Standing up for justice and opposing oppressive governments is what many dream of doing. Selman Ferati, the 68-year old, father of six, spent most of his life doing just that. He was among the first to show his opposition to the Milosevic regime (Yugoslavia), a regime that believed that non-Serbians living in Yugoslavia were second-class citizens. Selman quit his job at a state-sponsored zinc mine, even if that meant losing everything.
But it didn't. And as Selman stood by his beliefs even as Milosevic carried out genocidal acts against Albanians and Bosnians living in Yugoslavia. His family became his priority, and he led them out of the Kosovo to Macedonia – and eventually (most of the family) to Erie, Pennsylvania in 1999. Despite these extraordinary circumstances, Selman never showed fear – he led, and in leading, he leaves behind a legacy of integrity and action! He provided and encouraged his children to take advantage of their new found freedoms, to "dream more, learn more, do more and become more."
Selman passed away suddenly Monday morning.
He is survived by his loving wife Zehra – they married 45 years ago. He is sadly missed by their six children Niman (Fatime) of Slovenia, Petrit (Makfire) of Germany, Visar (Vala) of Charlotte, N.C., Selvie Idrizi (Haki) of Erie, Ferki (Katya) of Erie, and Hana Haas (Michael) of San Diego, Calif.
He is also the favorite grandpa "gjysh" of Vehbi, Rrezarta, Erduan, Dorentina, Lorik, Afrona, Arianit, Admir, Vesa, Austin, and Adrian.
Selman was loved by many – mostly because of his amazing sense of kindness but also because of his sense of humor and his ability to always put a smile on the face of anyone around him. He claimed to have had the best fresh vegetable garden in Erie, and he spent most of his free time taking care of it. He was also an avid NBA fan, watching at least one game per night.
It was Selman's wish to be buried close to his father (Niman), mother (Lahije), and brother (Muharrem). Therefore, all services have been moved to his birth village Bare, Mitrovica, Kosovo, after the transport of his body. The Dusckas-Martin Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., 4216 Sterrettania Rd., handled all arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating in his honor to the International Institute of Erie and/or the Multicultural Community Resource Center.
Sign the Guestbook at www.GoErie.com/obits
Published by Erie Times-News on Jun. 16, 2019.