Obituary of Surendra GUPTA
S.K. (Surendra) Gupta, husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle and friend, passed away peacefully in the early morning on December 1, 2018 at the age of 89 years, after a series of medical complications.
He has gone to join his beloved wife, Raj Gupta, who left this earth on May 16, 2015.
However, his departure leaves a huge hollow void for his daughter Mridula (Merge) Gupta-Sunderji and son-in-law Alkarim Sunderji; son Pradeep (Fred) Gupta and daughter-in-law Sunita Gupta; grand-daughters Grismika and Manisha; grandson Chetan as well as many family members and friends around the world.
Surendra’s first passion in life was flying, something he discovered in his early twenties, and then went on to make his profession. He was a skilled pilot who logged over 19,000 flying hours in his distinguished career. He started with Air India in the 1960’s and then spent almost ten years with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Nigeria (under a United Nations initiative) to build the airline infrastructure in that country. Almost every commercial pilot who trained in Nigeria between about 1965 and 1975 would have had to pass their flight simulator exams under his watchful eyes! In his time, he was considered a renowned expert in piloting Boeing 707s and 747s. In the mid-70’s, he moved his family to Singapore where he spent several years with Singapore Airlines. In 1981, the family then made their next journey to Calgary, Canada to start a new chapter in their lives.
His second passion in life was his wife Raj whom he wed in 1958. In a time when arranged marriages were the norm, he broke the rules and married for love. Together they traveled the world and only slowed down in their later years. When Raj passed away in 2015, they had been married for over 57 years.
Surendra’s third passion was his family – his two children Pradeep and Mridula, and later his three grandchildren. To him, family was everything. He repeatedly made personal sacrifices in order to give his family access to the best opportunities and resources.
Through his entire life journey, his fourth passion was his spiritual beliefs. Both Surendra and Raj were guided in their life by the teachings of Swami Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Not only were they active members of the Sri Sathya Sai Baba community in Calgary, but they were also privileged to make several visits to Prasanthi Nilayam in Puttaparthi, India. Now both Surendra and Raj are finally at rest at the Lotus Feet of Swami.
Surendra set an example in diligence, honesty and courage, and that is the legacy he leaves for his family and friends.
Funeral Services for Surendra will be held at CALGARY CREMATORIUM CHAPEL, 3219 – 4th Street N.W., (within the valley of Queen’s Park Cemetery) on Thursday, December 6, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. Family and friends are invited to celebrate his life and wish him a safe journey on his final flight in this lifetime.
If you wish, please leave notes of condolence for the family on this website. They will be printed out and given to them to read and cherish for years to come.
Surendra and his family only need your love and prayers. But should you wish to do more, donations, in lieu of flowers, may be made to The Sri Sathya Sai Baba Centre of Calgary. Please mail cheques to 2225-24 Ave NE, Calgary AB, T2E 8M2 and include your return address for a tax receipt.