|Sami Haj, 61|
|Written by TRF Times|
Thief River Falls - Sami Haj, 61, owner and operator of the Best Western Inn in Thief River Falls, died on Saturday, November 5, 2005 at Northwest Medical Center in Thief River Falls.
Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday, November 12, at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Thief River Falls, with Father Tim McGee presiding. Casket bearers include George Haj, Joseph Haj, Jim Burkholder, Abdul Chamma, Ghabi Accad, Les Snetting and Ghazi Chamma. Honorary casket bearers include Youssef Chamma, Aris Haj, Hamman Chamma and Khaled Haj. Interment will follow in Greenwood Cemetery, Thief River Falls.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, November 11, at the Johnson Funeral Service in Thief River Falls, with a 7 p.m. prayer service on Friday evening and at the church for one hour prior to the service on Saturday.
Sami George Haj was born on January 25, 1944 in Ibel-El-Saki, Lebanon, the son of George and Georgette (Accad) Haj. He attended High School and grew to adulthood in Lebanon. Sami came to the United States in 1961 and attended Mankato State University in Mankato, and Bethel College in St. Paul. He graduated from Bethel College in 1965, majoring in Chemistry.
While at Bethel College, Sami worked on campus in food service, he also worked as a head chef at a local country club and opened a pizza place in Mankato. Sami then moved to Saudi Arabia and worked for Abella Food Service Company, and was transferred to Libya and Lebanon. He became a manager with ARA, prepared food for the Vikings and several colleges in the Midwest.
He was a partner and manager of the Best Western in Marshall, from 1977-1981. He then moved to the U.A.E. from 1981-1982, and was transferred to Colombia, South America, from 1983-1985. He returned to the USA and operated a bakery with his brother Anis in Mankato, from 1985-1990. He then moved to Thief River Falls in 1990, and was owner and manager of the Best Western in Thief River Falls.
Sami enjoyed golf, traveling, classic cars, cooking and basketball. He was a member of the Rotary and the Chamber of Commerce.
Sami was united in marriage on May 31, 1980 to Fodda Chamma in Lebanon.
Sami is survived by his wife, Fodda of Thief River Falls; two daughters, Dina Boudreaux of Lafayette, La., and Shelly Broussard of Lafayette, La.; two sons; George and Joseph, both of Thief River Falls; four grandchildren; two brothers, Anis (Dianna) Haj of Canada and Khaled (Delane) Haj of Chicago, Ill.; two sisters, Denise (Melhem) of Lebanon and Samia (Saad) of Canada; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and one brother, Fayez Haj.