Shanti Khetpal: A Lifelong Learner, Passes Unexpectedly

Houston: Shanti Khetpal, a deeply caring and loyal person, and an extremely loving and wonderful mother passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, August 15, also the anniversary of India’s independence. She had complained of wheezing and had gone to take a nap in the morning but was found unresponsive and could not be revived by medics. She was 78.

Thoughtful, sensible, and determined, Shanti always took time to make sure to care for everyone in the room, and would crack a smile no matter what situation she was thrown into. She was an amazing chef and loved to share the marvels she made in the kitchen. Her caring personality had no bounds, no matter who you were, as she always cherished every moment she shared with you.

To her twin children, Akshay and Shushmita, Shanti was a hero who showed them strength to face all obstacles. She taught them to show compassion and kindness to every friend, family member, and acquaintance no matter how long since the last encounter. She made them realize that the ones closest to them should always be looked after and cared for lovingly.

Shanti was born in a small village in Kandkot, Sindh in pre-Partitioned India on February 7, 1942. Without electricity in her village, she studied under the light of kerosene lamps and lanterns. After she got married to Kewalram Khetpal, the couple moved in 1972 to Dubai where she learned English. There she also learned Arabic as well, showing off her true eagerness to learn.

Nine years later, in 1981 the couple moved to the United States and they worked hard to set up their air conditioning business, United A/C Supply on Westpark Drive in Houston. Though she lacked any formal business degree or education, Shanti helped to manage one business, learning how to use computers and to handle the company’s accounting.  She actually even trained new employees on the computerized systems and how the company did business. In 1998, after the couple’s twin children were born, she left the business to take care of them.

Due to the COVID epidemic, a small funeral and cremation was held at Winford Funeral Home on Tuesday, August 18. With the blessings of a Hindu priest from Siddivinayak Temple, Shanti’s ashes were scattered in the Brazos River six days later.