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Saba Saba

Saba Aftim Saba

Tuesday, March 10th, 1931 - Monday, June 15th, 2020
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Obituary

Saba Aftim Saba, Orthodox Christian, husband, father, grandpa, brother, Amo, businessman, gardener, investor, writer, politico, engineer, sharp dresser, immigrant and inventor, died on Monday June 15, 2020.

Saba was 89 year old or 90, depending on his recreated birth certificate for immigration, or his family records. He moved to the United States from Palestine at 18 years of age. He claims that the immigration officers got his birth year wrong. He attended Friends University and earned a degree in chemical engineering. After his student visa expired, Saba was forced to make a decision, go home or stay in the US. He wanted to stay. But how? HE contacted his professor who gave him the number of the US senator from Minnesota. Saba excitedly and immediately called the senator, not realizing it was after midnight. The senator awoke to answer the phone and greeted the excited young man. The senator told him not to worry, they would get Saba the permanent visa. Saba would be eternally grateful .

Saba eventually met Shirley Lilienthal in Nebraska where they fell in love and married. Saba and Shirley had a long life of 62 years together. Including raising 4 children. Suma, Sara, Shanna and Seraj.

Of those 4, came 15 grandchildren, and 2 great grandsons with another on the way! He took extreme pride in his fifteen grandchildren & great-grandchildren, whom he would sing to and make up songs for.

Saba loved to grow things, family, fruits and vegetables to businesses. He was successful at both. In 1985 Saba and Shirley moved to Temecula CA to live on a 13 acre homestead where Saba was able to grow the fruits and vegetables he loved while claiming to be semi-retired. Everyone knows Saba could never truly retire, even until his last days he was working on managing his stock portfolio. He was always doing or thinking about doing something.

Some of the things he did include, growing a vineyard, raising and breeding racehorses, writing letters to the editor, running a printed circuit board business, running a motorcycle dealership, owning an airport, building a three-wheeled car, building a cathedral, in his latest years he even secured a patent for a cereal box container.

Saba eventually removed the vineyard and replaced it with olive trees. The olive tree was a symbol of hope for him. After he was forcibly removed from his

home at the age of 18, he lived under the shelter of olive trees for several weeks until he could find a home elsewhere. So planting a grove of olive trees was a sort of homecoming for him and a sign that his life was coming full circle.

Sabas story would not be complete without telling where he came from. He was born in Lydda, Palestine in 1930 or 31. He was the 6th of 12 siblings, with one sister,Faeqah, passing away 1 month after her birth. HIs father Aftim Qustundi, had a soap factory and his mother Naifa, reared the 11 kids. As 1 of 11 it could be easy to get lost in the shuffle but Saba stood out. In 1948, in the aftermath of the Nakba(Palestinian exodus), Qustundi chose Saba to be the one of the 11 to go to America and start a new life. And that he did. He studied and worked hard and created business after business and had financial success, yes there was the occasional hiccup, but largely success. And after about 20 years in diaspora, his brothers and sister followed him to the states.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Monday, June 22nd, 2020 | 5:00pm - 8:00pm
    When
    Monday, June 22nd, 2020 5:00pm - 8:00pm
    Location
    St Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church
    Address
    26871 Hobie Circle Unit A-1
    MURRIETA, CA 92562
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Notes
    7:30pm Trisaigion
  • Service

    Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020 | 10:00am
    When
    Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020 10:00am
    Location
    St. Andrew Orthodox Church
    Address
    4700 Canyon Crest Dr
    RIVERSIDE, CA
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Location
    Temcula Public Cemetery
    Address
    41911 C St.
    TEMECULA, CA 92591
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

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Private Condolence
LG

Love the Galvins

Posted at 05:05pm
Praying for your family as you mourn the loss of your sweet Saba and praying for a blessed homecoming celebration in heaven for him.
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JJ

John Qushair Jr.

Posted at 05:42am
I knew Saba Saba, in fact the whole Saba family. Saba to me was a humble servant of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, a hard working person, an intelligent man, a warm personality with a unique voice, a loyal American, and a family man. The memories and stories we all could share would fill volumes. His legacy is a family that is educated, hard working,, caring, loving. Let the healing begin for all of us, I cried my heart out when I heard the news. But this man did it well, he did it right, he is a shining star whos memory will be eternal!
GQ

Gregory Qushair

Posted at 11:32am
Saba Saba was a childhood friend of my late father, Hannah Qushair, from the neighboring towns of al-Lydd and al-Ramla, Palestine, and a lifelong friend of our family. I have very fond memories of Saba from my own childhood. He was always kind, family-oriented, true to his faith and humble, yet known for his sharp business acumen. My condolences and warmest regards to the whole Saba family.
Gregory Qushair
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