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Nejat Munisoglu

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Nejat Munisoglu Obituary
Munisoglu, Nejat September 28, 1930 - May 7, 2012 On May 7th, 2012, Nejat Munisoglu passed away peacefully with his wife and son at his side, at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Nejat was born in Giresun, Turkey, and after finishing his education and military service in Turkey, he went to work for an English firm, George Wimpey & Co. Ltd., on a hydroelectric project in Turkey. While there, he was chosen to be sent to the company's headquarters office in London. After 2 years in London, he returned to Turkey and worked for a US contractor to the US Airforce. It was during that time that he met his wife, Elizabeth, an American. In 1959, he emigrated to the US, and settled in Los Angeles with his family. Endowed with a keen eye and conceptual vision, Nejat soon became a very successful urban and industrial planner with Bechtel Corporation and played a lead role in designing the Master Plan which is the foundation for what is now Westlake Village, California. The success of that project catapulted him to a position of leadership within Bechtel, and in the 1960s and 1970s he traveled widely for Bechtel, overseeing major planning projects in the Netherlands, the Grand Bahamas, Iran, Turkey, and Canada. In the mid 1970s Nejat left Bechtel to become an entrepreneur and form his own business. Sadly, in 1974 his youngest son, Nejat Jr., was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 14, and succumbed to the disease in March 1976. In the wake of that tragedy, Nejat and Elizabeth together formed a non-profit organization to provide philanthropic support for research and outreach to improve survival from pediatric cancer: The Nejat International Childhood Cancer Research Society, in honor of their son. It is an official support group for the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA. Although Nejat retired from all his business activities in 1993 due to progressively debilitating medical conditions, he remained actively engaged in philanthropic efforts to support pediatric cancer research and make state-of-the-art knowledge available to countries with limited resources. Throughout his life, Nejat gave freely of his resources, time and energy to help his friends and others in many ways, without hesitation. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Elizabeth, his son Tarik Munisoglu and daughter Zeyneb Parsi, and his grandson, Duran Parsi. Interment will be at 3:00PM Wednesday, May 9, at Forest Lawn in Glendale. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to The Nejat International Childhood Cancer Research Society ("NICCRS"), P O Box 2130, Beverly Hills, CA 90213, or directly to the UCLA Foundation, designated for "The Nejat Fund for Pediatric Cancer Research."
Published in the Los Angeles Times on May 9, 2012
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