Evelyn (Laura) Farid Fanous
28 December 1934 – 13 August 2023
Evelyn Farid Fanous was called home to heaven to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Sunday, August 13, 2023, at the age of 88, in Laguna Woods, CA, with her loving family by her side.
Evelyn was born in El Minya, Egypt to parents Farid Fanous and Labiba Khalil as the middle child of 7 children – 3 sons and 4 daughters. The Christian faith was foundational in her upbringing and continued to be a key element of her entire life. In Egypt, she regularly attended the Second Presbyterian Church in El Minya, the Presbyterian Church in Shubra, the Presbyterian Church in Heliopolis, and Kasr El Dobara Evangelical Church in Cairo, spending summers building the Agami Beit El Salam (House of Peace) Christian summer camp in Alexandria, and became the first group to attend the camp in the early 1950s.
She graduated from Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt in 1957 with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. Her first accounting job was for a Lebanese bookstore owner in Cairo who spared no expense in on-the-job training. Now with practical accounting experience, she was hired by El Nasr Export & Import Company, a large and established company in Egypt, quickly gaining the respect and trust of leadership, including the company president. She became the first woman in the company sent on an international business trip – even more exceptional as a Christian employee – traveling for the first time outside of Egypt in the late 1960s as a working mother for several weeks to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.
Evelyn immigrated from Egypt to the United States in 1968 with her daughter, Manal, to Boston, Massachusetts leaving a reputable position for a life with better opportunities. A wise job counselor suggested she consider an entry-level position and then seek advancement as an employee. She accepted that advice and restarted her career in the United States performing clerical work earning minimum wage ($72/week) at the Hills Department Stores company headquarters in downtown Boston. As a foreign woman with an accent, she faced skepticism when telling coworkers she was an accountant. She persisted and rose to the position of Accounting Manager at Hills, and went on to be the Accounting Manager at both Saucony and Child World company headquarters. After a distinguished 36-year career, she retired in 1993 and moved to Southern California to join 4 siblings living there.
Soon after arriving in California, Evelyn took classes in medical billing and taxes, and began working at a doctor’s office and H&R Block during the tax season. Evelyn worked at H&R Block for 20+ years taking annual tax preparer certifications. She then volunteered at AARP for several years as a tax preparer for her community. She was a valued tax advisor to her entire family, many friends and the community at large.
Evelyn, a resident of Laguna Woods Village since 1997, was active in the PC Club taking all offered courses and becoming the instructor’s assistant, Hiking Club, Knitting Club, Friendly Visitor Program since its inception visiting residents with no family, Meals on Wheels, and regularly took classes at Saddleback Community College.
When first seeing the Laguna Woods Village pools, she remarked how big and scary the pools looked as she did not know how to swim. With incredible courage and determination, she enrolled in swimming classes at the age of 64 to learn to swim. Before breakfast, she regularly walked 45 minutes early in the morning, swam 12 laps in the pool, and enjoyed a dip in the jacuzzi to start her day.
Evelyn joined Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, CA as a member in 2000 and served many years in the Geneva business office as well as a Deacon. As a member of the Geneva Presbyterian Women’s (GPW’s) Lydia circle, she also served as GPW Treasurer receiving a lifetime member award from the national GPW organization. Evelyn was a faithful servant and a valued member of her church congregation. She also attended Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) studying the full curriculum.
Evelyn loved to travel the world with her family, especially her daughter Manal, and was blessed to travel to Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Greece, Turkey, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Germany, United Kingdom, Monte Carlo, Croatia, Montenegro, Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, India, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Aruba, Curacao, Bahamas, Panama, Costa Rica, Canada, Mexico, and throughout the United States including Alaska and Hawaii.
Evelyn was adored as a daughter, sister, cousin, mother, and aunt. She is the sister of Ardis Ghobrial, Gamil Fanous, Dr. Yvonne (Eva) Fanous, as well as the late Alfons Fanous, Dr. Izis Fanous and Dr. Ibrahim Fanous. She is the sister-in-law of Sonia Fanous, and Mary Fanous, as well as the late Dr. Sabet Ghobrial and Mourad Ghobrial. She is the devoted mother to Manal Tadros, and precious aunt to Hany Sabet, Adel Sabet, Dr. Eva Sabet, Kathy Burri, Michael Fanous, John Fanous, Christy Fanous, and David Fanous, as well as the late Dr. Ragy Sabet and Steven Fanous.
Evelyn centered her life around her faith and family seeing God’s grace and faithfulness to her throughout her entire life. She hosted our family each year for Thanksgiving and began a new tradition of also hosting Good Friday. Our family would fast during the day, and enjoy a wonderful Good Friday Egyptian meal at sunset including falafel she made from scratch. This dinner was one of our family’s favorite meals of the year. She was also well known for her famous barbeque chicken.
Those who knew Evelyn would describe her as having a strong sense of duty and work ethic, a high degree of integrity, a loyal friend, quiet strength, fiercely independent, kind, intelligent, accommodating, and trustworthy with a gentle spirit of gratitude and humility.
We love Evelyn so dearly, cherish each precious memory we had with her, and value the impact and influence she had on each of our lives. In Christ, we look forward to the day when we will be reunited with her for eternity.
If you would like to send flowers please send them to O’Connor Mortuary 25301 Alicia Parkway Laguna Hills, CA 92653 by Sept 8th 12pm
- Date & Time: September 09, 2023 (10:00 AM)
- Next Service: Please Join Us For A Reception At The Church Following The Service
- Venue: Geneva Presbyterian Church
- Location: 24301 El Toro Rd. Laguna Woods, CA 92637 - (Get Directions)