Friends from the Staples High School Class of 2011 — and volleyball teammates — are stunned by the death of Ali Mirza.
He died last night in California, where he was a student at Claremont McKenna College. His older brother Akbar — a Staples 2009 graduate — also attends Claremont McKenna. Their parents were in California, for Akbar’s graduation tomorrow.
Friends filled Facebook with tributes to Ali, a product of Westport schools since kindergarten. Two themes predominated: his genuine friendliness to everyone, and his tremendous spirit for the Staples volleyball team.
Funeral services have not yet been announced.
OH MY Gosh —- Is this where John goes……..Did you all know him? How very sad……..Cathy
Ali, what a wonderful, kind, empathetic, intelligent, selfless young man. Heartbroken.
Incredibly sad; Remember him all through school years with Dustin. Very wonderful kid. So sad… thoughts with his family. Diane
This is heartbreaking. He played volleyball for 4 years with Steven and was one of the funniest boys, always joking around with a smile on his face. All of the staples volleyball community is so saddened to hear of this loss and send heartfelt condolences to the entire Mirza family.
My daughter is a sophomore at cmc. She was friends with Ali and is devastated by his passing. Speaking to her on the phone yesterday from new jersey to California was absolutely painful. My heart, prayers and thoughts go to Ali’s family at this difficult time. My daughter often went to meals at cmc with Ali and liked him so much! She will miss him so much. Please accept my condolences
The death of a son, a brother, is inexplicable and inconsolable. May the Mirza family find a degree of comfort in knowing the good that Ali did while he was among us, and the lasting influence he had on his friends, on those who knew and loved him. His body was but a tangible vessel for the good he would do, and he leaves behind him many lives changed for the better for having had him among us. Our hearts, our thoughts, our prayers, are with the Mirza family in this time of loss. —- Iain, Linda, and Margot Bruce
I have tears in my eyes while reading this. My daughter told me that he was a wonderful, kind and genuinely nice young man. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. I can’t imagine such a loss. My deepest sympathies.
I was Ali’s personal trainer for about 6 years. We grew together and became good friends. I atteneded his high school graduation and I am so honored to have known him so well. The sudden loss of Ali is immeasurable. Ali was such a great kid, he will be missed by so many.
I am an alumnus of Claremont McKenna College, who graduated long before Ali even submitted an admissions application (smile), but when I received the news, I was deeply saddened — for him and the unfulfilled dreams, for his parents and sibling(s), and his peers. My thoughts and prayers are with you. If you love him, keep his memory alive: live in a way that when YOU are gone, others might hold you in the same regard.
I remember coming into school on my 14th birthday. For the entire day, I got a lot of heartwarming well wishes and pats on the back, but no gifts. Then Ali comes up to me at the end of the day and hands me this ridiculous yellow and golden shirt with flowery designs on it– it looked to me like a tinged auburn piece that Jimi Hendrix would have worn at Woodstock. Ali had bought it for me the previous day. I turned to him and said, “Ali, thank you for getting me a gift. I wish I could pull this off.” He then laughed and said, “I know it’s ridiculous- I can take it back if you don’t want it, but you deserved something. Wear it and don’t care what anyone thinks.” That was Ali in a nutshell. Just that kind of special guy.
Ali was a truly cherished friend to our son, and we admire him as person of incredible warmth, kindness, and dedication to the many people in his vibrant world. Our hearts are with his family.