Nick and Shafica Kaleel
Rashyia, Syria (Lebanon)
Written by Judith Kanag
Sunday Dinner with Family & Friends
My family went to Spring Valley and spent the whole summer with my grandparents. My mother Geena, my sister Georgia, and my brother Douglas were there.
Nick peddled apparel to farmers and men working in the fields. He learned to speak English. In 1951 Nick had a heart attack and could not drive. I was 16 and had my drivers license so I loaded and unloaded his apparel and drove him to the farmers that summer from Monday to Friday. I was so glad to be able to spend that much time with my grandfather.
Nick and Shafica had a garden and raised chickens in the back yard. Shafica did not speak English but took care of her 7 children, cooked, cleaned, canned and made beautiful quilts. Walking in the house you could smell the fresh bread. She made the Markouk bread which is an art. Not everyone could make this bread. She was an excellent cook and everyone, friends and family, were always welcome for dinner at the Kaleel house especially for Sunday dinner. Her two daughters Geena Kanag and Adele Abraham were also excellent cooks.
Their daughter Mable died at 7 years old. Their son George Kaleel was in the army and came to Spring Valley to work in the business. He was born July 4, 1913 and was crushed between two trucks and died in 1946 at 33 years old. I remember the funeral like it was yesterday and I was 11 years old. What a tragedy for the Kaleel family.
In 1956 Nespo & Elsie, Ernie & Laurece, Tom & LuEva moved to Youngstown and opened Kaleel Brothers. The three families started St. Marks Orthodox church in Youngstown, Ohio. They have already celebrated 50 years in that church in 2008. They all loved their faith.
Love to all.
Have a wonderful 100 Anniversary, St. George.