Hurricane Katrina

Shamsi Hyre, 75, Ocean Springs

Shamsi Hyre, 75, is remembered as a sharp businesswoman and linguist who was well educated.

"Shamsi was from an old royal family in Persia," said Herbert Hyre, her brother-in-law. "She was really smart, educated in New York and West Virginia Wesleyan. Shamsi could speak five languages. She went into real estate and was very successful."

She met her husband when they were students at West Virginia Wesleyan.

"Shamsi was really into real estate at one time and quite successful," said her sister-in-law, Esther Hyre of Melford, Ohio. "She really loved to travel, and they traveled a lot. But they hadn't left their home or traveled lately, because she was ill."

"Mrs. Hyre was sharp in business and had connections with the military," said Johnny Harris of Biloxi, who managed one of their complexes. "She would buy houses and turn them into apartments."

Harris said she was educated in medicine and was an instructor, like her husband, at Keesler Air Force Base. She came to the U.S. when she was 15 years old from Persia, he said.

"She was making her way into real estate when Hurricane Camille hit in 1969 and destroyed an apartment she had just renovated," Harris said.