Golnar Mehr

Obituary of Golnar Sharifi Mehr

Golnar Esfandiary Sharifi-Mehr, affectionately known as “Goli”, died peacefully at her home in Charlotte, NC on May 5, 2024; seven months shy of her 80th birthday.

Goli was born in Tehran, Iran, to Houshang and Batool Esfandiary. Her younger brother, along with her first cousins, were her earliest playmates and she treasured their childhood memories. At 11 years old, Goli was enrolled at Crofton Grange Boarding School in England where she played the piano, learned to speak French, and regularly snuck out with her friends to buy Elvis Presley albums. Upon completing her secondary education, Goli moved to Vienna, Austria to continue her musical studies. She eventually moved back to Tehran where she began her 60 year career in the travel industry. It was in an interview for a position at a local travel agency where Goli met Hassan Sharifi-Mehr, the man who became her beloved husband and father to her three children.

In 1977 Goli and Hassan moved their young family to the United States where they made Millburn, NJ their home for the next 30 years. They remained dedicated to the travel industry and built a business to support their family. They worked tirelessly to provide their children with every opportunity, making countless, selfless decisions along the way. Their children remain eternally grateful for the sacrifices made by their parents upon moving to America.

While Goli put so much energy into work, she put even more energy into her friendships, especially the ones from the Wyoming Elementary School PTA. Goli’s friends adored her sense of humor, carefree ways and tendency to swap w’s and v’s. She was often spotted having coffee with her best friend at Bagel Chateau on Sunday mornings. She smiled at every person who walked by and her circle of friends grew exponentially over the years. Her joyful spirit was not just felt by adults but also by the parade of children who grew up alongside her own sons and daughter.

In 2007, Goli and Hassan moved to Charlotte, NC, a few miles from their youngest child, Ghazale. Upon arrival, Goli was hired by a local travel agency and was employed by Viva Voyage at the time of her death. On many occasions, she made it clear that she had no interest in ever retiring. Work was not just a professional outlet for Goli but a place where she could make people laugh and spread her positivity just by being her authentic self. Even outside of work, she

was everyone’s “buddy”. She endeared herself to all who crossed her path including neighbors, store owners, nail technicians, mailroom attendants and even her DoorDash driver.

While Goli made everyone feel special, the brightest lights in her life were her three children and six grandchildren. She started every conversation with a pet name and a playful tone and ended every conversation expressing her love. She was approachable and quick to empathize and relate to the highs and lows of life. While mothers and grandmothers generally have a knack for being supportive of their offspring, Goli’s pride for her family was so deeply embedded in her soul that her family felt invincible in her presence. “G”, as she was known to her grandchildren, was the quintessential fun grandmother and will be missed so deeply.

Goli is survived by her three children: Amir (Anne), Ali (Maggie), and Ghazale (Andy); as well as her six grandchildren: Matthew, Maddy, Alex, Harrison, Lia, and Millie. She was preceded in death by her husband, Hassan, and her parents, Houshang and Batool Esfandiary.

Goli’s family and friends will celebrate her life at Selwyn Avenue Presbyterian Church on Friday, May 10 at 1:00PM.

Goli was a lifelong supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. To continue Goli’s legacy of sharing hope, even in the hardest of circumstances, please consider supporting our local St. Jude Affiliate Clinic at Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital through this link. https://bit.ly/PMCFMemorialGiftsHemby

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