Elizabeth "Libby" Mirhadi
18 July, 1945 – 21 November, 2019
Elizabeth Ann Williamson Mirhadi July 18, 1945 – November 21, 2019
“A life well lived is a precious gift Of hope and strength and grace From someone who has made our world A brighter, better place.” --Anonymous
A bright light dimmed ever so slightly when our beloved mother, Elizabeth Ann Williamson Mirhadi passed peacefully after a brief illness. “Libby,” as she was known by most who knew her,was 74, but anyone who knew her intellect, warmth and love knew hers was indeed a life lived in full. Libby was born in Alexandria, Va., on July 18, 1945 to a diplomat father and a mother who was an aspiring singer. From her early childhood, Libby lived an unconventional life of travel, sprinkled with brushes with fame in early adulthood, to an uncompromising love for and of her family, and of tireless service to those less fortunate in her later years.
Her life was a travelogue most would be envious to replicate: At the age of 7, she moved with her parents and older sister to Rome, Italy, where her father, Francis T. Williamson, was the charge d’affairs of the American embassy in the Eternal City. There, Libby learned Italian and had her first star turn as an extra in an Italian comedy, “The Seducer”, released in 1954, starring heartthrob Alberto Sordi. Later, her father was transferred to the American embassy in Bonn, West Gemany. Libby attended Frankfurt American High School in Frankfurt. She sang in the school choir, the Melloteens, and graduated in 1963. True to Germany, her graduation present from the school was a beer stein embossed with her name. Upon her graduation, she returned to the United States, enrolling at Goucher College in Towson, Maryland, an all-girls school at the time. There, she excelled in academics and played in a band, LSD (Libby, Sherry and Diane). Libby graduated in 1967 with a degree in political science, and after graduation, moved to New York City.
In New York, she worked for some of the largest publishing houses such as MacMillan and Harcourt. She wrote book jackets for the educational publishing division and later moved into commercial publishing. While in New York, in 1968, she met Masoud Mirhadi. They were married on August 23, 1970 in New York. Within their first two years of marriage, they drove across America to California for their honeymoon and the next year, drove through Europe on the way to Iran to visit Masoud’s relatives. More often than not, Libby carried her guitar with her for impromptu jam sessions with her husband while they waited for ferries to take them across the Adriatic Sea.
After Sara (in 1973) and David (in 1974) were born, they decided to move from New York to Fresno, California where Michael was born in 1978. Thus began a 41-year residency in Fresno and later, in nearby Clovis, where she spent the rest of her life. In addition to her duties as a homemaker, Libby helped run the family construction business out of their home.
In 1987, she enrolled in a one-year teaching credential program at California State University, Fresno, and finished near the top of her class while earning a multiple-subject credential. While enrolled in the program, she made many lifelong friends.
Libby loved to travel. In her youth, she traveled to many European countries and as an adult, she traveled twice to Egypt and twice to her husband’s native Iran. She drove several times across the country, including one summer in 1990 with Masoud and their three teenage children in a 26-foot motorhome prone to overheating.
She sought knowledge by helping others as well. For parts of a decade beginning in the late 2000s, she worked at a prominent public relations firm in Fresno, handling clients that included Habitat for Humanity. It was here where she excelled not only in promoting Habitat, but taking an active role in selecting families who would receive a home under the program. Even with various medical issues, she remained a key member of the selection committee for many years.
Libby will be remembered as someone who put others’ interests far above herself. She had a close circle of friends, many whose relationship spanned three or more decades.
Survivors include her ex-husband, Masoud, of Fresno; her daughter, Sara Mirhadi-Offen (James) of Fresno; two sons, Michael (Allison) Mirhadi of Folsom and David (Hollie) Mirhadi of Blackfoot, Idaho; a sister, Ruth (Philip) Franklin of Burke, Va., two nephews and six grandchildren – Isaac, Savannah, Leah, Lyla, Armie and Lucy.
A Celebration of Life for "Libby" will be held Saturday, December 28, 2019 from 2:00 p.m. at Veteran's Memorial Hall, 808 Fourth Street, Clovis, California 93612.
Contributions in "Libby's" memory may be made to Habitat for Humanity Greater Fresno Area, 4991 East McKinley Avenue Sutie 123, Fresno, California 93727, https://www.habitatfresno.org.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.boicefuneralhome.com for the Mirhadi family.
- Sara Mirhadi (James Offen), Daughter
- David K. Mirhadi (Hollie Street), Son
- Michael R. Mirhadi (Allison), Son
- Leah E. Offen, Grandchild
- Isaac Mirhadi, Grandchild
- Savanah Mirhadi, Grandchild
- Lyla Mirhadi, Grandchild
- Armie Mirhadi, Grandchild
- Ruth Gertrude Franklin (Phillip), Sister
- Andrew Harmon, Nephew
- Scott Harmon, Nephew
- Habitat for Humanity Greater Fresno Area
- Celebration of Life Saturday, 28 December , 2019
Elizabeth "Libby" Mirhadi
26 December 2019
Libby was my best friend in Bonn, Germany. We went to the same high school and sang together on the bus going and coming every weekend to see our families. I loved her wit, her gentleness, her talent as a musician. We had so much fun. I visited her in Virginia, and in New York. We stayed in touch and I was always happy to chat with her. I am saddened by losing such a precious friend. May she rest in the glory of our Lord's presence. I love you Libby and cherish your friendship and the memories.