.  His thoughtfulness about the airline industry knew no bounds.  He once evaluated the route maps of major US airlines and determined that Continental should open a hub in Cleveland.  1 year later, they did.

To my children, Sameer was extremely thoughtful.  He stayed with us often on trips to the area, and they had a deep relationship with him.  He even went on a date with our 6-year-old daughter, Ellie, bringing her to an event at our 15th reunion.

Most notably, my children had an awesome comedy routine regarding Sameer.  Many of us know that Sameer was the slowest eater in recorded history.  Given our household rule that no one can leave the table until everyone is done eating, my children felt tormented by Sameer.  They would mimic his ritualistic process of cutting a small piece of meat, placing his silverware down, methodically picking up the fork with the opposite hand.  Placing the food in his mouth, chewing at least 50 times, placing the silverware down, picking up his napkin, wiping both corners of his mouth, placing the napkin back, talking incessantly about some arcane topic for 5 minutes, then starting the process up again for the next bite.  We are all thankful that Sameer didn’t believe in desert, or dinner would never have ended.

Sameer’s sense of humor was so wonderful, that he delighted in my children’s mimicry.  He had that infectious laugh, one of the most notable of any I have known in my life.  Audible laughter is all too rare, and it is so important.  Almost all of my fondest memories of Sameer include laughter, seemingly endless laughter.

Some of you may recall a most notable aspect of our first year business school show.  We decided not to make fun of anybody in the show – not the teachers, not any single person in the GSB community, not Cristina Einstein.  Well, if you convert that old video tape to DVD, you’ll realize that there is exactly 1 person who got zinged in the show – Sameer Shah.  He was so comfortable with himself as a person that he greeted the remark with nothing more than his infectious laugh.  Sameer met every challenge in life with that comfort.  When he walked in the room, his affectation said, “I am who I am; you are welcome to come along for the ride, if you like.”  Sameer, we are all honored to have been along for the ride.

Lisa Weyl Wyler

When I met Sameer: 09/01/1989

Where Sameer and I spent time:  Stanford GSB

What you remember and appreciated most about Sameer
I will always remember and appreciate Sameer’s infectious laugh, his warm smile and his joy for life.

Extended thoughts about Sameer
Sameer was instantly recognizable on campus — with his array of button down shirts, sun glasses and his broad smile.

Sameer was an amazing traveler of the world. He could be put down anywhere on the earth, given a map in any language and quickly identify what there was to explore, get there by the indigenous forms of transportation (camel, Rolls Royce, rickshaw), experience the highlights and lowlights (rice paddies, plains of Africa, Taj Mahal) and come away with a very confident perspective about the place, politics and economic opportunities.

Sameer loved to engage in fun spirited discussion — his intellectual arguments based on voracious reading and keen intelligence were hard to “one-up” — studying up on previous Economist magazines helped even the playing field (a little) and Sameer always enjoyed a good debate.

Sameer loved his mom, dad and brother immeasurably – and he felt deeply loved and basked in the love of his family. He was immensely proud – of his education, employers, friends and most of his family.

When I saw Sameer at our last reunion I believe Surekha was at home expecting birth of their first baby. Sameer was beaming with joy and pride – so in love and already so proud of what his children would accomplish in the world.

Sameer was a unique amazing human being and it was a great privilege to have been his friend. I am so sorry about this terrible tragedy, and extend my love and prayers to Surekha and the Shah family.

Lawrence Lee

When I met Sameer: 09/1989

Where Sameer and I spent time: Stanford Graduate School of Business

What you remember and appreciated most about Sameer
I will always remember Sameer as a real gentleman. He was very smart and carried himself well, never losing his balance even in the face of intense competition. I am honored to have known Sameer and be in the same class with him.

Patricia Nakache

When I met Sameer: 09/15/1987

Where Sameer and I spent time

First we worked together at McKinsey in the New York office as Business Analysts. Then we were classmates at Stanford Business School.
What you remember and appreciated most about Sameer
I remember most his wide, beautiful smile and the way his shoulders would shake when he laughed. I appreciated his thoughtfulness, his love of debate and intellectual honesty, and how he liked to enjoy himself.

Extended thoughts about Sameer. Please write as much as you like.
I have many wonderful memories of Sameer. As Business Analysts in NY, he was the one who would rally us all to go out to dinner after a late night of work (paid for, of course, by McKinsey). He always looked so dapper in his suits and spoke so eloquently; he seemed to be a born consultant. But then at Stanford, he chucked the suits and donned his dark sunglasses, and seemed equally at home in the heart of silicon valley. He was always impressive in the classroom, yet he was also very social and loved a good party.

Between our first and second year, a small group of us went on a study trip to South Africa. Just prior to going to South Africa, three of us joined Sameer in visiting his cousins in Kenya and going on a safari. He and his extended family were wonderful, generous hosts.

I will always remember his smile, his calm and in many ways sophisticated demeanor, and his intellectual curiosity. He was a good friend and I will miss him.

Kathryn Bowsher

When I met Sameer:  9/89

What you remember and appreciated most about Sameer
Centered and Joyful … just plain fun to be around

Extended thoughts about Sameer. Please write as much as you like.
My heart goes out to everyone who is feeling his loss in their daily lives.

Nancy Geisse Pile

When I met Sameer:  08/1989

Where Sameer and I spent time

Sameer and I were housemates at Stanford Bschool in 1989- 1990. We also traveled to Africa together as part of a very small group studying the South African government in the summer of 1990- just 6 months after Nelson Mandela was released from prison. (In fact, I have a photo of Sameer with Mr. Mandela. I will try to find it and post it.)

What you remember and appreciated most about Sameer
His fantastic laugh. I used to hear that through the walls of our poorly made rental house in Menlo Park. Loved it. (I also used to hear the walls vibrate from his snoring but that’s another story.)

I also remember how friendly he was to everyone. Sameer had no enemies in bschool and was well like by all.

I also remember how we was always in a good mood. Each day he had a bright smile on his face and was so quick to laugh. He could brighten up any room- and he did.

Extended thoughts about Sameer. Please write as much as you like.
Sameer and I have kept in touch but only periodically. I would see him when he would visit and we’d check in by phone occasionally. We spoke approx two weeks ago about his career. He told me at the time how happy he was with his personal life- his wonderful wife of 7 years and his two small children. He sounded so proud and it was clear he was exactly where he wanted to be personally.

Surekha, I wish I had been able to meet you. I think we would have met in just 6 weeks at our 20 year bschool reunion. It will be a sad event without Sameer. I am so sad for your loss. I wish I could do something for you and your children to make it easier. My prayers are with you.

Ana Thompson – Stanford

When I met Sameer:  09/15/1989

What you remember and appreciated most about Sameer

I remember Sameer in my economics development course with Gerald Meiers. He was always so smart and lively and kept this very established professor on his toes. I admired his persistent and creative intellect.

I am so sorry for this loss and send my condolences to his family.

I read through some of the thoughts already shared and it was nice about the path Sameer had taken.

Jack Fuchs, McKinsey & Co. NYC


It is a tragic circumstance that leads to my hearing from you after all these years.  Sameer was awesome with my kids, both of whom have hugely fond feelings for him.  I still remember my 11-year-old talking about her “dates with Sameer” when she was 5-7.  She and he sent notes to each other, and had quite a “relationship.”

Warm regards,