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RAIS AHMED KHAN Obituary pic


Born: Jan 04, 1934

Date of Passing: Feb 03, 2021

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January 4, 1934 - February 3, 2021

Peacefully, at home in Winnipeg, on February 3, 2021, aged 87 years.
Rais was born third of six siblings in Lucknow, India. His family eventually settled in Karachi, Pakistan when he was a teenager. Rais received a BA Honours in Economics and MA in International Relations from The University of Dhaka, an MA and PhD in Political Science from the University of Michigan, and many academic awards including a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship. In 1967 Rais accepted a professorial position in the Political Science department at the University of Winnipeg where he went on to enjoy a distinguished 43 year career. He proudly received his Canadian citizenship in 1973. While at the University of Winnipeg he chaired the Political Science department for many years, sat on both the Senate and the Board of Regents, and represented faculty negotiating committees for several collective bargaining agreements. In 2010 the university awarded him Fellowship in United College in recognition of his contributions.
Outside of his academic endeavors, Rais was an active and devoted member of the Rotary Club of Winnipeg who served as its President, and worked with their Model United Nations program for over 30 years. In retirement Rais took great enjoyment in spending time with his granddaughter Ayva.
Rais is survived by his two sons, Omar and Adam, granddaughter Ayva, daughter-in-law Heather; sisters, Sumbul and Sanober, brother Shakil, and many beloved nieces and nephews.
A private family service will be held. Due to COVID-19, a Celebration of Life will be held at a future date.
In lieu of flowers, Rais has requested that donations in his name be made to the Rotary Club of Winnipeg's Permanent Endowment Fund or the University of Winnipeg Retirees Association Bursary and Scholarship Fund.

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Feb 11, 2021

Condolences & Memories (20 entries)

  • I met Rais Khan at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1963. We became good friends after he was seriously hurt in an auto accident and remained in touch when I moved to Calgary, Canada and then to Chicago, IL He was a friendly, helpful and thoughtful person with a great sense of humor and possessed excellent leadership qualities. Rais you will be missed. - Posted by: Dr. Aqueel Athar (Friend) on: Jan 16, 2022

  • While working at the University of University all of my encounters with Dr. Rais Khan were delightful. He treated me with the utmost respect, we had many interesting and insightful conversations and as others have noted he always had that twinkle in his eye. He dignified the profession of being a professor - an ideal model of a human being. My deepest condolences to the Khan family. - Posted by: Barbara Read (retired University of Winnipeg colleague) on: Feb 22, 2021

  • Rest In Peace, Rais. You were a very important part of my life. Thanks to you I have Omar and Adam, and you brought me to Canada., my true home. Marilee - Posted by: Marilee Geller (Former spouse ) on: Feb 20, 2021

  • Thank-you, Teacher. Rest well. - Posted by: Margaret Robinson-Gudmundson (Student) on: Feb 19, 2021

  • Rais was a colleague in the University’s department of political science where we shared offices across the hall for many, many years. From the start, when I arrived in early August, 1974, to begin my teaching career, he was always very kind and thoughtful. In fact, he graciously lent us his home in River House for our first month in Winnipeg while he took his family on vacation. He was always quietly helpful if I had questions but never offered his own thoughts without listening to me. I think my overwhelming recollection is that he was always a gentleman. - Posted by: David Walker (University colleague ) on: Feb 17, 2021

  • The members of Winnipeg Condominium Corporation #18 Board of Directors wish to offer their sincere condolences on the passing of Dr Rais Khan. Rais was a member of the Board for many years and for much of that time he served as our President. He rarely missed a meeting and was always ready to contribute his wisdom and insight to the business at hand. As President, Rais was a stickler for Robert's Rules of Order and although we teased him about that, his expertise was always greatly appreciated. As a neighbour, Rais was unfailingly courteous and friendly, and always stopped for a quick chat, even in frigid temperatures. He will be missed. - Posted by: Helene Moore (President, Winnipeg Condominium Corporation #18) on: Feb 16, 2021

  • Rais was a splendid colleague with a wry sense of humour. I worked closely with Rais during the time that I served as Dean of Arts and Science. We always were able to work collegially whether we were working to improve things for Political Science or to strengthen the University through the bargaining process. I admired many things about Rais not the least of which was he choice of tailor! Good bye old friend. Michael - Posted by: Michael McIntyre (University Colleague and friend) on: Feb 16, 2021

  • My sincere condolences to the Khan family. When i heard of Rais' passing I immediately went into memories of the may meetings with Rais when i was a rotary member. especially the unique humor he provided when he spoke . Blessed to have known such a distinguished individual . Rest in peace my friend Clancy Solomon Former Rotarian - Posted by: Clancy Solomon (Former Rotarian College) on: Feb 16, 2021

  • I enjoyed many a conversation with Rais . . . always filled with laughter. Omar and Adam, my thoughts and prayers are with you. - Posted by: Charles E. Porter (University colleague and friend) on: Feb 15, 2021

  • My sincere condolences to the family of Rais Kahn. I have known Rais for over 20 years with participating in the Winnipeg MUNA. He was a friend and resource for many of us MUNA counselors. I will miss him. - Posted by: Willem Schrage (MUNA counselor) on: Feb 15, 2021

  • A few years ago, I had the opportunity to bring students to the Rotary Model United Nations Assembly that has been held for more than sixty years. Those students were so impressed with their learning experience because Rais had ensured that it was challenging, yet supportive, and that they could think, talk, and fully engage in the global challenges presented to them. In his quiet way, he set up the parameters for the sessions and was always available to students and their counsellors. That professionalism encouraged me to join the Model UN committee and over the past few years he continued to share his ideas and expertise including this fall as he shared his ideas on the resolutions we should pursue (COVID and cybersecurity). His legacy will continue to live on in the many students and counsellors who had the opportunity to learn from him. - Posted by: Donna Alexander (Winnipeg Rotary Model UN (MUNA)committee) on: Feb 15, 2021

  • Rais was a true mentor and friend to us all at the Model United Nations Assembly organizing committee. His dedication to MUNA was unwavering and he was passionate about young people and fair and proper debate. His contribution of samosas to our annual wind-up event will be forever in my memory. I am sorry for your loss Adam and Omar; your dad will live on in the Rais Khan award we hand out every year. - Posted by: Elly Hoogterp (fellow Rotarian and Model UN organizer) on: Feb 12, 2021

  • I send my condolences to the family of Rais Khan at the sad news of his passing. Rais had served as the Academic Director of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly Internship Program from 2001 to 2003. During his time as Academic Director, he made many vital improvements to the Program and was a true mentor to the Interns. I enjoyed working with him, and appreciated the wisdom and knowledge that he was so good at sharing. His contributions will live on in the memory of all those who knew him. Rest in peace you fine gentleman. - Posted by: Patricia Chaychuk (Clerk of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly) on: Feb 12, 2021

  • Dear Omar and Adam; I'm so sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. He was indeed a great academic, teacher and above all, a good friend. I was honoured to know him and enjoy his friendship. He will be forever fondly remembered . I learned a great deal from Rais and I know he made a major contribution to the lives of so many people, young and old. I remember our few fun gatherings with you, when we played cards and other games together. I felt your Dad's pleasure when he was with you both. He truly loved his family. My family joins me in offering condolences to you both and Heather and your daughter. Sandi Bloomfield. - Posted by: Sandi Bloomfield (Friend) on: Feb 11, 2021

  • I was enrolled in the Honors Program in Political Science at the University of Winnipeg from 1982 to 1986 and had the distinct privilege of taking every class offered by Professor Khan. As I progressed in my studies Rais became my mentor and friend and many were the afternoons that we would sit in his office and talk about international events or anything else that caught our intellectual curiosity. A proud and honorable man, Rais possessed a great and insightful mind and, on occasion, a fascinating wit that dryly commented on the issue at hand. My proudest moment was when he introduced me to Ambassador Lewis during his campus visit as his "Star Student". Rais was the driving force that led me to my Masters in International Relation at Queen's University and his mentoring made me the man that I am to this day. I will greatly miss him. - Posted by: Frank Winkler (student) on: Feb 11, 2021

  • Condolences to the Khan family. Omar and Adam, I'm so sorry for your loss. - Posted by: Paula Gangloff (University Colleague) on: Feb 11, 2021

  • I am deeply saddened and by the news of Dr. Khans passing. I came to know Rais thru my association with him at the University of Winnipeg. We worked together on the first collective agreement for the University as he also guided us thru the Collegiate Division’s contract . We spent countless hours together often well into the night. His understanding, concern and guidance were deeply appreciated. I particularly remember his sense of humor, his subtle chuckle and the twinkle in his eye as we worked for endless hours into the night. Our friendship lasted over the years and he will be greatly missed. - Posted by: Howard Mathieson (University colleague ) on: Feb 11, 2021

  • Professor Khan played a huge role in my formative undergraduate years at the UW policy department in the mid 90s. We had incredible discussions and debates, shared thorough discussions about each other’s personal histories and politics which had much in common, and his thoughtful and wise counsel helped shape my thoughts and career choices. He taught me much about what it means to be a global citizen and he challenged me to think deeply and critically about world events. Even when we disagreed he guided me in my passionate youth towards fair minded and balanced scholarship. He was a great professor and remained after my graduation a kind and supportive mentor. He will be missed. My condolences to the family. - Posted by: Omar Siddiqui (Former student) on: Feb 11, 2021

  • Extending our deepest sympathy on the passing of Dr. Rais Khan. Thank you for sharing this wonderful tribute of his distinguished career and his commitment to service in the community. Please know that our thoughts are with you at this sad & difficult time. Lynda Ruban staff & friends at the Health Sciences Centre Foundation. - Posted by: Lynda Ruban (staff at Health Sciences Centre Foundation) on: Feb 11, 2021

  • My condolences to Rais’ family and friends. I enjoyed my many encounters with Rais in Rotary. He was always happy and was devoted to service. He will be missed. - Posted by: Fred Wright (Rotarian) on: Feb 11, 2021

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