Mohammad Ibrahim Ali KHAN
March 10, 1928 – Hyderabad, India
October 1, 2021 – Calgary, Alberta
Ali (“Popsy”) Khan slipped away peacefully after a short illness and holding the hand of his loving wife and best friend of 65 years, Kathleen (“Kathy”). He leaves to mourn his two daughters Shaheen Khan and Anisa Gardiner, his two son-in laws Steve Gerritse and Ron Gardiner, and two grandchildren Alia Gardiner and Trent Gardiner. Sadly, he was pre-deceased by his beloved grandson Cole Gardiner in September 2017.
Ali was born in Hyderabad, India and spent most of his young life at Jagirdar Boarding School where he spent an idyllic time with friends, studies, good food and athletics. He especially loved horse riding, badminton and field hockey and credited his good health and long life to the healthy routines developed in these early years. He also attended Nizam College in Hyderabad, where he captained sports teams and built a large collection of academic and athletic trophies.
Ali had an adventurous spirit and travelled to England in his early 20s to continue his education. While working as a young mechanic in London, our shy dad met a group of student nurses at a badminton class and he soon developed an attachment to the prettiest girl (his words) – Kathy Cotton. Their courtship blossomed over strolls through Hyde Park and Kew Gardens, friendship turned to love, and they married in London in January 1957.
In 1967, with daughters Shaheen and Anisa in tow, the family immigrated to Canada and Ali returned to school at age 39 to earn a teaching degree. He taught automotives and ran the badminton and chess clubs for many years at Forest Lawn High School in Calgary. Their circle of friends grew large and Ali and Kathy enjoyed an active social life filled with dinner parties, picnics, bridge, golf, badminton and travel that continued well past their retirement.
Ali was a wonderful father and took great pride in his two daughters. He had endless patience for board games and cards, captained camping trips into BC with his trusty Pontiac and leaky tent trailer, and loved cooking the family special curries using recipes from his sisters in India. Bringing him further joy were his three grandchildren Alia, Cole and Trent. He delighted in telling them his corny jokes, showing card tricks and cuddling up on the couch for snacks and afternoon naps. His happiness with simple things and the ability to see good in any situation was to define our dad all his life.
Ali (“Popsy”) was a loving and generous man and his life was enriched by his close relationship with his wife and soul-mate Kathy, his family, and a huge circle of intimate friends in Calgary and abroad. We will all miss his broad smile and his warm hugs.