A much loved mother, grandmother, aunt and friend, Taherah Benscoter, 74, died Sunday, February 21, 2016 at her home surrounded by her family.

Tahereh was born March 3, 1941, in Ahwaz, Iran, to Mohamad Rashied Gharaat and Fatemeh Narjarpour Gharaat. She graduated high school in Ahwaz.

In 1963, in Hamburg, Germany, she enrolled in the Carl Muller Institute of Cosmetology, where she found her passion in life. She came to the United States two years later in 1965 and became a US Citizen in 1972, of which she was very proud. She spoke often and lovingly of how blessed she was to live in the country and be a US citizen.

In 1978, she attended the Sedalia School of Hairdressing under the direction of Fran Nash. Tahereh continued her education and became an instructor at the school in 1982. She purchased the school in 1990 at which time it became the American College of Hair Design.

She opened multiple hair salons with the first in Ahwaz, “Hair Hang Out” and “Ta Hair” in Sedalia while continuing to work at the school as an instructor. She became a member of the National Cosmetology Association (NCA) in 1980. In 1995, she joined Hair America, the highest education level for cosmetology in the United States. Tahereh taught on the platform for Hair America Team throughout the United States and internationally. In 1989, under Tahereh’s instruction, “American College of Hair Design” won eight of nine events at the Heart of America Competition in Kansas City; a success still unequaled by any other competitors. In 2004, ten of her students placed and won the statewide competition (MACS) in Jefferson City. Two years later her students won 11 awards in state competition.

Tahereh loved her profession passionately. She said after 40 years she still loved getting up and going to work. She often worked 18 hour days but said it was worth every minute of it. She believed women could achieve anything and surmounting many odds, she did
Tahereh was a role model for many people. There was nothing she couldn’t achieve when she put her mind to it.

She loved to travel and took many trips abroad, traveling to Africa, Turkey, London, Holland, Italy, Germany, Thailand and Dubai among other locations. Tahereh was always looking for a new experience and took her first hot air balloon ride when she was 72.

Entertaining her family and friends was important to Tahereh. Often she would host dinner parties serving her famous rice dishes to her guests.

At the spry age of 71 she purchased a large zero turn lawnmower and began a love affair with mowing her own yard. She would mow over anything that would fit under the mower; nothing would stand in her way. The mower was in the repair shop often.

Tahereh was proud of, and loved her family. She was devoted to all of her children, and especially her three grandchildren, whom she bragged about often.

She leaves behind her son, John, and her daughter, Ahrazue, both of Sedalia; her three grandchildren, Noah (Star) Benscoter, stationed at Fort Campbell, KY, Asa Wilt and Blaise Wilt, both of Sedalia; her brothers Ali (Pari) Gharaat, of Sacramento, CA, Reza (Shohreh) Gharaat, of Atlanta, GA, and her wonderful nieces and nephews, especially, her niece, Marjan, who devoted her life to caring for her aunt, serving as a constant mentor and spiritual inspiration for Tahereh and caring for her lovingly until her passing.

She had many, many friends. Linda Schwermer, Connie McLaughlin and Rozanne Coble were her close running buddies and she truly loved their company.

Tahereh also leaves behind her constant companion and beloved Yorkie, Lola.

She was predeceased by her parents, three brothers and two sisters.

Tahereh had a powerful personality and a big heart. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her, especially her family and many friends.

Funeral service will be 1 pm, Thursday, February 25, 2016, at First Baptist Church. Pallbearers will be Noah Benscoter, Asa Wilt, Nathan Klepper, Clyde Schwermer, Ronnie Boeschen and Shane Hamilton. Honorary pallbearers will be Blaise Wilt, Marjan Gharaat, Mozhgan Gharaat, Keyvan Sabet, Rashid Gharaat, Arash Gharaat, Roshanak Craven and Amir Gharaat. Burial will follow in Mount Herman Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at First Baptist Church.

Memorial contributions are suggested to Sacred Heart School or CASA, in care of McLaughlin Funeral Chapel.

Getty Images/Hemera