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Camelia Helmy Abdel-Malek

February 7, 1933 ~ August 22, 2023 (age 90) 90 Years Old


Camelia (Mimi, Meme) Abdel-Malek of Denver, CO, passed away peacefully on August 22, 2023, surrounded by her loving family. Camelia is preceded in death by her mother and father, two sisters, a brother, and her husband of 54 years, Camille (Helmy) Abdel-Malek. She is survived by her daughter Hala (Jean-Marc), two sons Frank (Jeanette), and Hany (Kim), nine grandchildren (notably her granddaughter Ariel Doumbouya who lived and cared for her during her last six years), and six great grandchildren.   

Camelia was born in Helwan, Egypt in 1933. As a young woman she loved to go swimming and used to go to a pool where she met Camille, her future husband. They were married in 1956 and soon after their first child Hala was born, the family immigrated to Beirut, Lebanon with the equivalent of $150 which was the only amount they were allowed to take out of Egypt due to the social revolution. In Lebanon, they had two more children, Fouad (Frank) and Hany. It took a couple of years to get adjusted to a new country, but in time the family was doing well.

In Lebanon, summers went by like a dream. She and the children would escape the heat of Beirut and stay in the mountains for two months or more. Unfortunately, wars and religious strife had the habit of disrupting their life again.When the war was raging in Lebanon, they managed to send their children to the United States. Camille was offered a great opportunity to work in Saudi Arabia. After being robbed of all her identification in Saudi Arabia, they could no longer stay there and had to return to Lebanon. Camelia had worked as an elementary teacher in various French schools in Cairo, Egypt and Beirut, Lebanon for many years. During the war, Camelia was hired as the principal of an elementary school, a position she held for 6 years. By the time her own children were settled in the United States and with the civil war still raging, it was time to immigrate permanently there.

They settled in Denver, Colorado where their children and grandchildren lived. Her teaching career continued in Denver at the Denver International School teaching first grade French where she retired in 1993. In between reading books, she loved spending time with her family, traveling, camping and cooking.Camelia’s 90 years were not without hardship, but she lived fully, and with love. She traveled and met fascinating people. She survived military coups and wars. Camille and she created their own wonderful family, lived in many different places, through it all she maintained the same outlook on life. She was a positive and sensible person, capable of dealing with the inevitable ups and downs of life. Camelia, or Meme, as her family knew her was forever an educator, a joker, an avid reader, and loved nothing more than spending time with her family. She will be held dearly in the hearts of her family, friends, students, and all those who were blessed to know and care for her. A Memorial Service for family and friends will be held in Camelia’s honor at 11:00am on Saturday September 30, 2023, at St. Mark Catholic Church, 9905 Foothills Canyon Blvd, Highlands Ranch, CO 80129.

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Memorial Service
September 30, 2023

11:00 AM
St. Mark's Catholic Church
9905 Foothills Canyon Blvd.
Highlands Ranch, CO 80129
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