This morning, before I awoke, at his home in Norwood, New Jersey, Steve Nawi succumbed to cancer and ascended into the immortal realm. Steve was an extraordinary man in my view and I want to tell you a bit about him. He and I were brothers-in-law for the 20 years of my first marriage and he was a most generous Uncle to my daughters and a gracious host whenever I visited him. I think that Generosity is the quality I will most remember of him.
And I will remember his abiding gratitude for the successes he earned in life. We spoke years ago of his journey to America after his escape from Iraq. Yes, he escaped, back in the early 1970’s. You see, Steve was a Baha’i. And in Iraq in those days, that was punishable by death. And if being Baha’i wasn’t crime enough for that regime, Steve also happened to be of Jewish descent. That was certainly double-trouble. In those days, Jews in that country were not afforded citizenship rights of any kind, so getting a passport was out of the question. Steve escaped by way of the Canadian Embassy. From Canada he moved to New York and became a successful American businessman through relentless hard work and sheer determination.
I won’t tell my many Steve stories, I just want you to know that a fine man has passed at the age of 64 – way to early in my opinion. And he will be missed.
If you have a moment, please say a prayer for his spiritual progress in the next world and for the peace and happiness of his wife Kathy and their grown children, David and Nancy, still living in this one.