Cyrus Towfiq's Eulogy

Cyrus Towfiq at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC, in 1958

Cyrus Towfiq Memorial

Cyrus Towfiq was born April 23, 1924, in Tehran, Iran. His mother’s name is Mehrangiz Missaghieh and his father’s name is Jagoub Towfiq, who were both from Kashan. His parents studied the Bahá’í Faith in Kashan with Masha’llah Laqai who was very familiar with Bahá’í literature and Writings.

One of Cyrus’ uncles was ‘Abdu’l-Missagh Missaghieh. He was a poet. Another uncle was Nurullah Missaghieh who was an artist.

Cyrus started his education at the Tarby-yat Bahá’í School in Tehran. When all the Bahá’í schools were closed by the government, he went to public schools. He started his study of economics at Alborz College. He continued to study economics at London School of Economics and the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C. He returned to Iran and earned his doctorate in Economics. He then began his career as an international economist at the Central Bank of Iran.

From childhood, he loved to study and loved to teach. Before he started school, he learned some elementary lessons from his older brother and sister at home. Once he started school, he would teach whatever he learned to his younger sisters. Other members of the family asked him to help tutor their children. He tutored other children as well. During his professional career, his love of teaching led him to teaching positions in the evenings at several colleges in Tehran.

He worked at the Central Bank of Iran for 27 years. For nearly three of these 27 years, he was temporarily assigned to the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C. He went to more than 60 countries in the course of his work. After retirement from the Central Bank, he worked in third world countries, assisting with the growth and development of their central banks.

Cyrus began his service to the Bahá’í Faith by teaching Sunday classes for youth and children. He was one of the writers for a Bahá’í magazine. He served as a member of the Tehran Youth Committee, as secretary of the Feast, and he was also a member of the National Committee for Bahá’í Properties. He served on several Local Spiritual Assemblies in Virginia, Maryland and California as well as in foreign countries.

Pioneering for the Faith took him to Mauritius, the Republic of Seychelles, Lesotho, and Western Samoa. While he served in these countries, he was employed by the United Nations. He was fortunate to go on pilgrimage to the Holy Land. He also attended various international Bahá’í conferences.

In 1987, he retired from the UN and moved to Southern California to be close to his dear children and he taught economics at local colleges. In 1988, he started to publish a special quarterly family magazine called Shakhsar. For 13 years he successfully continued to publish this magazine which consisted of news, photos, and family stories. He printed and mailed the newsletter to relatives and close friends on five continents throughout the world. This helped distant relatives to get to know each other as they received news from relatives far and near. Publishing this magazine wasn’t easy but he persevered through all the problems to finish it with love and happiness. He gained the appreciation and admiration of everyone. Later on he became physically weak and sick and in his elderly years the publishing of Shakhsar was discontinued but he continued to write occasional articles for Bahá’í magazines.

In the summer of 2006, he developed a stomach ulcer and was admitted to the hospital for treatment. His poor health prevented him from teaching any more classes. After that, he spent his time studying and writing articles. In his final year, he wrote a book of poetry and researched French dictionaries to index over 1,000 French words that are used in Farsi.

He married twice. His first marriage was with Mim Gottschalk. They have one son, Shidan and one daughter, Mandana. He has one granddaughter, Kathryn Leela Tarr, and one granddaughter – Elysia Nuria Tarr - who will be born soon. His second marriage was with Rohanieh Neshvad. His soul ascended to the Abha Kingdom on July 16, 2009, surrounded by loving family.

Most of what I’ve read so far was written by my father. What he didn’t say is that he was a very polite and humble man, very kind, generous, intelligent and patient. He had an amazing memory for facts, figures, family history and his own personal experiences. He loved his family and friends; actually he loved every member of the human family. He was very open-minded and a devoted believer in the Bahá’í Faith. He loved serving the Faith and people and he is respected man in every community that he lived in.

-Read by Mandana Towfiq Tarr