Texas Owner and Trainer Dr. Kamal Sheena Passes Away

Texas Thoroughbred Association member Dr. Kamal Sheena passed away peacefully on January 10 surrounded by his family.

Kamal was born in Baghdad, Iraq, on May 11, 1927. He found his way to America at the age of 20 and put himself through college at the University of Michigan and medical school at Indiana University.

Kamal joined the Air Force in 1957 and was stationed at Ellington Air Force base for two years as Chief of Surgery. Soon after, he started his medical practice in the renowned Texas Medical Center. For almost four decades, Kamal was a well respected and talented surgeon. His skills resulted in multiple clinical awards and recognitions.

After his retirement, he turned to his long time hobby of Thoroughbred racing and received his trainer’s license. His horses raced at tracks throughout Texas and included multiple Texas-bred stakes winner Won C C.

Synagogue life at Brith Shalom was important to Kamal. He was a pillar in the community, supporting not only the congregation, but the entire Houston community. Kamal has been a Patron for the Jewish Theological Seminary Torah Fund for over 31 years and has received several awards for his philanthropic efforts.

Kamal, known as Papa Kim to his grandchildren, treasured the moments he spent with his family. Two years ago, he gathered all of them, comprised of twenty-four members, for a trip to Israel, meeting and reuniting with family and friends. This was an amazing experience for all, from the eldest (age 83) to the youngest (age 5).

Kamal was preceded in death by his loving wife, Marcia Sheena; parents Aliza & Abraham Sheena, brother, Victor Sheena and sister, Nadra Allon. Kamal is survived by his brother, Hertzl Sheena as well as four children and eleven grandchildren: Ellen and Douglas Sheena and children Alexander and Benjamin; Diane and Douglas Bender and children Adam, his wife, Samantha, Andrew, and Michael; Tami and Gregg Sheena and children Cara and Grayson; and Denise and Milton Mosk III and children Jason, Joshua, Hannah, and Milton IV. He is also survived by his companion of many years, Lorraine Stackenwalt, and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family wishes to express gratitude to all of the nursing and medical staff at Methodist Hospital including his nephew and doctor, Ronnie Sheena, who spent numerous hours with Kamal both in the hospital and at his home. In addition, the family thanks his caregivers Jose Ramirez, Moises Ramirez, Rick Ramirez, Adrian Jimenez, William Marcano, and Calvin Green, his speech therapist, Sofia Tilton, and his physical therapists, Dawn, Kavitha, Chara, and Mandy.

The funeral was held on Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 2:00 pm at Congregation Brith Shalom, 4610 Bellaire Blvd. followed by burial at Beth Yeshurun Cemetary (Post Oak).

In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to Congregation Brith Shalom, Jewish Family Service, Jewish Theological Seminary, or a charity of your choice.

Obituary from Houston Chronicle