Khalil Touma is a man of many names: Dad, Baba, Jiddo, Amo, Khalo, Abou Sleiman. A loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, godfather and friend, he died on January 6th, 2022 at 87 years old. Like a candle in a dark room, his warmth and light drew in those around him. He was the life of the party, always ready to dance whether or not music played. The world is a little less bright with his passing.
Khalil was born in Qab Elias Lebanon, the eldest of five children. His parents, Jadallah and Helene (Bassit) Touma, instilled in him the core values of family, faith, hard work, and discipline. He continued his education as an adult to pursue a career as an electrician. He built a strong life with his wife of 56 years and was blessed with three intelligent daughters who all inherited his strong will and work ethic. He and his family immigrated to the United States to escape the impending turbulence of the Lebanese civil war, in 1977.
Khalil and his family made their home in Methuen, Massachusetts, where he cultivated beautiful gardens flourishing with fresh fruits and vegetables. Tomatoes and grapevines were his favorites. Despite coming to the U.S. only speaking Arabic and French, his charisma and hospitality translated more than language ever could. Be it family, friend, or stranger, all were welcome in his home. More than once, the mailman was in the family kitchen having lemonade and eating a snack on his daily route. Every person who had the privilege of spending time with Khalil always left with one of his profuse thank yous, blessings, full stomach and warm heart; and maybe if you were lucky, one of his philosophy lectures.
Khalil is survived by his wife, Lamia Hajjar Touma and his three children: Rabiah Dys (sp. Michael Dys), Zena Touma, and Sue Ellen Touma-Albert (sp. Martin Albert). He is also survived by seven grandchildren: Sarah (sp. Behzad Ahmadi), Alethea (fi. Thompson Peirce), Nicholas, Nathan, Matthew, Audrey, and Noah. Khalil is predeceased by his brother Gebran Touma (sp. Naime Touma) and survived by his other siblings Minerva Machaalani, Nicolas Touma (sp. Wadad Touma), and George Touma (sp. Ramza Touma). Additionally, Khalil leaves behind a village of nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews. “Ya elbi Jiddo,” you are so loved!
A private service will take place with Khalil’s immediate family. Burial prayers will take place at approximately 11:30 AM, on Friday January 14, 2022, at United Lebanese Cemetery in Lawrence, MA (since this is outdoors, extended family and friends may attend). Masking at all times is required to keep everyone safe. A celebration of life will take place when safely gathering in large groups is feasible. A streaming option is also available, on January 14, 2022, starting at 9:45AM via: https://stgeorgelawrence.org/; then scroll down to find the link “Click here for the live video stream.”
Though we appreciate your thoughtfulness, please do not send flowers. Instead, we ask that any donations may be made in Khalil Touma’s name to the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, More information can be found here: https://miracoalition.org/giving/.