Order of Service
2:05pm ~ Service Begins
Welcome ~ Pastor Rene
1st Reading (ROMANS 8:38-39) ~ Winslow Laverack
2nd Reading (REVELATION 21:4–6) ~ Monique
Sermon ~ Pastor Rene
Poem ~ Stanley
Westport Friends ~ Charlie, Elizabeth, Elizabeth, Jennie, Liza, Roscoe
Speaker ~ Kimbo
Speakers ~ Lori & David
Duke Friends ~ Asha, David, Jack, Jeremy, Liza, Winslow
Final Remarks ~ Pastor Rene
Khaliq’s Mother ~ Angela Sanda
Friends of Khaliq…
From the beginning, we had hoped this day would never come. Sadly it has. As Khaliq passed, he was surrounded by his loving family and was at peace.
Khaliq Melle Sanda was born on September 7th, 1996 in New York City to Angela and Oumarou Sanda. Khaliq attended Craig Elementary and Alton C Crews middle school both in Lawrenceville, Georgia. Due to his academic excellence, he was accepted as a Scholar into the A Better Chance of Westport program where he attended Staples High School in Westport, CT. When he arrived at Staples High School in 2010 as a freshman, Khaliq Sanda brought with him his contagious joy, quick wit and genuine warmth. At the beginning of his high school career, he became involved in Peer Advisors, an after-school group that allowed students to discuss issues and share stories. Through this organization, Khaliq fostered friendships with people from all over the Staples community. These bonds came easily to Khaliq—his friends recall that he loved people and people loved to love him.
This love for Khaliq spread like wildfire throughout the Westport community. He acted as a unifier amongst his classmates—”knowing Khaliq” was a common catalyst for Staples students forming new friendships. As a student, he was responsible, hardworking and exceptionally bright. Despite his course load, Khaliq managed to effortlessly excel in school. His teachers at Staples High School were not immune to his infectious charm. He was a presence in the classroom—expressing his ideas with eloquence, while also making his teachers laugh. He could be seen in the library helping friends with homework and making plans for the weekend. Khaliq worked as a tutor for younger students in the Westport community and served as a role model for many. Always an advocate for his peers, he was involved with Key Club, a philanthropic organization that serves the local community, as well as Student Assembly where he helped make decisions for the Staples student body. He was a champion for others in everything that he did. Khaliq’s accomplishments at Staples were impressive, including outstanding grades and many leadership positions, but his true superpower was connecting with others. Khaliq’s ability to connect with people knew no bounds. In addition to his biological and his host families, Khaliq was a son, brother and nephew to so many. His sincerity transcended generations; his friends fondly remember the relationships he cultivated with their family members—grandparents and younger siblings alike. He lived authentically and his support encouraged his friends to do the same. When those close to him needed advice, Khaliq knew how to listen intently and guide them in the right direction. He was a confidant to all. He graduated from Staples High School as a beloved member of the Class of 2014 and a cherished member of the Westport community.
Khaliq then attended Duke University where he pursued a Bachelors degree in Global Health and Biology. He was devoted to his goal of going to medical school and ultimately becoming a psychiatrist, and it was no surprise that he excelled in his courses. He displayed his endless love for Duke by mentoring younger students on campus, acting as a tour guide, and serving as social chair for his fraternity, Sigma Nu. He worked tirelessly to graduate on time with his friends, overloading courses to make up for time spent getting treatment.
In conversations with his Duke friends remembering Khaliq, there is one word that consistently comes up: lucky. Lucky to have had a once-in-a-lifetime friend who made each one of them feel like the most special person in the world. Khaliq’s capacity to love far exceeded your average person’s, and his immense influence could be felt even when he was nowhere near. He pushed his friends to be funny, loving, kind, open-minded and confident. He was not simply loved and respected by his friends, he was adored. His legacy is everywhere. In his own words, he was iconic.
Upon graduation from Duke University in 2018, Khaliq accepted a position as a Community Outreach Coordinator at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City, where he dedicated himself to clinical research, enrolling taxi drivers for a program focused on reducing hypertension in New York City, the city that he loved. His city.
Our brilliant, funny and compassionate Khaliq is now on a new journey. We have no doubt that the former Mayor of Westport and King of Duke will soon be a reigning prince in his new destination.
While a great and beautiful light has been extinguished, we take comfort in knowing that his kind, caring and generous spirit lives on powerfully in the many friends and relatives who were blessed to know him.
He touched and enriched so many lives – bringing joy and laughter as well as knowledge and insight to all he met. He saw the best in us – even when we didn’t – and made us want to be better and do better. It was his loving friendship that quietly motivated us – again often without us even realizing it – to live up to our ideals and achieve our promise.
Khaliq defined courage, character and grace. He faced unimaginable adversity with extraordinary humor, patience and strength. He will be missed but his memory will endure in the actions of all who knew him and loved him.
Khaliq is preceded in death by his paternal grandmother, maternal grandmother and grandfather. He is survived by his parents’ Angela and Oumarou Sanda, surrogate parents Lori and David Sochol, siblings Kimbo, Stanley, Abdul, Eposi and Mairo and several Aunts, Uncles, cousins and a host of other loving family members and friends.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in Khaliq Sanda’s name to “Support Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center”. Checks should be made payable to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and mailed to: Attn: Liz Francois, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Office of Development, PO Box 27106, New York, NY 10087. Please indicate on the check memo line that the gift is in memory of Khaliq Sanda.
Alternatively you can go to http://mskcc.convio.net/goto/KhaliqSanda. Please indicate on the check memo line that the gift is in memory of Khaliq Sanda.
A virtual ceremony will be held on Saturday March 6th at 2pm to honor Khaliq’s life on this page.
A candlelight gathering will be held outside at Compo Beach in Westport, CT on Sunday March 7th at 7pm.