Waheeda Farooqi of
Mount Vernon, Iowa, died Dec. 13, 2018. She was 85.
Waheeda was born March 23, 1933, in Jalandhar, India. Her family emigrated during India's partition to the new Islamic state of Pakistan when she was 14. She married Abdul Kabir Farooqi at age 20, completing college and giving birth the following year. Kabir died when she was 29, and she raised their two sons, supporting the family as a teacher and tutor in Karachi, Pakistan.
While a single parent, she earned a master's degree in Islamic history from Karachi University. She often led women's Qur'an study groups and was active in the All Pakistan Women's Association. She spent a year in Macomb, Ill., earning a master's degree in education from Western Illinois University at age 40.
Her sons attended college in the United States and eventually settled in Iowa. After many years of extended visits to Mount Vernon, Iowa, she emigrated again, becoming a U.S. citizen in 2008 and residing in Mount Vernon with her younger son and family.
Waheeda was foremost a devout Muslim, following the practices of Islam and organizing her daily life around her prayers. She had a gentle, calm spirit and a deep appreciation for the beauty of the natural world. She was a reader, storyteller and lifelong learner, with a curious mind and a playful sense of humor.
She is survived by sons and daughters-in-law, A'amer Farooqi and Latifeh Modarressi of Coralville, Iowa, and Imran Farooqi and Dee Ann Rexroat of Mount Vernon, Iowa; a granddaughter, Rehanna Marie Farooqi Rexroat of Appleton, Wis.; a sister, Perween, of Karachi, Pakistan; and seven nieces and two nephews who stayed connected over time and continents.
Preceding her in death were her husband; her brother, Waheed Farooqi; two nephews; and her parents, Abdul Majeed Farooqi and Aziz Begum Farooqi.
The family held a private burial Dec. 14. A celebration of her life will be held at a later date.