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Dr. Michael Amein

January 15, 1926 - February 15, 2021

Obituary For Dr. Michael Amein

Dr. Michael Amein of Raleigh, NC, passed away peacefully in his home on February 15, 2021. A resident of Raleigh for sixty-one years, he was born on January 15,1926 in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Michael was the son of Payinda and Nabi, a high school principal. As a young man, Michael was part of a small group of students who were awarded academic scholarships by the Afghan royal government. He left Afghanistan in 1948 to study in the United States and graduated from Stanford University with a BS in civil engineering. He then attended Cornell University and completed his PhD in civil engineering in 1956.

While at Cornell, he met fellow graduate student, Marjatta Koskenkylä, from Helsinki, Finland. Marjatta mentioned she collected stamps and would like to have a stamp from Afghanistan. They made a date for coffee which eventually led to marriage in 1955.

After graduating, Michael worked for engineering consulting firms in Boston and New York City. His young bride, however, felt he was better suited for an academic career. It was fortuitous when he was invited to lunch by several NC State University professors while attending an engineering conference. Michael was offered a faculty position in the NCSU Department of Civil Engineering shortly afterwards. He was a professor at the university for 28 years and retired in 1988 at age 62. He proudly became a US citizen in 1963.

At NCSU he was a pioneer in computer modeling of water flow and dam breaks, and his research and software, Dynlet, were used by the Army Corp of Engineers, the United Nations and others. The government of Argentina built a large dam using his work and later invited him to visit the completed project. He was given a helicopter tour, which offered broad, sweeping views of the dam. It was an exciting time for Michael, made doubly so when the helicopter ran out of fuel and had to make an emergency landing.

Michael enjoyed chess, ballroom dancing, and playing duplicate bridge, earning enough bridge points to become a Life Master. On summer weekends, he liked to take his family to Kerr Lake to sail their Sunfish boat and cook kabobs on a Hibachi grill. He and Marjatta also thoroughly enjoyed the Gourmet Club, a group of six couples who met once a month to prepare and share a gourmet meal accompanied by plenty of fine wine.

Marjatta passed away in 2001. Michael later met Dee Welker, who became a close companion during the last chapter of his long life. They became bridge partners, traveled around the world together and continued to enjoy the Gourmet Club.

On the day before his death, his family organised a video call for him with his children and grandchildren. When told that all of these people were on this planet because of him, he summoned the strength to say, “I am so honored and proud.” Mikko, as his grandchildren called him, will be forever cherished in our hearts.

Michael is survived by his three children, Camilla Amein Kenney of Oxford, NC, John Amein and his wife Happy of Orlando, FL, and Margaret Amein Grosse and her husband Olaf of Frankfurt, Germany, as well as six grandchildren, Stephen Amein Kenney of Raleigh, Lesley Johnston Kenney of Raleigh, Catherine Marietta Amein of Orlando, Caroline Grace Amein of Orlando, Alexandra Amein Grosse of Germany and Karolina Amein Grosse of Germany.

The family is holding an online Celebration of Life on March 21, 2021. To participate or view the Celebration, please email [email protected]

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