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



Barbara Kataisto

Barbara Kataisto

When I met Sameer

I was so sad to recently hear about Sameer’s passing! First met Sameer at McK around this time through recruiting. He always had a great sense of warmth and caring about him when I knew him at McK. Very sad loss, and deep condolonces to Sameer’s family.

Jeff Hall – Amherst Friend

The Sameer Smile was unforgettable on the Amherst College campus 1982 – 1986 – a bright, uplifting, geniune expression that would stick with you for a long time.

One day I was picking up mail after a rough morning calculus class, and there was The Smile to remind me that the day would get better. Another frantic day I’d endured some stressful final exams, and as I entered Valentine Dining Hall for lunch, The Smile reminded me that life is good.

Sameer was a warm, engaging, intelligent friend, and I feel so fortunate to have known him. He was blessed, in turn, by a wonderful and loving family that caused him to smile so easily and brightly. The Sameer Smile was “Terras Irradient” in action – Sameer shining his light, happiness and comfort, on those around him, on his world. The Sameer Smile and his spirit will live on with the Class of 1986, and will continue to brighten our lives and our reunions forever.

Mike Kaufman & Ken Levin, Amherst ’86

Sameer and I met Freshman year at Amherst, and was my roommate at Amherst for 3 years, sophomore through senior year, and in New York for a year after college. We also traveled a great deal together. We most recently saw each other in Chicago in January and at our 25th Amherst reunion in June 2011.

What you remember and appreciated most about Sameer

I am pasting below the In Memory tribute that Ken Levin and I wrote about Sameer for Amherst College, November 2011. Ken is a friend and classmate and was a roommate of Sameer’s and mine in New York.

Thoughts about Sameer. 

Sameer N. Shah, beloved friend and classmate, left us in a tragic accident shortly after our 25th reunion. It is a struggle to find words to properly convey the size of his life and spirit. Sameer’s wit, warmth and originality were contagious. His intelligence made tremendous success at Amherst, in his MBA program at Stanford and in his strategic and financial consulting career, appear easy. In recent years he reached new levels of happiness with his wonderful family.

We instantly recognized in Sameer broad intelligence and vigorous intellectual curiosity. It was visible in his classes, conversation and astute perceptions of the world. Many of us envied Sameer’s ability to set the curve in his economics classes after only a single night of study at the end of a semester. Sameer’s education at Amherst extended his breadth as well as an already deep and proficient expertise in business and economics. He went on to McKinsey & Co., and eventually became an expert among experts, advising Wall Street firms on investment strategy.

Beyond his obvious intellectual gifts, Sameer glowed in the presence of people. Wearing his signature khakis, a tailored button-down shirt and loafers, he lingered in conversation at Valentine meals, parties and the office of the Amherst Student. He drew people into his playful orbit by smiling, laughing, joking, dissecting the world and exposing irony everywhere. Sameer was a genuine friend, thoughtful, encouraging and steadfast.

Sameer discovered a new depth of contentment in his marriage to Surekha and in parenting their children, Sanjana and Arjun. Even when Sameer was apart from his children, he radiated an unmistakable paternal glow. Sameer always cherished the familial love and connection he shared with his parents, Naren and Neena, and his brother, Shalin. He was bringing these same gifts into his own family.

Sameer had an irrepressible love of Amherst, his friends and acquaintances, and the ideals and experiences we shared with him. In a conversation after our 25th reunion, he repeated how lucky he felt to have had this privilege. We will always remember Sameer as the brilliant, fun-loving, and gregarious rebel, the caring and devoted friend and classmate, the tender and devoted husband and father. He was an exuberant spirit that made our lives brighter. The privilege these past 29 years was ours.

-Mike Kaufman, Amherst ’86

-Ken Levin, Amherst ’86

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.

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.

Lance Lazar – “Remember”
by: Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)
REMEMBER me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you plann’d:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.

“Remember” is reprinted from Goblin Market and other Poems. Christina Rossetti. Cambridge: Macmillan, 1862.

Lance Lazar

When I met Sameer: September 1979

Where Sameer and I spent time:
Satellite High School, in Brain Bowl, with the Latin Club under Helene Kansas, in various classes; after college graduation, as young analysts in New York and elsewhere.

Extended thoughts about Sameer. 
For the Children, Sanjana and Arjun, of Sameer Shah,

Fate has determined that you will not know your father well from firsthand, but all of us who have been graced with knowing Sameer, hope that you may gain solace in the sure knowledge that he was a fine human being, with an expansive spirit, who touched the lives of many in the most positive ways.

Sameer loved life, and savored it in his allotted time, more than most who are granted many more years. He combined a brilliant and agile mind with a genuine warmth for his fellow man, and an openness to many ways of looking at the world. He carried with him an insatiable curiosity, and a razor-sharp wit, that never allowed him to pass over his experiences or broader world events without commentary, and usually, keen insight.

Even in any area that was very different from his own specialized expertise, Sameer could usually capture the essential elements and provide high quality analysis of a problem, almost on the fly. But his skills of analysis and persuasion were most on display when there were many differing opinions. Sameer could disagree with you and with good humor, expose the error of your own opinions, and bring you around to accepting an alternative, better than anyone I have known. He could take everything both seriously and lightly, so if there had been consensus, Sameer could expose the underlying contradictions, and if there had been discord, Sameer could find equanimity in a way that you did not even feel bad to be giving in to his position. Or if on rare occasions a flaw in his own reasoning were shown, then he was quick and unhesitant to acknowledge that, and to adopt a new point of view.

Sameer was perhaps the most unprejudiced and tolerant person I have ever met. He reveled in differing points of view, and so it was not in him to be dogmatic. That is one reason that he was a great person with which to share a visit to Jerusalem. He was equally at home by the Western Wall, in the Holy Sepulchre, or at the Dome of the Rock. He was not judgmental in his approach and had ample reserves of empathy.

Sameer took time to appreciate each moment. Not only did he have a broad palate of likes and enjoyments, he helped those around him appreciate whatever they were sharing. I recall an occasion when he was an analyst doing a consulting project in Spain, and even though he was not really a skier, he met me half way at the ski resort of Grau Roig in Andorra (I was coming from France). Even though he had to work through the visit, we enjoyed the evenings sharing tasting menus of Catalan cuisine, with bold red wine, cognac, and cigars so as to squeeze every potential out of the occasion, and to wash down the laughter that always accompanied time with Sameer.

Sameer was spontaneous. While never in a hurry, he could change plans and objectives in a minute, if a new and better alternative were proposed, or if circumstances dictated a change. And he would bring an equal enthusiasm to carry out the new plan to its conclusion. That made Sameer a great travel companion, because he was always ready to adjust to whatever might come along, and enjoy it just as much, as happened once on an ill-fated trip to Ascoli Piceno (a great undiscovered Renaissance hill town) that had to detour to L’Aquila. With Sameer’s base-line level of satisfaction, we all just took advantage of the treasures of L’Aquila before returning to Rome.

Sameer was rich in friendships. Not only did he make new friends easily, but he took great pleasure in sustaining old friends. Sameer cultivated his relationships. At times, it seemed that he kept a giant GPS in his head with knowledge of the location of all his friends, and if his business brought him near, he would reach out to those friends in whatever locale. I regret that I let the last few years slip by without maintaining contact with Sameer, but then this summer reconnected with him on Facebook. Then, just a week before he passed away, Sameer reached out with a phone call out of the blue to share some laughter and rekindle the bond. The intervening years washed away as I heard the same rapier sharp wit and high-pitched laugh over the phone lines, as the conversation bounced from topic to topic. I recognize that phone call now as a gift that stemmed from how Sameer treated relationships: he never let time or distance stand in the way, and took the time to connect and to sustain his friendships.

Sameer loved family. Even as most of his friends gradually found spouses and had children, while Sameer took a bit longer to partake of those gifts, it was always clear to Sameer and his friends that he would have a family. In the meanwhile, those of us who started sooner gained the benefit of the warm attention Sameer showered on our children. Sameer was always comfortable with children, and children responded naturally to his warmth and kindness.

Sameer was a great friend, and I miss him dearly. I am a better person because of crossing Sameer’s path. I treasure his easy generosity of spirit, his open-hearted disposition, and his equanimity. While I have never met you children or your mother Surekha, I hope that a part of Sameer’s legacy for you will be the sure knowledge of the profound impression he left on so many others.

Sameer was a great man, and I cherish his memory.

With heartfelt condolences,
–Lance Lazar

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

Greg Van De Mosselaer

When I met Sameer: 06/01/2001

Where Sameer and I spent time:
We would meet periodically in Florida when we would visit his brother and sister in law and their family.

What you remember and appreciated most about Sameer
His sense of humor and keen intellect coupled with a boyish charm that made him instantly likable and engaging.

Extended thoughts about Sameer.

Sameer was full of surprises.

We are from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. We were surprised to learn on our first meeting with Sameer that it was our home town that made him the most eager to meet us. It seems that as a child in sunny Florida he used to dream and scheme of one day running an air transportation multinational company. After extensive research and planning he had settled on Winnipeg as the hub and set to work acquiring and encyclopedic knowledge of the city. Being from a smaller town and knowing from Tuya what a kidder he could be we were naturally suspicious that he was pulling our leg until he settled down and laid out everything he knew (and we did not) about Winnipeg.

He seized on Tuya and Shalin’s first trip together to Winnipeg to tag along. Once in town he set to work making pilgrimages to all of the notable landmarks and locations that he had read about in his youth. He engaged eagerly in a local multicultural festival called Folklorama and would grin broadly at some of the more campy performances along side his brother and sister-in-law. He had an ability to enjoy life and a lightness of being that was very evident.

Another coincidence that gave me personally a great deal to discuss with Sameer was our shared interest in the writer, George Orwell. We both had despite not being involved in any literary field possessed great interest in his writings and had both read his complete works. Sure many people heard or read of Animal Farm or 1984 but to sit down with someone who like me could discuss Orwell’s less well known but equally significant works in detail was a real treat. If you want to get inside Sameer’s head I suggest reading Burmese Days or Coming Up For Air. Orwell’s razor sharp insight into how the world is and melancholy for how life could be obviously struck a chord with Sameer.

I have since our time together always tried to catch glimpses of him as life and family floated us around. Everybody gets busy with their own things. That is the way life is. I will miss him but I am glad to have known such an authentic person. I wish we had all had more time to enjoy his company and good humour.

Lee Kempler

When I met Sameer: Feb 1986

Where Sameer and I spent time: McKinsey

What you remember and appreciated most about Sameer: His unwavering sense of right and wrong

Extended thoughts about Sameer. 

The news of Sameer’s passing shocked me into silence. For three weeks, I have thought about him, his life, our experiences together, and the ways our lives came together, moved apart, and occasionally came together again. Twenty five years later, I work in the very same office building where Sameer and I initially worked together. And I have been at a loss for words to explain what Sameer meant to me or how to come to grips with his passing. Today, through a completely random e-mail, I saw the following quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children… to leave the world a better place… to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

This struck me as a pretty good description of our friend Sameer. A success, indeed.

Supriya Desai

Manan and I recently exchanged a note about our wonderful memories of ‘running away’ to NYC with Sameer and my best friend, Julie, so many years ago. That memory never fails to make me smile but thinking of it after Sameer’s death helped me remember that it was he who encouraged our rebellion! And now I’m laughing with the memory of this person who so subtly shook things up that it took me 25 years or more to realize it!!! Now that’s a life well lived that he’s given me a whole new source of joy even though he’s not on this earth anymore.

I hope you’re both finding yourselves able to cope and find solace in ways that mean something to you. There is a poem by Sufi mystic Rumi that says we must just let all the emotions that visit us come and stay as long as they will, not to resist, not to feel you should feel any different than you do. I believe it with all my heart and his wisdom has helped me through some profound losses in my life. I will send the poem shortly to your house in Florida.

James Bates ’86

When I met Sameer:  1982

Where Sameer and I spent time:  Amherst College

Extended thoughts about Sameer. 

FAST as the rolling seasons bring
The hour of fate to those we love,
Each pearl that leaves the broken string
Is set in Friendship’s crown above.
As narrower grows the earthly chain,
The circle widens in the sky;
These are our treasures that remain,
But those are stars that beam on high.

O. W. Holmes


Farewell my Amherst Brother!

Your kindness, your grace, and your smile will remain in our hearts forever.

Anna S. Choi

When I met Sameer:  09/01/1982

Where Sameer and I spent time 

I knew Sameer at Amherst College where we both went to school. I didn’t know him very well but I do remember him being a whiz at the subjects I didn’t do too well in (Economics, math, etc). Though I wasn’t friends with him, I always knew him as a super nice guy, very smart, very friendly, really committed to his work, always smiling.

What you remember and appreciated most about Sameer

I didn’t get to know him very well at Amherst but I did see him and his beautiful family at our Amherst Reunion in May. He looked great and for those of us with young kids, I really appreciated him bringing his kids. He obviously loved his family and was a great father to them as well as being a wonderful husband. I am deeply saddened by his death mostly for his family. I hope his children realize what a wonderful man they had in their father.

Marcia King

When I met Sameer:  09/03/1979

Where Sameer and I spent time: Satellite High School, class of 1982

Extended thoughts about Sameer. 
Dear Shah Family,
I went to Satellite with Sameer and had several classes with him. I’m not sure how I had ANY classes with him, as he was brilliant and I was academically average. Sameer was without a doubt the smartest person in our graduating class and quite likely the smartest person I’ve ever been lucky enough to know. While his brilliance is important what is more important is his kindness. Sameer always had a kind word and a smile on his face. He always made you feel that he was happy to see you. I am so saddened that his children will not get to grow up with him and that he left them so prematurely. My prayers are with his family.

William Guzak

When I met Sameer:  Early 1970s

Where Sameer and I spent time:  Ocean Breeze Elementary, Hoover Junior High School, and Satellite High School

What you remember and appreciated most about Sameer
He was a good friend throughout our primary education. He smiled alot even back then, especially when he was winning.

Extended thoughts about Sameer. 
Sameer and I competed on grades all through our primary education. As seen on my handwritten 5th grade rankings, he always came out on top. The winner in Mr. Deith’s 5th grade class got to ride a small pedal car that Mr. Deith built around the school track. I remember Sameer smiling the whole way around the track. If I remember correctly the rest of us in the top 5 just got to sit in it. I remember that science project (picture in the photo gallery) that he did at Hoover. Everyone knew that Sameer would win. I remember the candy business that Josh Litwin mentioned in his remarks. Sameer and William Fitzgerald were partners in that endeavor. I believe they called their business Shah-Fitz Enterprises. You notice that Shah is mentioned first. It was a booming business that made alot of money that had to be shut down by the administration due to its popularity. In fourth grade I remember Sameer and I grading papers for Mrs. Knoll. We even competed doing that by seeing who could grade the most papers the fastest. Sameer came up with a war game in elementary school that we played on a piece of paper. First you would create a map with land and sea areas. Then you would place your artillery, tanks, and ships on the map one turn at a time. You would take shots by placing the tip of your pencil on where you were firing from and flicked the pencil back to fire. If the resulting pencil lead trace hit the enemies object then it would be destroyed or partially destroyed. This would lead to many debates as to whether your object was hit and how bad. Sameer won most of those debates. I do not remember beating him once. I came close one time but he prevailed again and smiled. Teachers would have to tell us to put the game away all the time.

I regret very much not keeping in touch with Sameer after high school. Sameer was one of a kind and I realize now that you should keep people like Sameer a part of your life. Sameer and I did start to reconnect last year when he joined facebook. I was looking forward to seeing him again.

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.