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NATICK – On Tuesday, June 28, 2022, Bakhshandeh Dehestani passed away peacefully in her sleep at the age of 82, with her sweet companion puppy, Salvador, at her side.

She left this life exactly as she had wanted to: on her own terms, and without illness or suffering. She did not fear death and was ready to accept it when it was her time.

Bakhshandeh (or “Bakshi” for short, or “Momonee” as she was endearingly called by her grandchildren) was a true legend with the biggest heart. She was born in Sari, Iran on July 29, 1939, and came to the United States in 1977.

Anyone who met her would immediately be drawn to her warmth and charm. She was equal parts witty and silly, always making those around her laugh. She was devoted to her family and loved her friends so much. She was unbelievably generous, always giving – even during those times in her life when she didn’t have much to give. She was an animal lover and possessed an unexplainable connection with them – not only for our family pets but wildlife as well. She loved feeding the birds, squirrels, and deer. On the day of her passing, the birds were at her open window singing loudly for her. She loved all animals… well, except for snakes. For some reason she really despised snakes!

She loved the beach and was entranced by the ocean. She was classy to the core, and “taarofee” to a fault. She radiated a Hollywood presence whenever she went out and always looked so elegant with her oversized designer sunglasses. She possessed perfect hands with perfectly manicured nails and would always receive compliments on them from strangers. She was an avid sports fan, and passionately rooted for her Patriots and Tom “Birdy” (even after he joined the Bucs). She loved listening to music, and enjoyed watching her gameshows, Persian TV, and the news.

What she loved most was her family and friends. She would love to cook and have everyone over and took so much joy in watching everyone be together. She loved unconditionally – always, and without hesitation – putting her family first before everything. She would embrace her family’s friends as well, treating them as an extension of her family and making all feel loved. A true example of what a matriarch should be.

She was so talented in many ways. She was a highly skilled seamstress employed by high end shops like Saks 5th Avenue and Henri Bendel. She had designed and created her first outfit while still in grade school, and over the years she had fine-tuned her skills and created custom curtains, evening gowns and even a wedding dress. She was the most elegant dancer, and often said that dancing was the best form of exercise. This is evidenced by her grace and beauty she’s maintained every single day of her life. She had a sneaky artistic side that came out when she designed the “Sofre Aghd” for weddings.

She possessed a clairvoyant side as well – deceased loved ones would visit her in her dreams and deliver messages that ended up being true. She correctly divined the genders of countless kids and grandkids. She was also a gifted fortune teller – be it through palm readings or reading Turkish coffee grinds. Sadly, despite her best efforts, she never could crack the Powerball.

Anyone who had the pleasure of sampling her cuisine would attest that she was hands down the BEST cook. In fact, just about anyone who had met her would be invited over and offered a home cooked meal. Her Persian stews and rice dishes were so fragrant and divine though she was always her most (unreasonably) toughest critic – “polo namak nadareh” she would say. Her rose-water scented baklava was out of this world. She had on several occasions even single-handedly catered large weddings!

Incredible what she accomplished during her time here, and everything she did was selfless and only served to benefit her family.

As much as she was talented, she was equally so cool and had the best vices. She enjoyed her wine every night. She was always up for a margarita, Bloody Mary, or screwdriver whenever she dined out. She enjoyed casinos, Keno, and scratch tickets. Much to the chagrin of her care team she was also a smoker, despite having quit for a couple years. These qualities enabled her to fit right in on some of her sons’ “boys” trips!

Bakhshandeh was preceded in death by her parents Rahim and Molouk Tavakoli, her former spouse Hooshang Foroughi, her brothers Akbar and Mohammad Tavakoli, and her sister Shahla Tavakoli. She is survived by her brothers Mehrdad and Reza Tavakoli; her former spouse Ali Akbar Dehestani; her children Faranak Foroughi (spouse Abdol Haghayeghi), Fred Foroughi (spouse Jill Foroughi), Ramin Foroughi (partner Linda Caporizzo), Ali Dehestani (spouse Melissa), Amir Dehestani (spouse Jennifer), and step-son Mohammad Dehestani; her grandchildren Pouneh Poutas (spouse Dan Poutas), Mathew Foroughi (spouse Bethany Foroughi), Jacqueline Foroughi, Stefon Foroughi, Semira Haghayeghi, Montana Foroughi, Emilia Dehestani, Cullen Dehestani, and Cameron Dehestani; and her great-grandchildren Cyrus and Arya Poutas; as well as countless other cousins, nieces, and nephews whom she adored.

She died knowing that she was loved by many. She passed comfortably knowing that she had done her part to raise her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren and that they would all be okay. She imprinted onto her family how to love, how to be compassionate, how to help others and how to put kindness into the world even in the most difficult times. We will all vow to emulate and embody those qualities in her honor. For us who mourn her come to terms with the giant void left with her passing, we all must take solace in the fact that we did right by her – showing her the love and respect she so very much deserved during her time on Earth. Her spirit is indeed alive in all of us.

She was one of a kind in every sense of the word.

She is now resting in peace.

Her memory, and her legacy, will be cherished forever.

Arrangements by Everett Funeral Home in Natick.

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By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.