All Souls Kansas City

Manny Pedram | March 26, 1926 – December 8, 2020

You are invited to join us as we celebrate the remarkable life of Manny Pedram, All Souls Member and Founder of Global and Multicultural Education.

Saturday, March 20, 2:00-5:00pmCelebration of Life Visitation

Location: Mt. Moriah Newcomer & Freeman Funeral Home 10507 Holmes Road, Kansas City, MO 64131

This event is come and go as your time permits. Due to Covid protocol, there are restrictions on number of people in the Chapel at the same time. Masks are required…and the Pedram family appreciates your consideration

March 20 is the Persian New Year, Nourouz, which Manny’s Iranian culture celebrates. Enjoy viewing the video of his life…. arriving in America from Tehran in 1955. Peruse the unique artifacts gathered from his world travels. Visit with Manny’s family and friends from the Kansas City region and beyond.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, March 20,2021!

Questions/concerns may be sent to:

…..Gratefully, Sara Pedram

Manouchehr “Manny” Pedram, 94, passed away Dec. 8, 2020, at an extended care facility where he had lived briefly. He and his wife, Sara, moved to Oak Hall in 2017 to be among friends from nearby All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, where he was a 50-year member.

Manny was a true citizen of the world. Born in Iran, he traveled throughout the Middle East, Europe, China, Russia and the Ukraine. Believing that intercultural education could help foster a more peaceful, cooperative and just society, he founded the nonprofit Global and Multicultural Education Center (GAME) in 1982. He harnessed his lifelong passion as an educator to lead the program for many years. At age 90, he authored the book, “Global Discontent: The Mosaic of Cultural Diversity.” 

The Western world still knew Iran as Persia when Manny was born March 26, 1926. He spent his childhood and young adult years in Tehran, graduating from the University of Tehran with a law degree. He moved to the U.S. in 1955 to study philosophy at Washburn University in Topeka, KS, and then received a Doctorate of Philosophy of Education with a minor in political science at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.

Manny pursued a teaching career that spanned more than 35 years in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Colorado. Early on, he was among five educators who developed the Cooperative Urban Teacher Education program (CUTE), an award-winning model focused on multicultural education training for prospective inner city teachers. 

He was the proud recipient of the Kansas City Mayor’s World Citizen Award, earned for his involvement in international and intercultural activities, including serving as president and historian of the United Nations Association of Greater Kansas City. He and Sara were also joint recipients of the Social Justice Award from their church for their long-time efforts on the United Nations Committee.

Manny met Sara later in life at a summer dance in 1994. From Oklahoma City, she was in town visiting a cousin and found Manny to be “a fabulous dancer.” A long-distance relationship followed. After a few years, Sara moved to Kansas City, where they later married. Their favorite UU hymn thereafter was “Let It Be A Dance We Do.” The Pedrams recently had marked their 20th wedding anniversary. 

A man of many interests, Manny enjoyed painting, gardening, cooking, listening to Persian and symphonic music and their church community at All Souls. 

He was pre-deceased by his sister, Pari, and a brother, Iradj. Survivors include his wife; a brother, Fereydoon Pedram, West Covina, CA; a daughter, Jaleh Ellis, Lebanon, OR; a son, Cyrus Pedram, Lawrence, KS; a step-son, Miles Miller, Oklahoma City; five grandchildren, two step-grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

A private graveside service was held Dec. 11 at Mount Moriah Cemetery.

A memorial celebration of life is tentatively planned for late March. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to G.A.M.E., 31 W. 31st St., Kansas City, MO, 64108; or to All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church of Kansas City, 4501 Walnut St. Missouri 64111, note on memo line, Manny Pedram, or through the following web page: select “Online Giving” then in the drop down menu select, “Give to Memorial or Celebration Recognition”, in the comments put Manny Pedram.

Please share your memories here:

Shared Memories

Following are sentiments on cards given to Manny for various special occasions, which were shared at the graveside service:

Imagine a candle for every time you’ve made a difference in someone else’s life;
The light from all those candles would make the world so much warmer,
brighter, and happier … just like you!

You have that wonderful quality that people call “character”. You know what you believe
and what you stand for, and that’s the way you live.
Your example of integrity and commitment is the best legacy a family could ever have—
and that’s why you are loved and admired so much.

When you look back on your life, you must feel a lot of pride.
You’ve lived a rich life, filled with people who care about you.
You are a great example of how to live fully, giving all you can—
your kindness, your hugs, your happiness—
and making others feel good just to be around you.
So many hearts are full of love for you… on this day and always.

That man is a success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much…
Who looked for the best in others and gave the best he had.
  …..Robert Louis Stevenson
shared by Rev. Kendyl Gibbons

Manny was a genuine treasure to all of us at All Souls.  I have been downstairs with our little kids for 30 years.  I can’t count the times Manny came down to speak with our 3-5 year olds about growing up in Iran, how important it is to welcome other young ones who at first seem very different from them.  They were always enthralled to learn how different life could be from their own.  We will sincerely miss this wonderful man. – Sara Grier

For over 40 years it was delightful to be greeted with Manny’s wonderful smile. His good works are his legacy. – Jim Grebe

Manny was not only a warm human being but also a citizen of the world and a role model for humanity. In more than 40 years of our acquaintance, I was in awe of his continual ability to provide a template for right living. – Jim Mitchell

I remember Manny as a quiet, unassuming man with a gentle nature.  He was easily approachable always having time for a smile, a nod and kind words.  His dance will linger for many years and indeed has made lasting changes in our world.  My sympathy to Sara and his children and grandchildren. – Anita Malott

My husband Jim Fletcher and I enjoyed a picnic together with Sara and Manny in May. Masked and social distanced, we talked about life and people and things we loved. It was a beautiful memory that we will cherish forever. – Carol Cowles

I loved encountering Manny at All Souls or at Oak Hall. He always smiled and I could see even it in his eyes above the mask, as he greeted me in his genuinely friendly way. He was never too busy or distracted to engage. I miss him and the feeling of loss to the world as well as to us is profound.Evelyn Maddox

Manny and Sarah were eager to share their Persian culture with us as part of the Persian diaspora in Kansas City. Delightful dinners!Julie Milner

I have known Manny ever since he first came to All Souls those many years ago. Through those years we have shared the ups and downs of Kansas City school teaching and the ups and downs of All Souls. His cheery smile and positive attitude have always been, to me, a real blessing.Karin Winn

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