In Memory of

Ranchhodbhai

Parbhubhai

Patel

Obituary for Ranchhodbhai Parbhubhai Patel

Dad

My father was a strong silent type. A private man.  People rarely knew what he was thinking
unless you made him mad. In which case, you may get an earful.  Dad was the type of person
who valued family, and to him, his family was the best. I heard that a lot growing up, the
examples and comparisons. The relationships he had with his siblings and parents were the
most important to him in his life. In fact, at times dad treated his nieces and nephews better than
his own. Even when issues arose with family, he remained silent to avoid hurt feelings and
conflicts. My dad believed in forgiveness and demonstrated it often. I know, many viewed it as a
sign of weakness. But my dad, he would treat everyone with kindness even if it was not
necessary. That is just who he was. 

Dad was a beloved son and appreciated every moment spent with his mother and father.  I pray
dad will be in their loving embrace soon.

As a life partner, dad was a devoted husband who only had eyes for my mother, from the
moment he first laid eyes on her at a wedding in India at the age of 26. I never saw dad express
his affections through words, but always with gestures - such as helping with the cooking (not
that he would ever admit it outside the home), the chores, and the lavish ways he splurged on
my mother to the very end. 

Dad was a strong disciplinarian while we were growing up. He ruled with a heavy hand and
sharp tongue when we were younger. He put the fear in us to maintain high moral and ethical
standards, which served as a tool to never give him a reason to feel shame or be ashamed of
us. My dad’s proudest achievement is his children, whom he moulded a cut different from
others. He raised us respecting familial ties despite various trials and tribulations, strong
personal values, and gratitude towards others. He raised two girls who then sought professional
fields in service to others. I cannot recall my dad saying the words “I am proud of you”, but we
both got to see the pride in his eyes multiple times throughout our lives. 
My dad was always a traditional man; seeking a simple rule in life which was to live in peace
and hope that any obstacles were removed quickly.  He was religious and passed this on to his
children who remain grounded in their faith. It is that which helps and comforts them today. 

My father was also very protective of his daughters. If outsiders looked at his children or tried to
create reasons for gossip, my father just kept us closer to him, trying to cast off any spotlight
that might be cast on us. His philosophy was, “if you are always home in front of me, no one can
hurt you”. Because of this, we primarily lived a sheltered life, shielded in his fierce protection. It
forced us to find our own balance in navigating the world around us, carrying his expectations
and finding our own voices.  My dad was not someone who knew how to verbalise his feelings
to us, but he showed his love and pride through a gentle touch on the arm, a warm smile, and
affection through his eyes, leaving no need for words. 

My father was someone who had progressive values while maintaining conventional beliefs. He
demonstrated this by supporting the type of work his children engaged in. Dad volunteered for
four years, every weekend as a Meals on Wheels volunteer initially to support his eldest
daughter’s job, but then the dedication to the work itself gave the true motivation to continue
until the program ended. Dad also surprised us when he developed an acceptance of diverse
identities he was exposed to through his younger daughter’s work. He displayed an openness
and understanding that made us extremely proud. Anyone who knows dad will say that he was
dependable, reliable, and known to show up when he was called on. Even neighbours
remember him as the friendly man who always waved acknowledgements.    

Many do not know that my Dad was a relentless fighter.  In 1999, he was informed he had a
tumour on one of his kidneys, fortunately it was benign. The kidney was removed and he
soldiered through the surgery and recovery with bravery and resilience. We watched dad
experience good health for many years until the last few. In the past year, dad was given difficult
news about his health conditions and his response was, “I will fight”. And he did. To the end, my
father fought adamantly to stay with his family but his will was not as strong as his weakened
body from fighting for many months consistently. Today, we pray for his safe passing into a
better place, free from ailments, procedures, and pain. We pray that those of us left behind are
given the strength to remember dad in their hearts with less tears in their eyes.  

Dad, I love you. You will never be forgotten. I will carry you safe and sound in my heart always.

Om Namah Shivay
Om Namah Shivay
Om Namah Shivay