Family Obituary with PhotoPapaji_In_Loving_Memory.docx
Eulogy With PhotoPappa_Eulogy.docx
Note to Granddad
A letter from Roan to his granddadgrandad_note.docx
Obituary of Narendra Patel
In Loving Memory of our Pappa Narendrakumar Chaturbhai Patel It is with deep sadness and sorrow that we announce our beloved father, Narendrakumar Chaturbhai Patel’s (Dharmaj) passing on Tuesday, May 5th, 2020. Our father was born in Gujarat, India. Our grandfather was a teacher and as such they moved around during his school years. He attended M.S. University in Baroda to study finance and commerce. He got married to Manjula, our beloved mother and moved to Kenya to settle with his brother and sister in Nairobi. He worked for the Kenyan Treasury while in Kenya. He migrated back to India to be close with his mother and father. He lived in Baroda with his family. He migrated to US and settled in NJ. He retired from the US Postal Service and settled in Somerset, NJ upon his retirement. He was a loving father, brother, husband, grandfather, father-in-law, and a friend to all. He was very caring and giving with and of people. He was a hard worker and compassionate. He was always there to help others as he could not sit still and always needed something to keep himself occupied. He always had a can do attitude that was authentic and genuine to others and approached life with energy and zest. He was a big fan of cricket and could talk your ears off when it came to his favorite sport. He was also a big fan of classical Indian movies and music. He loved travelling and was always excited to visit faraway places and also was able to fulfill his wish over the last few years. He is survived by his elder sister, Madhuben, and families of his two sons, Jayesh and Sanjiv, and a daughter, Meetal and their spouses, Jigna, Avantika and Nimish including five grandchildren, Aman, Aayush, Dilan, Diya and Roan. In lieu of flowers please feel free to donate to a charity of your own choosing. Helping underprivileged children with education was a cause close to his heart. Sanjiv's Eulogy Thank you to everyone who has reached out to us for their support during this difficult time. The special notes that family and friends have sent out describing our pappaji were truly genuine and heartfelt, they clearly describe our father and who he is as a person. We are very proud to have such a caring and giving human being as our father and hopefully we can carry on his legacy. Lately, this time of the year has been difficult for us as we have lost loved ones. From losing two fathers, a mother and a jovial young man who was growing up to be with so much potential, who was taken too early just like our beloved father. They say spring is supposed to be for rebirth. As with Hindu reincarnation and rebirth we also have very special births during this time; Shivani, Aman & Aayush, Dilan & Diya and finally Kailan were all born around this time. They have very big shoes to fill for their dadas. Our pappa was one of the most giving and selfless person around, which is why this makes it so hard. He never wished any ill will towards anyone and was always welcoming, open, caring and giving. He was fiercely independent and always wanted to run at hundred miles an hour in anything he did, always on his own terms, he would not sit down for a second. I have also heard from numerous people who have sent heartfelt notes as how he has positively affected their lives and more importantly how he looked after our mother during later stages of her life. The day after his passing someone that we had lost touch with thru the years from almost 30 years ago reached out to us when they heard about his passing. They wanted to remind us of a small act that pappa did years ago and wanted to pay their respect and to remind us of what kind of a man our pappa was. This is the type of person our pappa is. Pappaji’s story starts with him being born in India. After meeting our mother, Manjula, they moved to Nairobi, Kenya which is where our mother was from to be close to his brother and sister. Pappa has a strong bond with his sister, Madhufoi to this day. While working in Nairobi, Kenya, with our growing family, my mother and brother, Jayesh, pappa decided to move back to India to be close to his parents. So we hopped on a ship, which they use to call “steamers” back then and moved from Kenya to India. After a few years and a new addition of our sister, Meetal, pappa started thinking about his children and what better opportunities he can provide for them, so our family then moved to America. He always was fiercely strong and was always up-to any challenges. Initially my brother and I stayed behind, with pappa, mom and Meetal moving to America first. I remember this being hardest on my brother and he had a difficult time understanding why we had to stay behind. This separation lasted about a year after which we were all reunited in America. Next chapter of pappa’s life was providing for his family in a new place with new faces. Given his personality he made friends with others that were in similar situation. With mom and pappa working together as a strong support team, we were able to achieve the ultimate American dream and become successful ourselves. We have so much to thank both of them for the sacrifices they made and providing every opportunity thru their hard work so that we can succeed. Pappa set a good example for all of us. He would always talk about strong work ethic and how hard work pays off. Pappa would always say that if you work hard enough there will always be a reward at the end. In our middle school years, my brother and I started delivering newspapers and for me it was quite difficult during those years to wake up early morning on Saturdays and Sundays especially during winter months to get up and deliver papers. So just to set an example, pappa himself would get up and head out the door to deliver the papers for me as I came up with one excuse or another to why I could not get up. I hope I can impart some of these lessons on Roan, and set an example just like pappa did for us. Well that reward came later when my brother and I started college and we were looking for an old car for commuting to college. One day a brand new red Trans Am Firebird was delivered for my brother and I. Pappa also did not want to forget about our sister, Meetal, so it was decided that the car plates would have her name, “MEETAL”, on the car. He made sure that the message got through to us; hard work pays off and do not make any excuses for yourself. Another time a tragedy had befallen, as our house had burned down during the Super Bowl as I remember vividly since my favorite team, the Redskins were playing in it. My father did not let us get down on ourselves, when our house burned down. We were without a home for a short time as we ended up staying at different homes with our friends until we were able to get a new place of our own. Pappa always had a positive outlook in life and with mom always kept us from feeling sorry for ourselves and showed all his inner strength and will to get through it. We as a family came out stronger, something we will now need to fall back on for pappa. Sometimes good things come out of tragedies. It was after we moved to our new place that I first met Tika and so they say the rest is history. People always say that we have good genes as my father always looked young beyond his years. Here is a story I like to share. We were in India for Meetal and Nimishkumar’s wedding and at that time people in India had heard that my brother was single and was coming to the wedding from America. As you all know what happens at weddings with love in the air, people try to introduce potential matches for their sons or daughters or nephews or nieces. Weddings in India are quite big and usually a large affair with everyone and the whole village showing up, and can easily have close to a thousand people. I do not remember where but we were sitting somewhere and a person came by and tried to introduce his daughter to my father not realizing and mistaking my father for my brother. We all laugh about this whenever it comes up again. At the time our mother did not think it was funny but I am sure deep inside she must have felt beaming of our young looking pappa. I hope people say the same about us as we get older. If this were to happen to me, I would get the brunt of it from Tika and I can just imagine Tika dusting off her hands and saying “Good Riddance”. Pappa, I am going to miss our times bonding over projects that you always came up with. Whether it would be painting, installing wood trim, or shower doors in bath tubs or fixing toilets. Just last year pappa asked me to come by so that we can work on replacing the seal that sits between the water tank and the toilet seat, when I got there, he had already laid out all the tools and walked me over how we were going to do this. I even remember one time we completely replaced the whole toilet with the tank back at our old house. I hope I can carry out this tradition with Roan to keep our times together, I think Roan is warming up to this idea, as couple of weeks ago he helped me spread five yards of mulch. Reflecting back on our times I realize how pappa came up with these projects to spend time together as we could have called anyone to fix things but pappa wanted to spend time and bond over it as it was something that he liked to do and tinker with. I will also miss our time butting our heads on how you wanted certain things done a specific way because they were the right way to do them. There is so much more that I want to say. How big a role model you are for us, what you taught us and told us that you can achieve anything you want thru hard work and always being persistent. You always said look at me, see how much of hard work got me ahead so never be afraid to get your hands dirty and no job is too small or demeaning. I want to thank Jayesh and Jigna as they were trying to accommodate pappa the best they could under the circumstances, trying to monitor him and make him as comfortable as possible until we could no longer have him home and needed to take pappa to the hospital. In the end, however much it was expected, when that end came it was still a shock and that's the way it should be, as there is never enough time and you do not know what you have until you no longer can hold it. I wish I had that one last time to hold you in comfort and be lost in your embrace. We take comfort in knowing that pappa is going to be with our beloved mother, his soul mate in heaven. Mom, please look after pappa up there like he did with you when you needed him. Pappa, this time please let others take care of you, you have done more than enough here for everyone else. If you still need something to do, you can always take Jeri (Jerki as he used to call her) for walks as she was so attached to you. They say a person can live on by keeping their memories alive. With so many heart felt notes from so many people that we have received, I am sure our pappaji will live on through all of our memories of him and the way he has touched people positively. Once again we all would like to thank you all for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. We are so blessed to have such an amazing group of family and friends in our life, as they have made this difficult time easier to deal with. Even though most of you cannot be present to pay your respects under such trying circumstances, I am sure my father feels your warmth and prayers. Please be safe and strong. All of us together as one, we can defeat any hardships or obstacles that comes in our way. Love you pappa, you will truly be missed and will always be in our hearts. Sanjiv Note to Granddad from Roan Dear Dada, I wish I could have spent the rest of my life with you but sadly I couldn’t. I am glad for the time I got to spend with you reading the newspaper, eating rus and goti (roti), watching cricket at 2 am and other amazing memories. I hope your journey to heaven was peaceful and tell manju ba I said hi. I will forever miss you and will always think about you and cherish the memories we had. You have taught me so much about character, for instance, being strong, perseverance, and other amazing life lessons. I still remember when you would watch me when I was younger and we used to play all day long. Love, Roan Our dada has left Aayush and I with countless memories. He was an amazing grandfather and made every one of his grandchildren smile and laugh. His way of showing affection was to lovingly pound us on the back and try to lift us off the ground. Dada showed us that life should be lived the way we want to on our own terms. One of his favorite pastimes was watching cricket into the wee hours of the morning, despite everyone telling him to get to bed at a reasonable hour and get rest. Everyone knows Dada had such a love for any food that contained potatoes, especially Jayshreefoi’s batata vada (potato fritters) and samosas. He knew all his grandchildren’s favorite foods and therefore offered Aayush and I mathiyaa all the time. Every time Aayush and I visited him, he would always zealously offer us so much food. One of the things we admired about him was his ability to live strong-willed, and it has taught us that it is okay to have beliefs that differ from others. He wanted us to succeed in our endeavors in life through hard work, honesty, and persistence. It saddens Aayush and I immensely that we were not able to say goodbye to him before he departed. He will always remain in our hearts and minds, and we will love him forever. Aman & Aayush Dilan to his grand dad We all love you so much and will remember you and keep you in our hearts forever. We know that you are in a better place now and no longer in pain and are watching over us. Say hi to ba and tell her I miss her. I love you dada, until we meet again. Dilan Diya to her grand dad Dear Dada, Like the wind blows the leaves, up and away you go. You may be gone physically, but you’ll always remain in my heart. At important times in my life, I’ll always remember you, because deep down, who could forget you? You’ve always been the person people want to be around; You’ve always been the person to smile and tell the best jokes; Most of all, you were there for us. But that’s the type of person you are: caring, always happy, and willing to sacrifice everything, even if it meant leaving behind everything you knew.