Cover photo for Rustem "Rus" Medora's Obituary
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1934 Rustem 2024

Rustem "Rus" Medora

May 4, 1934 — April 1, 2024

Rustem Sohrab Medora, passed away on April 1, 2024, at the age of 89. He was born in Deolali, India, the son of Sohrab and Gool Medora and the youngest of four brothers. Rustem (who also went by Rus) grew up in Ahmedabad, India where he completed his undergraduate and graduate degrees in pharmacy at the Gujarat University. Soon after, he met the love of his life, Minkie Parakh. In 1962, Rustem went to study at the University of Rhode Island while Minkie remained in India. The two exchanged many letters while apart and after a year Minkie joined him in Rhode Island. They married in 1964, the same year Rustem received his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences. After graduating, Minkie and Rustem intended to settle in India, but Rustem was offered a position at Idaho State University and later a postdoctoral fellowship at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Their son, Dahnesh, was born Montreal in 1967 and that same year, Rustem was hired by the School of Pharmacy at The University of Montana. Both Rustem and Minkie fell in love with Montana and decided to settle there. In 1971, their daughter Yasmin was born in Missoula.

 A professor at the University of Montana for 35 years, Rustem shared his passion for medicinal plants through exchange with students, the classes he taught and his own field research in different parts of the world. Dedicated to supporting students overcoming economic and cultural adversity, he worked closely with others to create programs like the Health Careers Opportunities Program and the Native American Center for Excellence.  Working with Continuing Education, Rustem also helped start the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (known as MOLLI) and Elderhostel (now called Road Scholar).  All these programs continue today. 

Active in the community, he was a member of the Missoula Mendelssohn Club, helped start the Missoula International Choral Festival and regularly joined other members of the UM Retirees’ Association on projects like highway clean ups. 

Rustem spent many happy years at Finley Point on Flathead Lake with family and friends, playing tennis or biking the Kim Williams Nature Trail.  An avid photographer, he also stopped to appreciate the world around him.  Rustem is survived by his wife of 60 years, Minkie Medora, son Dahnesh Medora, daughter Yasmin Medora, daughter-in-law Robin Webster, son-in-law Greg Kaleva, grandchildren Sonja and Sauli Kaleva and Meena Medora and extended family and lifelong friends around the world.

A memorial service for Rustem will take place on June 29th at 2pm at the University Center Ballroom.  In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Soft Landings Missoula and the Poverello Center.  


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rustem "Rus" Medora, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Life Honoring Reception

Saturday, June 29, 2024

2:00 - 4:00 pm (Mountain time)

University Center Ballroom

32 Campus Dr, Missoula, MT 59812

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