Michael M. Ameen, Jr.
Mike Ameen passed away in his home Monday, June 25, 2018. He was born in Quincy, Massachusetts on March 6, 1924 to Mohamed and Miriam Ameen. Mike grew up in a big family with three brothers and five sisters. His parents had immigrated to the United States from a small village in what is now Lebanon. In a Catholic-Irish-Italian neighborhood, they were the one Muslim family. He liked to tell the story that his parents were planning an arranged marriage for him, so when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, he "decided to get the heck out of there quick". He had his mother sign for him and joined the Marine Corp at 17. Mike suffered a severe lung wound on Bougainville on November 22, 1943. Sent back to the States to recuperate, he became the coach of a successful Marine boxing team. He served with the Marines in Korea and was discharged for medical reasons in 1951. He then joined the FBI as a Special Agent and received a much-prized Letter of Accommodation from J. Edgar Hoover for his contribution on an important case.
His work in the FBI led to a job in Saudi Arabia with the Aramco oil company in March 1953. As Government Relations representative for Aramco he met King 'Abd al-'Aziz, knew King Sa'ud and King Faysal and was friends with St. John B. Philby whom he hosted many times at his home in Riyadh. In 1960 he worked for a short time in Aramco's Washington office where he met his wife, Pat. Mike served for 13 years in Riyadh as Aramco's chief representative in the capital. During his time in Riyadh, he and his wife Pat graciously hosted visitors and dignitaries from around the world. From 1972 to 1975 Mike was Vice President of Government Relations and director of Aramco's Washington office. On January 1, 1975 Mike was transferred to Mobil and made President Mobil Middle East Development Corporation, which was headquartered in Beirut, Lebanon. The political unrest in Beirut led to the relocation of the headquarters to London in 1976. From London, he covered the entire Middle East for Mobil.
(While transporting all of his home and office furniture and goods to the Beirut airport, he was stopped at a terrorist-manned roadblock. They demanded payment to let him through. He reluctantly agreed, and then asked the armed men for a receipt. He didn't get one. )
Mike Ameen retired in April 1988 and moved to Kingwood, Texas. He served as a consultant on Middle Eastern and OPEC affairs for numerous boards including the Harken Energy board where he replaced former President George Bush. Mike continued to do consulting work into his 90s from his home office in Kingwood. He didn't stop until Hurricane Harvey dumped five feet of water in his house and forced him out. In April of this year, he was finally able to move back into his cherished home. He loved Kingwood and the wonderful friends and neighbors he had there. "Kingwood has everything you need" he used to say. Everyone who met him was enthralled by Mike and his fascinating stories of his life in the Marines, the FBI, and the Middle East.
Mike is survived by his sisters Betty deHaas and Lily Lowry, his children Patrice Demers, Joey Franks, Jack Clay and Jane Michaels, grandchildren Christina Clay, Claudia Stubin and Lauren Madeira, and numerous nieces, nephews, and great-grandchildren. Mike did not want a funeral or services. He donated his body to Baylor Medical College. "It was the only way I could get into medical school" he would joke.
Mike Ameen was kind, empathetic, and loving, an original who accomplished much more in his life than most people can hope to. He will be sorely missed.