Cover photo for Catherine Khan's Obituary
Catherine Khan Profile Photo

Catherine Khan

December 19, 1951 — May 18, 2021

Catherine Khan

Catherine “Cathy” Davis Khan, 69, passionate wife, mother, and grandmother died May 18, 2021 after a courageous fight with cholangiocarcinoma.

Cathy, also known as Nadia or Nana Khan, set the world on fire with her love, compassion, and activism. She grew up with her younger brother, Marvin Davis, in Arlington, Virginia, where she developed a lifelong devotion to the Washington Football Team (formerly known as the Redskins). Cathy earned a BSN degree from the University of South Carolina.

Nursing was a calling and it led her to meet the love of her life, Anwaar Ahmed Khan, a physician Resident at Doctors Hospital in Washington, D.C. They married and lived a memorable time in Reidsville, N.C. for 6 years. They then moved to Pakistan for 23 years raising their beautiful children, Rafia, Rehanna, Aisha, Jamil, and Aliya. Cathy (Nadia) helped ‘raise’ many others as well, in the role of school nurse at the International School of Choueifat in Lahore, Pakistan. Until only three years ago, she worked 12 hour shifts as an OB nurse at first at Duke University Hospital and

then at UNC hospital, when she finally retired at 66 years of age.

Cathy (Nadia) didn’t make friends, she made family. She fostered relationships that had no limits, but would span cultural, religious, political, and geographical distances. She had tremendous passion and activism for equity and justice across the world and anywhere she went. Her whole self went into every single aspect of her amazing life. Her T-shirt wardrobe, bumper stickers, and protest rally signs say it all!

Cathy/Nadia/Nana was deeply and wholly cherished as a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend. Once her grandkids began arriving, her sole purpose was to be there for all their “firsts” and to be an integral part of their daily lives. The world is a better place for having had her in it and so many have been forever changed by her energy and love.

Catherine is preceded in death by her parents, Margaret T. Davis and Lewis B. Davis, her elder brother Dan McDougal, and her mother-in-law Surraya Begum ‘Amijan.’ She is survived by her loving husband, Anwaar Ahmed Khan, children Rafia Kirmani, Rehanna Khan, Aisha Shah, Jamil Khan, and Aliya Khan, grandchildren Rayaan, Nazeh, Mikail, Nyla, Danyal, and Asher, her brother Marvin Davis, her father-in-law Allah Nawaz Khan ‘Abajan’, and her niece Amy McDougal and nephew Colin McDougal.

We are forever thankful and indebted to Dr. Hanna Sanoff (her beloved oncologist), Dr. Benjamin Calvo, Dr. Todd Baron, the UNC Hospitals Oncology Dept. at the Main Campus and at Hillsboro, UNC Hospice, and all the nursing and care staff who cared for Cathy (Nadia) during her illness. We are grateful to her best friends and nursing buddies Lena Caisson, Deborah Patel, and Cindy West who supported her and the family through this difficult time. We send thanks and love to all the family, friends, and neighbors who showered Cathy (Nadia) and her family with care and support over the years.

Her treasured band, the Beatles, probably say it best with their lyrics (best heard by her belting out with passion):

“And when the broken-hearted people

Living in the world agree,

There will be an answer, let it be

For though they may be parted,

There is still a chance that they will see

There will be an answer, let it be.”

In prayer:

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un

“Verily we belong to Allah (God) and verily to Him do we return”

May Allah SWT (God Almighty) reward her for all her virtues and bless her with a better life in Heaven and forgive our sins so we are together forever.

In Lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to any of the following organizations:

Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

UNC Hospice

UNC Oncology Department

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Catherine Khan, please visit our flower store.

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