Rahmat Aziz, 93, dies

Rahmat Aziz, 93, died Nov. 28, 2020

Mr. Aziz was born in the Punjab to Bibi and Jon Mohammed. He grew up in a small village, always motivated to expand beyond its boundaries, and saw education as a way out. His love of learning and passion for reading drove him to complete high school and some local junior college before immigrating to the U.S. in 1949. He applied to a plastics school in Los Angeles, California, and received a visa to study there. Once in L.A., he applied to transfer schools and went to City College of San Francisco and then on to the University of California, Berkeley where he received a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering. Mr. Aziz then moved to Tucson to attend the University of Arizona, receiving a master’s in electrical engineering.

Mr. Aziz met Sima Gerel at the University of Arizona Hillel house. They married in 1957, moved to L.A. in 1958, and raised a son and daughter in California and Colorado before returning to Tucson in 1978.

Mr. Aziz had a long and distinguished career at IBM, holding several patents on behalf of the firm. He designed magnetic and optical data storage systems. His love of learning extended to teaching through SAGE (Seminars for Adult Growth and Enrichment) at the University of Arizona — now OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute). He was an avid hiker and in retirement was often found leading hikes through Sabino Canyon.

Mr. Aziz was predeceased by Sima, his wife of 61 years, and his brothers, Hashmat and another brother who died as a young child in India. Survivors include his sisters, Nashiran and Baziran of Pakistan; children, David (Aliza) Aziz of Zichron Yaakov, Israel, and Shuli Steele of Boulder, Colorado; and six grandchildren.

Graveside services were held at East Lawn Palms Cemetery in the Congregation Bet Shalom section, with Rabbi Avi Alpert of Bet Shalom officiating.