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Ontario Restaurateur’s Wife Expresses Gratitude for ‘Immense’ Support After Tragic Death Over Unsettled Bill

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A restaurant owner in Owen Sound, Ontario, has died from his injuries after being attacked on Aug. 17 by three patrons who didn’t want to pay their bill, police said.

The funeral for Sharif Rahman on Aug. 27 saw hundreds of people in attendance, Owen Sound Sun News reported, and his family has expressed gratitude for the public outpouring of support. Gestures of support have included over $234,000 in donations raised via a GoFundMe page, a silent walking vigil, and flowers and notes of support placed at the front of the restaurant, according to an update on the family’s GoFundMe page.

While Mr. Rahman was in hospital fighting for his life and before succumbing to his wounds on Aug. 24, his wife Shayela Nasrin wrote a note of thanks to the Owen Sound community and area.

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“I literally spent hours just thinking about how and what to write to express my gratitude to all the lovely people for the love they are showering on my family,” said Ms. Nasrin in her note.

“If I were to write about all the reasons for which I am grateful to you on little pieces of paper, they would perhaps be compiled into a book!” she said. She went on to say that the community did not “leave us feeling deserted.”

“You have donated money, organized a parade, said prayers, sent us flowers in the restaurant with wishes, dropped off cards to our residence, offered voluntary help, and what’s not, to demonstrate your unconditional love and immense care for us.”

‘Loving and Peaceful’

Mr. Rahman was the owner of The Curry House in downtown Owen Sound. According to the Owen Sound Police, the 44-year-old was attacked by three Caucasian males in a dispute over an unpaid dining bill on the night of the incident.

“The assault occurred in the street area outside of the business. The males fled the area. The victim was transported to a London hospital with critical injuries,” the police said in a news release on Aug. 18.

Mr. Rahman would spend the next seven days on life support before he passed away. Announcing the passing of the restaurateur, Mark Barbosa, a local realtor and a friend, said Mr. Rahman had been an inspiration to many.

“We should always remember how loving and peaceful Sharif was, and use that as an inspiration in our own lives to strive to be kind towards those we meet in life,” said Mr. Barbosa on the “Support for Sharif’s Family” GoFundMe page, which he created on Aug. 20.

“Your generosity and support will never be forgotten and will truly help his family transition through this difficult time,” he said.

According to the fundraiser page, a silent walking vigil was held on the evening of Aug. 23. On the day before his passing, locals walked through downtown Owen Sound in solidarity and support for Mr. Rahman. A second event, called “Drumming for Sharif,” was held during the afternoon of Aug. 25 at the Owen Sound Farmers’ Market.

‘Unwavering Dedication’

Media reports say that hundreds of people lined city streets to remember Mr. Rahman during his funeral on Aug. 27, which was followed by another silent walk that evening. The business owner moved to Canada from Bangladesh about a decade ago.

Mr. Rahman, who obtained his masters degree in finance and economic development at the University of Glasgow in the UK, was also a former board member of the YMCA of Owen Sound Grey Bruce. YMCA officials released a statement on Aug. 25 mourning the loss of Mr. Rahman.

“Sharif’s unwavering dedication to our community, and the genuine warmth with which he touched the lives of everyone he encountered, will forever be etched in our hearts,” the association said.

The City of Owen Sound similarly mourned the loss of the respected restaurateur.

“On behalf of my Council colleagues and City staff, I offer my sincere condolences to Sharif’s wife Shayela, his children, to the Rahmans’ extended family members and friends, and to our entire community,” said Mayor Ian Boddy in a

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