Moffat County Commissioner Saed Tayyara died Nov. 29, 2008, at his home in Craig. He was 67.
Tayyara was born in Tartous, Syria, in 1941. He was one of nine children of Mohammed and Badrel Tayyara.
As a young man, Tayyara found he could not agree with the politics of Syria, which included telling him which candidate to vote for. He took a stand against those politics and was punished harshly.
He knew that America offered freedom that wasn't possible in Syria, so he immigrated to the United States in 1963. He enrolled in college in Washington, D.C., to study political science, and then he found his way to Colorado, where he was influenced by Lucille Bogue, an educational mentor who was determined to see a college in Northwest Colorado. He became one of the first graduates of Yampa Valley College, later known as Colorado Mountain College. After his graduation, he taught a class to pay back what had been given to him.
One of the proudest days of his life came when he became an American citizen June 22, 1972, in Denver.
Tayyara owned several businesses in the Yampa Valley during his career, including the first Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise, which opened in 1975. He also worked as a truck driver at the Colowyo Mine.
He married Joy Dellis on Dec. 8, 1967. The couple divorced in 1989.
Tayyara's greatest love was American politics, and he took a very active role in them, serving on the Craig City Council, including two terms as mayor and numerous other service boards. At the time of his death, he had just been re-elected to his second term as county commissioner.
He was an active member of the Craig Lions Club, and he enjoyed soccer, as well as spending time with his granddaughter, Bella.
On Nov. 28, he received the Americanism Award from the Daughters of the American Revolution. The award recognized his patriotism, service, trustworthiness and leadership.
Tayyara was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife, Karen; daughter, Lisa Tayyara Coffman, and her husband, Mark, of Aurora; daughter, Corrine Barzyk, and her husband, Tom, of Milford, Mich.; son, Fred Tayyara, of Scottsdale, Ariz.; granddaughter, Bella Coffman; brothers, Mohammed, Mahamoude, Abdul and Fuez; and sisters, Nada, Ossama, Sannette and Hooda, all of Syria; and more than 100 nieces and nephews in the Middle East.
Services were held at Calvary Baptist Church in Craig on Dec. 6. Steven Prodromides officiated. Some of Tayyara's remains were returned to Syria, and the rest remain in his adopted country.
The family may be reached at 445 Apple St., Craig, CO, 81625. Donations may be made in Saed's memory to Northwest Colorado Hospice or to the Loudy-Simpson soccer field fund in care of Grant Mortuary.