Hossein Sakhai, MD, age 91, currently from Sarasota, Florida, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his children on August 22, 2022. He would say he was in his 92nd year. He was a loving father of five children, a most fine example of dedication and hard work, a devoted physician, and a unifying force for his family. He was an incredibly energetic person even into this 92nd year and led a life that was unparalleled in achievement and determination. He was a quietly powerful soul who wielded an intelligence and singleness of purpose with a soft-spoken demeanor and gentleness that reassured family, friends, and patients alike.
He was born to parents, Salimeh and Hadji Sakhai, in Tabriz, Iran, and was the eighth of nine children. He attended medical school in Tabriz and subsequently was awarded a scholarship from the Iranian government to come to the United States in 1958 where he completed his residency in neurosurgery at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.
Upon completion of his training, he accepted a position as a neurosurgeon in Huntington, West Virginia, in 1965, where he practiced for 35 years. He finally retired at age 70. And in 2013 he was humbled to be inducted into the Wall of Fame at St. Mary’s Hospital, in Huntington, West Virginia. He was beloved by patients and colleagues alike and held multiple leadership positions in the medical community during his career.
Indeed, he remained industrious after retirement as he ran the Rock and Roll Marathon in San Diego at age 72 and finished in the top ten of his age group. He was an avid traveler, gardener, carpentry tinkerer, and involved father, grandfather, and great grandfather. He religiously cooked and hosted dinner for the family every Sunday. Attendance was expected!
He became a citizen of the United States in 1968 and since then has always been extremely proud of being an American. In fact, when he published his memoir in 2015 at the age of 85 he entitled it A Persian Promise: Memoir of a Proud American. He patriotically flew his American flag every day on the front of his home and there it remains to this day.
He is predeceased by all his 8 brothers and sisters who remained in Iran. He has continued to be an admired and adored uncle to numerous nieces and nephews and extended family in Iran whom he visited regularly over the years. He is predeceased by his daughter, Pari Cher Sakhai Monga, and his grandson, Forrest Dean Sakhai.
He leaves behind his remaining children who are Leila Ellen Sakhai, MD (Steve Furry), Ali Dean Sakhai, DC (Danielle Zapille, DC), Susan Renee Sakhai, JD (Andy Penry), and Robert Dana Sakhai (fiancé Amanda Harshbarger). His grandchildren are Ty Eliot Duling (Skyler), Dylan Samuel Duling, Savannah Salimeh Sakhai, Andrew Sakhai Penry, Alexander Dean Penry, Olivia Cher Sakhai, Hannah Grace Sakhai, and great grandson Liam Eliot Duling. He also leaves behind his former wife, to whom he was married for 26 years and is the mother of his five children, Mary Ann Sakhai Manning.
Visitation is to be held at Beard Mortuary, 3001 3rd Avenue, Huntington, West Virginia, on Saturday, August 27, 2022, from 2-3 pm. A service and Facebook livestream will start at 3 pm. A private burial service is to be held on Sunday August 28, 2022, in the mausoleum at White Chapel Memorial Gardens in Barboursville, West Virginia.
We are proud to celebrate his life and will continue to carry him in our hearts forever.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the St. Mary’s Medical Center Foundation. https://mountainhealthfoundations.org/donate