Eli Tour, loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and friend, pioneering pharmacist and devoted community servant, passed away peacefully on February 22, 2023, surrounded by his loving family. He was 94 years old. Eli was predeceased by his beloved wife, Hedy, of sixty-three years, in 2019.
Born in Tehran, Iran on January 19, 1929, Eli immigrated to the United States in 1946 as a teenager, spending a week sitting on a wooden crate in a cargo plane flying to various countries to deliver penicillin to U.S. soldiers. Upon arriving in New York City, he had only $5 in his pocket and did not speak English. Despite these challenges, Eli worked hard to learn the language and pursue an education, graduating from Idaho State University with a degree in pharmacy.
Eli went on to build a successful career as a pharmacist, owning and operating several innovative businesses that went beyond the traditional scope of small local drug stores. After many years of working long hours, he retired to Hilton Head Island with his wife Hedy, where he dedicated his time to serving others.
Although he did not have problem with alcohol, Eli's professional and personal exposure to people with addiction problems led him to become a tireless advocate for YANA of Hilton Head, an organization dedicated to supporting those struggling with issues related to sobriety. He not only provided financial support, but also spent countless hours volunteering and even helped buy the building where YANA operates. Upon moving to the Cypress retirement community 17 years ago, Eli made the community the center of his life. He founded the Cypress Scholarship Program for children of Cypress staff, providing substantial personal resources, and leading fundraising among other Cypress residents. This program has helped many young people to obtain college degrees, something that has brought great joy to Eli.
In addition to his community work, Eli was a devoted family man, survived by his three children, Jennifer, Jeff, and Jim, Jennifer's spouse Christian and Jim's spouse Shireen, his grandchildren Ambreen, Julie, Josiah, Kenny, Benaiah, Shelby, and Sabrina, Ambreen's spouse Phillip and Julie's spouse Francisco, and great-grandchildren Shiraz, Nava, and Leo. Eli also leaves behind many other loving extended family members, who learned much from him about living a life of service to others.
Eli will be remembered for his deep kindness, infectious humor, and his ability to form a connection with anyone he met. His resilience, determination, and unwavering commitment to service made a profound impact on his community and all who knew him. He will be deeply missed. His legacy will live on through the many lives he touched. We remember how much better the world, especially our world, is because of him.