Saeed Farhat

Saeed M. “Sid” Farhat M.D.

April 28, 1928 September 21, 2019

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Obituary for Saeed M. “Sid” Farhat M.D.

Saeed M. “Sid” Farhat MD passed away September 21, 2019 at 91 years, at University of Michigan Hospital. A legend in Neurosurgery, Dr. Sid Farhat has been an important part of the U-M Medical School for more than four decades as a dedicated teacher and surgeon. Among his career achievements, Dr. Farhat established the first Neurosurgery service at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, that later became Michigan Brain and Spine Institute. He served as the Chief of the neurosurgery department for 34 years. He accepted a full- time position at Michigan Medicine in 1998 following his retirement from SJMH. He was the 2000 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the U-M Medical Center Alumni Society.

At a young age, Dr. Farhat identified two life passions, to become a doctor and a master photographer. His passion for nature was revealed in his photography. Sid and Dorothy traveled to national parks to enjoy and capture the parks’ beauty first on film and then digitally. When asked how photography has impacted his career as a surgeon, he expressed that “even though surgical procedures are very exciting, one needs additional outlets besides spending time in the operating room”. Dr. Farhat was a true renaissance man. His interests included gardening, classical music, watching sports, such as University of Michigan football and basketball. He was a man of style, he loved fine clothing and foreign languages. He spoke and studied, German, French, Italian, Persian and English. He was known to love the study of words, keeping a dictionary close by to look up and jot down unusual and elegant words. He lived for family and celebrated the achievements of his children and grandchildren. In a long list of admirable qualities, his family, friends, colleagues and many patients will remember him for his humility, honesty, kindness, compassion and devotion to those he cared for and loved.

On September 22, 1956 he married the love of his life Dorothy Lea Optiz, who survives. He is also survived by daughters, Sara Renee Farhat Atwell (husband William Atwell), Suzanne Leigh Farhat (husband Dave Rehmus) Christine Domonique Farhat Mills (husband Terry Mills). Grandchildren, Amanda Atwell, Nick Rehmus, Meghan Mills, Alea Atwell and brother Hormoz Farhat (wife Maria Baghramian) and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by sister Fari Kamangar and brother Fred Farhat.

A Memorial celebration will be held November 1, 2019 at Barton Hills Country Club from 2-4 PM; 730 Country Club Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48105.

Dr. Farhat dedicated his life to the field of neurosurgery and to Michigan Medicine. In recognition of his devotion to excellence the University has created an endowed lecture fund. The Saeed M. Farhat, MD Endowed Lecture Fund-Department of Neurosurgery.

In lieu of flowers, donations will support the Saeed M. Farhat, M.D. Endowed Lecture Fund. Checks may be made payable to “University of Michigan” and sent to Michigan Medicine Office of Development, 1000 Oakbrook Dr., Suite 100, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. You may also call 734-764-6777 or visit the website to make your gift.

Or to the National Park Conservation Association – donate at

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