Hameed Ullah Khan, leader in Chicago's Pakistani community, dies of COVID-19 related illness

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A neighborhood on Chicago's North Side is dealing with the death of an immigrant who became a leader in Chicago's Pakistani community.

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A pillar of the community he served for decades, Hameed Ullah Khan lived just steps from Chicago's Devon Avenue. The neighborhood and its people were his life until November 5, when he was hospitalized with COVID-19 related illness. He died at Swedish Covenant Hospital on Thanksgiving Day. Khan was 80 years old.

"We just felt so isolated and alone," said his son, Mahmood Khan. "And I'm sure my father felt the same way."

A Pakistani émigré, Khan arrived in Chicago in 1975 and never looked back. He organized the city's Pakistani community, publishing a local newspaper in both English and Urdu and helping others like him to get settled into their new lives.

"I consider him as a mentor. He always used to encourage us to show our community positively," said Muhammad Paracha, a friend and colleague.

"He had a vision. He wanted to see this community grow, doing business better," friend Arshad Javed said.

And while Khansab, as he was known, will be greatly missed by the community he served, it is his family that is now without its patriarch.

"He always greeted us in the morning, like with our Muslim greeting, family how are you? And we really miss that," his son said. "It's so empty without him. His love and support. The way he embraced us."

Khan was buried last week at Rosehill Cemetery. The services had to be limited to 10 people because of current restrictions.

He is survived by his wife, three children and five grandchildren.
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