Mostafa Hamdy

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Dr. Mostafa Kamal Hamdy, known to his friends as M.K., died peacefully in his sleep at home on January 28, 2013, after a very brief illness. He is survived by his son, David Hamdy; daughter, Kathy Hamdy-Swink; son-in-law, Mike Swink Jr.; brother, Mahmoud Hamdy; sister, Laila Rouchdy; brother-in law, Wafa Rouchdy; and several nephews.
Born on May 27, 1921, in Cairo, Egypt, to the late Hamed Hamdy and Nefisa Sultan Hamdy, Mostafa immigrated to the United States in 1950 to further his education. He obtained his Ph.D. in biochemistry at Ohio State, where he met his beloved late wife, Kathryn Anne Hamdy, and married her on May 29, 1954.
In 1958, Mostafa began his research and teaching career at the University of Georgia's Food Science Department, in Athens. His highly-honored and award-winning research and patents are in the fields of bio-energy, rapid fermentation, botulism, radio-isotopes, and converting PCBs to biodegradable substances, as well as many other innovative ways of training bacteria to do good work for mankind. He was known in 1982 as the professor who invented Instant Beer, and his fermentation classes in the food science department were very popular.
Mostafa traveled the globe, speaking, presenting research papers, and accepting numerous international awards. He was a tough professor, yet those who excelled under his guidance, as lab assistants or graduate students, went on to highly-esteemed careers in medicine and science.
Dr. Hamdy served for 21 years as the senior science advisor for the Food & Drug Administration, in Atlanta and in Washington, D.C. As a professor emeritus of UGA, he never fully retired. He loved his work, and when he passed away, he was excitedly awaiting replies on bio-energy research grant proposals and developing new ones.
After arriving in Athens, Mostafa never missed cheering on the Bulldogs at home football games, and rarely ever missed an opportunity to very loudly let refs know exactly how he felt about 'blown' calls. His love for cheering on the Dawgs between the Hedges was what motivated him in successfully fighting colon cancer at age 73, and stomach cancer at age 84. He never looked his age, and to the amazement of many, easily climbed up and down the Stegeman Coliseum stairs at age 91 ½ to cheer on UGA basketball or gymnastics teams. He attributed his good health and fitness to his 'younger days' playing a very competitive game of handball at Stegeman Coliseum every day at lunch for 50 years. Elbows and knees padded, he'd eagerly take on young, athletic players, only to have them walk away in defeat.
As a young adult, Mostafa enjoyed rowing on the Nile River and climbing the Great Pyramid. When Life Magazine published an aerial photograph, his initials were clearly visible on the very top. He enjoyed playing chess, cooking shish kabobs, and collecting stamps, and he was fluent in four languages. Starting in 1976, weekend life would find him repairing his farm fences and checking on his small herd of Black Angus cows, including his favorite, 002.
If you believed all his stories, like the proven one about climbing the pyramid, Mostafa would tell you about sharing a hospital room with the late Anwar Sadat, and giving Omar Sharif a very black eye.
The family will receive visitors from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, January 31, at Lord & Stephens West.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, February 1, at St. James United Methodist Church, in Athens, with a burial service at Oconee Hill Cemetery immediately following.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations for the Cemetery Fund at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, 2227 Diamond Hill-Neese Rd., Hull, GA 30646.
Lord & Stephens Funeral Home West, Bogart, is in charge of the arrangements.
Published in Athens Banner-Herald from Jan. 29 to Jan. 30, 2013
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