Maruf Said Awad passed away at University Hospitals in Cleveland early in the morning on Saturday, March 13, 2021. He was born October 7, 1938, in Al Muzeira, Palestine. He was the son of Said and Amneh of the Ramahi family. Following his graduation from El Beireh High School, Maruf was a math teacher in Saudi Arabia for seven years. In July 1966, Maruf came to the United States on a student visa to attend Youngstown State University. He graduated with a B.S. in mechanical engineering in 1971. In order to get his permanent U.S. residency, he purchased Park Avenue Golden Gate Supermarket in Youngstown as a foreign-owned corporation and began a lifelong career in the grocery business. In 1982, he purchased Windham Valu King, which later became Windham Sparkle Market, in Windham, Ohio. Maruf was a beloved supporter of the Windham community for 34 years. Growing up with little material wealth, Maruf had a great love of family, which gave him empathy to always want to help others like they were his own family. He was truly a selfless person. Although he never wanted any recognition in return, Maruf was honored numerous times for his community service. He was named an honorary member of the Windham Athletic Hall of Fame. Additionally, Len Rome of WKBN television did a segment on Maruf, naming him as Windham’s Hometown Hero. After closing Windham Sparkle Market in January 2016, Maruf continued working in the grocery business until his passing, working as a grocery manager at Parkman Road Sparkle Market. He always enjoyed having many of his former Windham customers stop in to visit him at Parkman Road Sparkle Market.
Maruf had a deep love of his family, and of his Palestinian heritage. He was extremely proud of his entire family, and cared for them greatly. He also enjoyed gardening and home projects.
Maruf is survived by his wife, the former Sherry Cipollone, who he married on June 16, 1979. He is also survived by three sons Mark of Bay Village, and Samer and Tarik of Canfield, a sister Samira and a brother Walied of Amman Jordan, a brother Ghazi of Austintown, a sister-in-law Nadia of Chicago, as well as by numerous nephews, nieces, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Marwan and his sister Fida.
A gathering of family and friends of Maruf will be held at the Arab-American Community Center (15 Belgrade Avenue, Youngstown, OH 44505) from 6 PM-9PM on Sunday, March 14, 2021.
Burial will be held at Greenhaven Memorial Gardens (3495 S. Canfield-Niles Road, Canfield, OH 44406) on Monday, March 15, 2021, following a Muslim prayer service at approximately 12:30PM at the Islamic Society of Greater Youngstown (535 Harmon Avenue, Youngstown, OH 44502).
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