Saeed Rahnema

March 20, 1932 ~ February 7, 2021 (age 88)


Saeed Rahnema died peacefully in Saratoga on Feb 7, 2021 after a brief battle with pneumonia. Saeed (Sam) lived a full life, was a humble gentleman who enjoyed every moment he spent with his family and friends. He was born and raised in Tehran with his sister Fereshteh, and two brothers, Hamid and Bahman. At 18 years old he boarded a plane and headed for America where he attended Cal Poly, was part of their soccer team, and earned his degree in Engineering. He dedicated his career to working for Southern Pacific Railroad where he authored a handbook about railcars, and discovered a safety test that we jokingly call “the shaker test.” He met his wife in San Francisco, Sheila Thomas, a nurse. They started their family and moved to Saratoga where they raised two daughters, Julie and Mariam. Saeed was a true family man who not only cared for his immediate family, but also his mother for many years and helped bring much of his family to the United States. He had an amazing group of friends that he cherished. Some were from his hometown of Tehran and some that he met along his journey. He loved American Football, especially his 49ers, and ironically passed away on Superbowl Sunday. He was a wonderful father and was proud of both his daughters as they started their own careers and families. He loved spending time with his three grandchildren, Ethan and Ella (children of Julie and Craig) and Alex (son of Mariam and Paul). His grandchildren lovingly called him “Buba”. He walked hand in hand with his wife through her cancer battle and when she passed away he kept their family traditions moving forward. Sam will be missed by his family and friends. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his memory to the American Cancer Society: 747 Camden Ave Ste B. Campbell, CA 95008 or

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