Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi's father, Kurban Nenshi, died today at the age of 72.

He passed away Sunday morning surrounded by his family at the Rockyview General Hospital.

A life-long small business operator, he came to Canada from Tanzania in 1971.

His passing comes the day after his birthday and on Father's Day. He had been ill for some time.

The mayor’s chief of staff Chima Nkemdirim says the family and mayor are grieving.

"Well, it's a very sad day. I mean he's with his family, his sister, his nieces, his sister, his mom.  It's a great extended family but it's a very, very sad day."

The mayor will continue his regular duties, but will spend more time with his family, said Nkemdirim.

"He’s going to reduce his workload so he can spend more time with his family, obviously, so he won’t be available for events and for media as he normally would be," said Nkemdirim.

"But he is going to carry on the job of running the city."

A private memorial service will be held.