Michael Fahmie, 77, departed this world on Friday, March 1st, at his home in Hollywood, Florida, surrounded by his children and his wife of fifty-three years. He was born in his family's home in Paterson, New Jersey, on December 16,1935. In his early years, Michael volunteered for the draft and served in the United States Army from 1955-1957. He then attended Don Bosco Technical Institute in Towaco, New Jersey, and was a member of its' first graduating class, receiving a Diploma for printmaking. In 1959, Michael left New Jersey and moved to Miami, Florida to fulfill his dream of being a successful small business owner. "I came down here with dreams and a few dollars", he said in a 1993 Miami Herald Lifestyle article announcing his retirement. But poignantly stated, "There's no doubt in my mind we'd make it". He worked part-time in a print shop as he and his wife began to build a bird business that would become a landmark store, located on 67th Avenue and Tamiami Trail. "Birdland of Miami" was the South's leading bird dealer for over three decades, and Michael was the authority on exotic birds and traveled the world to seek the beautiful birds that were found at Birdland. Michael is survived by the love of his life and true partner, Gloria, to whom he was with for fifty-five years, and married to for fifty-three. As well, survived by his children Michael Jr., George, Vincent, Maria and Diana; grandchildren Ashley, Camilo and Kennedy Faith. Michael reached out to everyone with a live and let live attitude which blessed him with even more children, an extended family of nieces, nephews and grandchildren that called him "Dad" and "PopPop". Michael is also survived by his four sisters Mary, Florence, Gladys and Theresa; pre-deceased by his mother, Gladys and father, George. There will be a flower dedication at Unity on the Bay (411 NE 21 Street, Miami 33137), Sunday March 17 at 11:00am. To follow, that evening, will be a Memorial Celebration at the Fahmie family home at Crystal Tower in Hollywood at 322 Buchanan Street, main lobby, starting at 4:00pm. Michael will rest for eternity in The Neptune Memorial Reef, off the coast of Miami, Florida. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations, in Michael's name, be made to "Smile Train". Please contact (754) 422.1880 with any inquiries.
Published in Sun-Sentinel on Mar. 10, 2013