Malika Shah, Family Member


When I met Sameer
Fall 1997

Where Sameer and I spent time 
At family reunions

What you remember and appreciated most about Sameer
He taught me that even in a big family, one should have conversations with individuals, one-on-one.

Though our family was large, he knew everyone as an individual. My girls especially treasure and still read Madeleine and Where the Wild Things Are, both of which were given by Uncle Sameer. He remains an inspiration to us

Madhavi, Purvi and Nimisha – Cousin Sisters of Sameer

Dear Sanjana and Arjun,

Sameer means “ a wave of cool air”. To us three sisters, he was our cool, super intelligent cousin who used to breeze by during the summer holidays of the 1970s….so we would like to take you down the memory lane of the young Sameer.

The most distinct memory we have of him, starting with playing board games like Clue, Monopoly, Life, Millie Bornes, which we even play today with our kids. He would always win but eventually taught us the tricks of winning. We used build car tracks in the hall of our grandparents’ house and race with the Hot Wheels cars. He introduced us to different kinds of food, candies, Archie comics, Highlights magazine, and the whole American culture.

Your dad was also mischievous as he taught us to clog the drain of our small bathrooms in India with clothes and fill it up with water to make a swimming pool inside the bathroom. As if that were not enough, he made us put baby powder on the tiled floor and turned into a sliding/skating rink. Of course we got into trouble and he always got away as he was a ‘guest.’ As we got a scolding from our parents, he would stand calmly and chuckle away.

Your dad loved to tease everyone, ask your Uncle Shalin about that, but at the same time he was never offended when we teased him right back. We have never seen Sameer angry, mad, or upset. His cool demeanor matched his name. To him there was always another train, another show, another flight. The best part about him is that he could laugh at himself.

In the 1980’s his visits to India with friends were very interesting as he could adapt to any situation. When you see him he would be this buttoned up shirt guy who could only live in places with comfort, and then next thing you hear that he is traveling on a local crowded bus to some place. His love of travel was legendary.

In the 1990’s, we all got married and moved to the US. Sameer became Sameermama to our children. He became the uncle who always got them books and was never without a book. His favorite book being Charlotte’s Web (which, by the way, he gave two copies to each of our kids) and The Great Big Atlas. Our children cherish these books and memories shared with their dear Sameermama.

Today we remember him through these memories that we have of him. There are many funny anecdotes that have occurred through the years. But the best way to remember him is to read, study hard, travel, and think of visiting places which are not ventured by all. He was proud of his education, his family, and lastly, but most importantly, you, his children.

We hope you have gained some insight on your dad through our eyes. We remember him fondly, with a twinkle in our eyes which are shimmering with tears.

We love you dear brother and miss you always.

~Nimi, Purvi, Madhavi



Saumil Jhaveri And Sangeeta Crouser

When I met Sameer: 01/03/1969

Extended thoughts about Sameer: These were our thoughts that we shared at Sameer’s services:

I apologize for my attire, we just flew in from Mexico and while we were getting shut out on flight after flight, I remembered 2 of Sameer’s famous travel tips, 1) Always keep moving whether it gets you closer to your destination or not, and 2) there’s always another flight, and sure enough he was right, there was another flight. I never had any brothers so I always had a special bond with Sameer and Shalin. Sangee, Sameer, Shalin, and I were called the “Cleveland Cousins”.

Some of my fondest memories of my childhood were our special summer vacations in Florida staying with Sameer and Shalin. As we all know Sameer had a wonderful fun loving spirit and could make anything interesting and fun. We had special times watching the Space Shuttle launches, catching turtles myrtle and yertle , and navigating swimming across the canal and 3 day games of risk…of course Sameer had special strategies and deals to combat all of us combined. To this day I remember riding the monorail at Disney at all hours of the day. I think it was these crazy fun times that created a special lifelong bond between us. I don’t know how Neena Auntie and Naren Uncle put up with all of our craziness.

Those trips being great, However I do remember playing Sameer’s favorite game, “The Boss” and invevitably I would get fired and start crying and Sameer would say his famous line “Grow up Saumil!” Now it sounds like he was being mean, but looking back through the years and even though he was 5 years older than me, graduated from Amherst and then Stanford MBA, worked at McKinsey consulting with CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, he was treating me like his equal. And even though I was intimidated by all he had accomplished, he always respected my opinions and we had some great discussions.

Everyone knows that travelling was one of Sameer’s greatest interest. I had the pleasure of travelling with Sameer for a summer in Asia. I should have known from his map collections and from the time he was 10 and he would come out from the bathroom excited after reading the OAG (official airline guide)and finding a new nonstop flight that this was going to be an amazing adventure. His vast knowledge about the countries and love for discovering new things combined with the excitement of public transportation. You can only imagine our conversations on the long travels through china japan india and Thailand. I would never have been able to experience a trip such as this without Sameer. No matter where we were or the circumstances I was always confident that we would be fine because of Sameer’s talents in this area. Although it might involve him posing as a girl to get in to a girl’s only hostel ln Shanghai China or convincing a bus driver to go off his route in Japan because we had taken the wrong bus. I have always admired his global intellectual curiosity and so today I believe that my love for travel and adventure was fostered by Sameer.

Another one of Sameer’s passions was urban development and even though he lived in NY, he always had a soft spot for Cleveland. Everytime he would come to town he wanted to just drive around the city to see which areas were being developed, any new buildings went up, and he also wanted to go to some sporting events. Now you may find this curious until I realized he didn’t care if the Browns won or lost, he wanted to see the economic impact on the city of these games. Of course at times I felt my ticket could be put to better use when in the 4th quarter with the game on the line, I look over and Sameer would be reading the NY Times. But I loved discussing his theories on development, and the incredible part was to see many of the things we discussed years prior of how to rejuvenate downtown come to fruition.

Sameer had a true love for his family and children as evidenced with his close relationship with all of us. When Nisha was born and he held her as a newborn even though he looked awkward and I was a little worried that he might drop her I could see the love and excitement in his eyes and wouldn’t put her down. As a toddler you could only imagine his advice to me on toys in terms of improvement or decrease in her SAT scores. In contrast to naren uncles ceiling walk rides his approach was a little different talking to them like they were adults and really listening to what they had to say. I was so happy when he met Surekha and they had sanjana and arjun so he could fully enjoy this part of his life that he had waited for so long. He was amazed by everything she did and was truly a proud father.

You had an amazing life and touched all of us. I will miss the discussions on the economy and the markets, the controversies, eating lunch with you while you were eating breakfast, but most of all I will just miss being with you. You will always be in our hearts and we will always love you.

Sadhana And Pankaj Dalal

How and where I know Sameer
Since my daughter’s marriage

Dear Narenbhai, Neenaben and family,

The news of Sameer’s untimely passing was shocking and left me tongue-tied, speechless and wordless. I knew him for a short while but it was long enough to experience his personality, genius and other great attributes. You could not help but feel his presence the minute he would walk in to the room. He had that aura about him which was so unique, that you would feel his presence even if he did not utter a single word. He carried himself very well, graceful, smiling, and always impeccably dressed.

Though, I knew him little but I knew a lot about him and that was from his parents, cousins, and my daughter. This is only true about the persons who give their love, care, and share their knowledge with the persons whose lives they touch. Each day till today I have thought about him, and how difficult it would be for Narenbhai and Neenaben. No words or acts will reduce their sorrow. May god give them the strength to endure the sorrow. In front of the God’s wish; we the human are so vulnerable. As it is said in Jain, “panchmo aaro kathin chhe ane ishwaer ichha same manvi nu kashoonj chaltu nathi”. I wish I had known him while he was growing up.

There is nothing which will replace his love and care for his children, Surekha, Shalin, Tua and all the relatives. We all have lost an irreplaceable pillar that was inspirational to all of us. I know I have not reduced your sorrow but both Sadhana and I do share your pain….
Sameer touched our lives, he shall not be forgotten, he is not gone, he is with us in our hearts and shall live in our hearts throughout our life. At this moment I think of a famous Guajarati song “ o neel gagan na pankheru …”
“MUKESH – O NEEL GAGAN NA PANKHERU- A Beautiful Gujarati Song-1949 – YouTube
Sadhana and Pankaj Dalal

Dilip Karia and Family friends

Dear narenbhai, neenaben and family,

Frankly, i dont know how to start and what to write.

I can understand (and dread) the pain and agony of helplessness you all are going
through. We have gone through similar circumstances when Parag and me lost our father,
very suddenly, back in1985. It was very hard for us to believe and accept, and for a
long time, we always felt that he had gone out of town and would return soon.
Nothing i say may help you feel better or lighter at the moment, but what people told us at
that time was (although not at all fair) that maybe GOD needed him more than us. Every
now and then ,they say, GOD needs good souls for himself and he selects them from
amongst us, maybe because he has something special planned for them. something
better something supreme which us mortals cannot comprehend.
ગુજરાતી માં આપડે કહીએ કે ” એ પાવન જીવ ને પ્રભુ એ સંસાર ના સુખ દુખ થી મુક્ત કરી મોક્ષ ની
પ્રાપ્તિ કરાવી . એમની પાસે બોલાવી ને એમના માં લીન કર્યો

and that is why we were advised to let him go for GOD had better plans for him

But how can we let him go.  Sameer is always going to be there with you, in your heart,
in your soul as a part of you and you will always treasure and cherish the time he has
spent with you and that, mind you, NO ONE NOT EVEN GOD CAN TAKE IT AWAY

When my father expired, my grand father was still there and looking at my mom and us
so young, he stood there firm as a rock inspite of the unbearable weight of losing his son
so early in life, when he himself was still alive,,,  we pray Lord Almighty to give you both,
the strength and courage, as HE gave him, to withstand this irreparable loss and be there
as a rock solid support, for surekha, the kids and shalin and his family, to lean upon
during this terrible ordeal.

Please convey our heartfelt condolences to surekha, shalin & his wife and love to the kids.

We, (mummy, myself-binita-kinnari, parag-avani-kanav) pray lord Almighty to rest his soul

in peace. jai jinendra, jaishri krishna


Aashish Gandhi

When I met Sameer:  04/10/1999

Sameer and I first met at Naren uncle’s 60th Birthday Party.

What you remember and appreciated most about Sameer

While my interaction with him was very limited throughout the years, I remember his calm and collected tone and the manner in which he conveyed his thoughts.

Extended thoughts about Sameer. Please write as much as you like.

I don’t even know how to offer my condolences to Naren uncle and Neena aunty. They have always been like my parents. I can only imagine what my parents and family would have gone through if I hadn’t survived an acute system shutdown on 7/29/2011.

Neena aunty, I have always seen you cheerful, smiling, and giving us the right advice when needed. I know this is an extremely difficult moment for all of us, but please take care of uncle and yourself.

Minati Shah

Sameer was my oldest brother and with me being the youngest in the family at first i was in awe of him and only as i grew older that i began to learn of his intelligence and brilliance. His love for travel and adventure was amazing and inspiring. A story about Sameer that i would like to share , this was about 15-20 years ago, when Sameer was probably in his twenties. My family and I were on our way back from out of town and on our way we see Sameer in the middle of the road, next to broken down bus with a book in his hand, he was calm and collected and we his family in India had not even known he was visiting.

That is how i remember him, always calm, collected, never rushed, taking his time to enjoy everything that life had to offer.

He will be missed!!


Bharti And Arvind Shah

We knew Sameer since his early childhood, as we are very close friends of his parents.

I remember Sameer when he had a lot of interest in Airports and flights and so on. His knowledge of logistics was amazing for someone who was just a child then.

While Sameer had many interests my interaction with him was more on matters of Intellect and finance.

He had a job in which he advised a lot of international companies and in the process travelled and imbibed the essential qualities of a citizen of the world. His taste were very refined .

The man was a leader and not a follower.

We will miss him deeply.

Miriam E. Martinez

When I met Sameer: 1982

Where Sameer and I spent time 

I met Sameer when I moved to Satellite Beach from Cincinnati, Ohio. We bought the house across from the Shah’s and they immediately open their home to us. Not only were they our neighbors, but my husband and I also worked at Harris, as Naren did.

What you remember and appreciated most about Sameer

I used to visit the Shah’s house often because Neena managed to get me to like spicy food and I, in turn, would help her with flower arranging and hairdos for special events. Sameer was there most of the times that I visited and would engage in conversation with me. I was always pleased that unlike typical teenagers, he found it interesting to talk to someone some 20 years older. When I complained that I needed gallons of water to chase the spicy food Neena gave me, Sameer would tease his mother and say that hot peppers were like a drug for her. Neena would ignore him, but he kept pacing around the kitchen with a smile on his face trying to get a rise out of her.

At this time, Sameer was in high school. I helped him with his Math homework now and then and quickly realized that he was very bright. When I heard that he had gotten accepted at Amherst College, I was very happy.

Sameer was very sociable and had lots of friends. I do remember the big parties that he had at the house. I also thought that he was always very close to his brother and included him in all social activities.

Although I did not see Sameer as much after he left for college and later took a job in New York, I always tried to see him if I knew he was in for a visit.

I was happy to hear that he was getting married and met his two children when they were born.

Sameer always had a smile on his face and he was open and outgoing.

It is hard to think that he left us at such a young age. I will miss him.

I hope that his children will follow in his footsteps and live life with the same zest that their father had.

Abbas Sitabkhan

When I met Sameer

When he was born

What you remember and appreciated most about Sameer

We have known Sameer since his birth in Cleveland.

Our fondest memories of him are when his parents left him with us when they went on vacation and he was less than a year old. He was like a son to us. Our children grew up together till the Shah family moved to Florida. Our last meeting was in Thanksgiving of 2010 at a friend’s house. We were never to see him again.

He was always respectful and courteous. We have never seen him angry. His many memories will be with us forever.

May God give comfort to his family.

Close friends of Naren and Neena
Abbas & Latifa Sitabkhan

Shilpa Shah, Family

Alas I didn’t know Sameer too well,
So a long drawn tale I cannot tell,
But there may a be a few anecdotes rather swell,
I’ll say to thee as I bid him farewell.

I met him about 10 years ago,
My husband’s handsome cousin bro,
Quirky man never on the go,
Enjoying life at a pace rather slow.

He ate his meals so slowly I thought,
He talked so softly but not a lot,
His apparel was pristine, so carefully wrought,
His mind was sharp with many a plot.

His freshness I thought was like the breeze,
That ruffles leaves of sturdy trees,
His naughty smile did many hearts please,
May his blessed soul get eternal peace

Ninad Shah, Family Member, India

Sameer was my oldest brother in the family , obviously being the oldest and smartest made me idolize him from a very young age, however I never really got down to telling him the same, which I repent today.

I always envied and aspired to travel the world like him and I still pursue that dream, it was inculcated in me probably passively by him during is multiple visits to India as a boy and then a adult. Today being an adult myself and I can easily say he traveled the length and breadth of India in local buses, trains, taxis, he could have easily taken flights but he insisted on doing so cause it gave him a sense of belief, I admired this about him and always will.

He relished life and all that it had to offer, i still remember like it was yesterday how Sameer would sit for breakfast with us on a table reading his novels and only finish his breakfast at lunch time,our domestic help still remembers him for it. He ensured he chewed and savored every morsel of food he ate, I guess that explained the glow on his face throughout.

His commitment to take up unusual tasks and pursue them were legendary, he compiled a family tree of 4 generations for us around a decade ago when computers where still not freely available, and collecting data of over 600 people isn’t easy even today. My son and grandchildren and generations to come have Sameer to thank for this invaluable contribution.

But what made Sameer , Sameer was his naughty and lively knack of picking up the most routine statements or topics and glorifying them into a full blown public debate between family and friends, many a times people would wonder why they were fighting over such trivial things and then would look at Sameer who would be enjoying the entire drama from a distance with a mischievous smile like a amused playwright enjoying his final act.

There are tons of other fond memories I have of Sameer, maybe someday I can share them with my niece and nephew.

Vipul Shah, Family member, India

Where Sameer and I spent time: During his last day of the last trip to India.

What you remember and appreciated most about Sameer

He was a role model in my life and a great aspiration. Can still not get over the fact that he has left us..I’m sure only physically but never from our heart and mind..

Extended thoughts about Sameer. Please write as much as you like.

He was always a role model for me from the child hood. Always hearing about his excellence in whatever he pursued, great personality. He was just one year elder to me.

We spent his last day in Mumbai during his last trip to India together. It was a Sunday and we met over lunch. I asked him where and what would he like to eat and without any hesitation or pause came the suggestion Sizzlers @ Kobe! One of his favourite eating places in Mumbai. Both of us had different Agenda’s for that afternoon and we were supposed to split after finishing lunch. It was almighty’s kindness that made both of us change our minds and we landed up spending the entire day together. The fondest memories I have of him is all the quality time we spent on this day eating, shopping, having coffee and finally seeing him off at the Mumbai airport late in the evening..

We had never spent more than 2-3 hours at a stretch any time because I lived in the suburbs and he would be staying in down town with our other family members whenever he visited Mumbai.

From the time my mother left us in 1999 and now Sameer, I have always wondered why the almighty takes away those people in such an untimely manner whom he has selected when they were alive to become the driving and helping force in the lives of all the friends, family, relatives and everyone, and create a vacuum in our lives?

Sameer shall always be with us in our hearts.. He is very much here.