Obituary of Suryakant Mohanlal Kothari
At the age of 83 and just shy of his 84th birthday, my father’s favorite pastime was to watch all different kinds of sports on television, if he wasn’t doing this he would spend time with his loving wife watching some Indian serials. He adored his time with his family and grandchildren and everyday carved out special time for religious devotion. What most don’t know is that Dad almost lost his life when he was very young and swimming in the ocean and were it not for a stranger who rescued him from the clutches of death, I would not be here to tell you how great of a father I had. From that point forward he knew he had a destiny to fulfill. He lived life to the fullest knowing that he had been given a second chance. My father had a very hard life during his early years. He became the head of his household at the age of 13, when his father passed away. He then helped to educate and get married 3 sisters and 2 brothers while always remembering to care for his beloved mother. He realized that despite the great career he had in Kenya, the political climate was changing and he moved his family to the US and began from ground up and eventually became the key person relied upon by media and others whenever any information was required about coffee market or trade. My father was a consummate reader, he could devour a book a day. These books often took him to places and times that he would have otherwise never travelled, or to new and different concepts and ideas. He could not understand the naiveté of the public, the people and its government. He truly recognized the need to serve others and to give to others. My career as a physician stems from my father’s teaching of giving and serving. For everything that we receive in life as a positive, something must be set aside not only for God but also for those that are in need. He recognized that giving to others enriches the giver’s soul. To the family he was the brightest and purest light. He taught me how to be a wonderful husband, father, friend and mentor. He was firm in his principles and supportive as I began to seek my own way. He encouraged and guided me but never over steered me. I know I definitely tried his patience, hence, his further balding and grey hair, but he always responded with the great gift of – “unconditional love”. During this past year, I know one thing for sure, that he knew that I loved him and I knew he loved me. Not just in words but in deeds. He was proud that his son had become a physician and the head of his department. All that I am, and all that I ever will be, I owe to my mother and my father. Without whose sacrifice, love, faith and giving nothing could have been possible. Finally, in his 59 years of marriage, he adored my mother completely. He was dedicated to her totally, so many times he would turn to me privately to discuss that if he should go first, how I must take care of her, and then make me promise that I would. Well Dad, a promise is a promise… Well Dad, I will miss calling you everyday and seeing you and saying Jai Shree Krishna. Will miss you for all of the things I have said and so much more. So through our tears, let us see the blessings of knowing and loving you – a great and noble man and the best father, grandfather and husband we could have had. And in our celebration today of my Dad’s life, let us smile knowing that he is hugging and holding Ba’s hand. He is survived by his beloved wife Prakashlaxmi, Son Rajesh, Daughter-in-law Martha, and Grandchildren Ricky, Ashley, Kiran and Nataley. He is also survived by his sister Madhuben and her family, His late brothers Kantibhai and Narenbhai’s family. And his late sisters Vijayaben and Jasuben’s family.