Dr Rifaqat Ali Mohammed Khan, age 52, of Dixon died unexpectedly on Friday, May 4, 2012 in a tragic boating accident on the Rock River. Dr. Khan was born on January 1, 1960 to Aquil Ali and Nafeesa Khan in Gulbarga, India and grew up in Mysore, India. He was an accomplished cricketer and earned a black belt in karate. At age 18, he returned to Gulbarga to attend K.R. Medical College and then moved to the United States after graduating to complete his residency in Internal Medicine at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, IL. Upon completion of his training in 1993, he joined Katherine Shaw Bethea Hospital as a staff physician. He was a member of the Sauk Valley Islamic Center, Volunteer Care Center, American Medical Association, Lee County Medical Society and Doctors Without Borders. Hunting, boating, cooking, gardening, and traveling were among his hobbies. He was a voracious reader in all disciplines and never ceased to expand his knowledge to improve understanding in his field and other interests. He was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his children Aaqil, Aazam, and Hiba, brothers Sam (Delores) Khan, Vajahat (Azra) Khan, Shujaat (Shaukat) Khan, sisters Farzana Khan, Sameena (Khaja) Khan, Rukhsana (Inayat) Khan, Irfana (Hamid) Khan-Salam, several nieces and nephews, grand-nephews and grand-nieces.
Among several significant life achievements, Dr. Khan cherished his time in Kosovo when he left in 1999 to help tend to war-ravaged refugees taking with him medical supplies to help set up functional clinics in refugee camps. In January, 2006, he spent his vacation volunteering in the worst affected parish of New Orleans helping victims of Hurricane Katrina. He always went out his way to answer health-related questions and made himself available for those in need.
Visitation was Saturday May 5, 2012 from 2:00 to 6:00 PM at the Jones Funeral Home in Dixon. Prayers were at 11:30 AM on Sunday May 6, 2012 at the Sauk Valley Islamic Center in Dixon with burial following at Parkholm Cemetery in La Grange Park, IL. A memorial fund has been established. All proceeds go to the Volunteer Care Center, affiliated with KSB Hospital. Dr. Khan was instrumental in the establishment and operation of the center which helps impoverished patients receive free medical attention and help with medication.