Zahir Ahmed Quraeshi passed away peacefully at his home in Kalamazoo Michigan on May 26th, 2023, surrounded by his family and loved ones, following a brave battle with cancer.
Born on January 31, 1946, in Pune, British India to Raschid Quraeshi and Akila Khan, he later migrated with family to Karachi, Pakistan after Partition.
He came to Fort Wayne Indiana to earn a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Indiana Tech, while also helping to build the Genealogy Collection at Fort Wayne Public Library. He earned his M.B.A. and Ph. D in Marketing at Michigan State University while also editing the academic journal MSU Business Topics.
Zahir joined the Marketing Department at Western Michigan University in 1978, where he spent the next 43 years teaching, impacting and mentoring thousands of students, doing research, publishing numerous papers in refereed journals, professional conferences, and at many business meetings and educational institutions, as well as serving as a consultant/advisor in both the public and private sector. As Director of the Global Business Center, he oversaw faculty exchange programs, study abroad programs for students, and grants, scholarships for both faculty and students, and started an academic journal, The Journal of Asia Pacific Business. During his distinguished career he was awarded the university wide Teaching Excellence Award, the Distinguished Scholar Award, the first recipient of the university’s Global Engagement Award, numerous grants from the U.S. Department of Education, was appointed to the Michigan Economic Development Council, and was named the Haworth Distinguished Chair and Professor of Business, along with a Lifetime Achievement Award, to name just a few. The University of Kebangsaan, Malaysia awarded him the Tan Sri Noah Distinguished Chair. One of his former students who went on to become a distinguished colleague of national repute recently donated a generous endowment for a scholarship in Zahir Quraeshi’s name to be awarded annually to Marketing students, with the first two recipients announced in 2023.
The universal comments about Zahir are “most widely loved person,” “kind,” “a true gentleman,” “always willing to help,” “touched so many lives in meaningful ways,” “took a genuine interest and had time for everyone- from the youngest kids to the oldest grandparents,” “by far our most favorite person,” “the cool uncle,” “never had a single negative thing to say about anyone,” “most humble person - always gave credit to others,” and so much more.
Zahir is survived by his beloved family: wife Nalini, son Samir (Angela) and one year old grandson Kayden, son Asim, sister Azra Cardine (Claude) and their two children Salim Cardine and Nadra Watson (Kim), along with their children Sasha, Mylo, and Keala. He also had lifelong friends and cousins and in-laws who were more than family to him, and a global network of loving supportive friends, most of whom traveled to see him in his last few months.
A simple funeral was held on Saturday May 27th, 2023, and he was laid to rest at Mt. Ever-Rest Memorial Park, North in Kalamazoo, next to his dear mother. A celebration of Dr. Quraeshi’s life will be held Saturday, July 8, 2023. For more details and to R.S.V.P. please contact Nalini Quraeshi, 269-598-7630. The family is very appreciative of all the love they have received from friends and well-wishers.