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Born: Apr 30, 1935

Date of Passing: Jul 18, 2021

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April 30, 1935 - July 18, 2021

Monte Raber passed away suddenly at age 86, July 18, 2021. He lived a full life and had a tremendous positive impact on many people.
Monte was a devoted loving husband, father, Zaida and Great-Zaida, brother, son, uncle, and cousin. He was born to immigrant parents, Marcia and Aron (Harry) and lived his whole life in Winnipeg. Monte's parents worked tirelessly to make a better life, , and instilled in him the importance of family which he taught his children and grandchildren.
He was a big brother to sisters, Leah and Carol (Arnold), and he remained very close with them and their families, as he was with his sister-in-law Ruth (Joe) and her family.
Monte attended St. John's High School where he earned the reputation of being a bit of a nerd who loved books, science, mathematics and photography. He excelled in school and earned his Bachelor of Science in Engineering (1957) and Masters of Engineering (1966) degrees from the University of Manitoba, specializing in Electrical Engineering.
Being an Engineer defined Monte. It was not just his vocation, but his passion, his way of life, and it greatly influenced his way of thinking and problem solving. He was a perfectionist and it showed in everything he did.
Monte and Myrna (Golden) met as teenagers and were married on June 9, 1957 and just celebrated their 64th Wedding Anniversary. Once Monte joined the Golden family, he treated his in-laws, Fanny and Murray Golden, as he did his parents, with the utmost respect.
Mom and dad raised three strong independent children, Avis (Ari z"l), Eileen and Earl, with deep roots in Jewish values, and taught them the importance of family.
Dad leaves a large legacy with mom of 10 grandchildren: Mark (Samantha), Daniel (Diana), Jonathan and Benjamin Lipson, Joshua, Rachel and Arielle Block, Matthew, Megan and Mika Raber, and three great-grandchildren, Ethan, Jacob and Isaac Lipson. He had special, unique relationships with every grandchild, who sought out his sage advice.
Monte was a ground-breaking world renown pioneer and leader in the field of Biomedical Engineering and patient safety. He was hired as the first Biomedical Engineer at Winnipeg's General Hospital, now the Health Science Centre, where he built and led one of the first such dedicated departments in North America, for over 20 years. He did cutting-edge original research, had over 40 publications and four patents, and helped design Intensive Care Units.
Monte helped pioneer and develop the art and science of electronic monitoring of patients, especially Respiratory and Cardiac patients, and also modular ICU monitoring which changed the way medicine was delivered. One main area of his expertise was pacemakers, which were novel at that time. Monte worked in the operating room setting up the pacemakers to ensure they paced the heart correctly, and outside of the operating room setting up new national and international multi-discipline committees to create standards for their production, use, and most importantly, safety.
In 1978 he was recruited by medical equipment maker Harco Electronics, where as Vice President, he helped develop innovative new equipment. Then in the mid-1980's, he turned to teaching a new generation of engineers and health care workers, which he loved and inspired him. He was Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Manitoba, and he created and taught a new curriculum in BME (Biomedical Engineering) at Red River Community College. Throughout his career, patient and Medical Device Safety were of paramount importance to him, and he was one of the most dedicated and involved life members of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), with a special focus on safety and electrical grounding. He remained committed to continuous improvement, learning and research his whole life with quiet confidence and a positive outlook.
Monte's engineering and problem-solving expertise was highly sought after by all levels of government in Canada, the United States and world-wide, and by many varied businesses (Mining, Aerospace, Defence and Software). Monte continued his successful private consulting through his beloved company, Systems Electronics Ltd (SEL), until passing.
Monte's "fix it" skills were legendary. He was a "Fixer Extraordinaire" and if he didn't know how to fix it in his amazing basement workshop (which was rare), he figured it out. We were all in awe of the breadth and depth of his knowledge.
He taught us critical life lessons by example: how to treat every single person with respect, the importance of hard work and perseverance, the satisfaction of a job well done, and how to be calm under pressure and in crisis.
Dad always enjoyed a good book, and loved a good nap. He had a unique sense of humour, sometimes only he understood his jokes, but that never stopped him from laughing at them. Dad had a discerning palate and the ultimate sweet tooth; all his grandchildren knew where he kept his candies which he loved to share.
Monte practiced Tikkun Olam… Repairing the World… every single day. He was honest to a fault, a man of impeccable character and integrity. His definition of success was never money or fame. He was driven to learn, to do "the right thing, the right way", and to help others. He was never jealous or petty. He was confident in himself and his abilities, and this allowed him to always celebrate the success of others; a true sign of just how exceptional he was. He was gentle and patient, a wonderful mentor and skilled teacher. He was generous and caring, and performed countless acts of random kindness for strangers. He was erudite, was one of the smartest people we ever knew, full of knowledge and wisdom, and was humble and soft-spoken. But he also 'suffered no fools'; He 'called them, as he saw them', and was brutally honest with everyone, especially those he cared most about, when we did something foolish.
Monte was courageous, was the forever optimist, and was always up to all challenges. Perseverance was his motto. He did not give up.
Above all, Monte Raber was a MENSCH. We don't know anyone who met Monte who did not respect him. They say that in life, all you have is your name. And what a good name Monte had. To this day, strangers come up to us and ask: "Are you related to THE Monte Raber?"
Monte was the Patriarch of our family and was our "FIXER" of all things big and small. He was our ROCK.
Monte's sudden passing leaves a gaping hole in all our lives. We will never forget what you taught us about life, and how to live cup half-full. We will think of you always: your laugh, your smile, your insights and your logical solutions. We will miss your phone answering salutation: "Raber Here"; and all the wise advice that followed. Monte, our eternal optimist, never said goodbye. Instead, he ended every conversation by saying: "KEEP SMILING!". With love and broken hearts, this is how we will always remember you.
A graveside funeral was held at Shaarey Zedek Cemetery July 21, 2021.
Pallbearers were grandchildren, Mark, Daniel, Jonathan, Benjamin, Rachel, and Matthew. For all who provided messages of condolence, calls, meals and support to the family, we gratefully thank you.
To honour the memory and legacy of Monte Raber, a donation may be made to The Monte and Myrna Raber Fund at the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba, where a Scholarship fund is being set up for an Electrical Engineering student at the University of Manitoba with a special interest in:

Biomedical Engineering. (204) 477-7525.

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Aug 28, 2021

Condolences & Memories (4 entries)

  • Mr. Raber was truly a pioneer in the field of patient safety. He set the standard for many biomedical departments. - Posted by: Jerry Gunn (Acquaintance) on: Dec 25, 2021

  • Myself, and my colleagues at SMS Engineering Ltd are saddened to hear of Monte's passing. When I heard the news, I said, no, not THE Monte Raber. His reputation preceded him. Monte has been a gift to our industry throughout my working career and well beyond. We were just talking to him about a project in early July. You family are in our thoughts at this difficult time. RIP Monte. - Posted by: Chris Hewitt (Work colleague) on: Sep 13, 2021

  • Very sorry to hear of Monte's death. He was a good friend and an unfailing moral support in time need. A good man and a natural gentleman. - Posted by: Robert Bailey (Friend) on: Sep 11, 2021

  • So sorry for your loss. I was a friend of Monte going back to 1955. I have a group picture taken May 5, 1955. I tried to upload to this page, but unsuccessful. If you don't have a copy of the picture, send me a link I can forward to you. Other friends in this picture. Again my condolences, Joe Steinberger - Posted by: Joe Steinberger (Friend) on: Aug 31, 2021

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