Rachel Maksud was born on April 29, 1910, to Quasha Eshaya Sleu and Shammy Gilyana, in the village of Mazra, Thkoma located in the Hakari Mountains of the then Ottoman Empire. In 1915, due to the Turkish massacres of Christians, her family started their first of many journeys as refugees. Following the Russian army as they retreated from Turkey during World War I were they settled in Tiblisi. They were uprooted by the Bolshevik Revolution again because of their Christian faith. After a tortuous journey, which included stops in Cairo and Lebanon, they landed in Baghdad.
Because her father was a priest, through the good offices of the Archbishop of Canterbury they were able to receive Visas allowing them to immigrate to the United States, a country she greatly loved. They immigrated through Ellis Island in 1928 and settled in Chicago. In 1931 she married George Maksud, a family friend from her home village of Thkoma.
They settled in the Lincoln Park area, where their children were born and moved once again during World War II, to a farm in Knox, Indiana. Here she raised her family nourishing not only the earthly necessities of life but the love and values which enriched them for a lifetime. In 1945 the family moved back to Chicago when it appeared that her husband George might lose his special deferment as an employee of Western Union Telegraph Co.
She is survived by 5 children, 14 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren.
Her son Mike and his wife Shari Maksud of Oregon and three daughters and the late Thad O'Brien
Michelle and her husband, Tommy and their two daughters
Dawn and her husband, Jon and their son
Deon and her husband, Eric and their two daughters and two sons
Her daughter Frances and the late Skip Cello of Des Plaines, and their two daughters
Sandy and her husband, Rick and their two daughters
Cindy and her husband, Dennis and their three daughters
Her son Sam and his wife Betty Maksud of Antioch and their son and two daughters
Craig and his wife, Delia and their two daughters
Her son Tom and his wife Liz Maksud of Skokie and their three sons and a daughter
Jeffrey and his wife, Jill and their three sons
Steven and his two daughters
Kim and her husband, Cliff and their two sons
Chris and his wife, Tracy and their daughter and son
Her daughter Dolores and her husband John Enwia of Skokie, and their two sons
Shamasha Paul and his wife, Janette and their son and two daughers
Rachel Maksud, devoted and loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother joined her husband George and other family members in the loving arms of her Lord on January 8, 2009. Her pride and joy were her 14 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren. All have been imbued with her favorite advice, "don't drink, don't smoke and don't gamble!"
In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to the
George and Rachel Maksud Fellowship
OSU Foundation, Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331