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Achyuta Prabhu

 

 

Passed Away in 2011 - Scroll Down for Obituary  

Décès en 2011 - Avis de décès au bas de la page  

 

 

 

 

 

Obituary  -  Avis de décès

Achyuta Prabhu

1926 - 2011

 

 

We are deeply saddened to announce the sudden passing of Manjeshwar Achyuta Prabhu on Monday, May 9, 2011.

 

He is survived by Shalini, his beloved wife of 56 years, who used to joke that they met on Boxing Day and had been sparring ever since.

 

He leaves his four children, Anand (Sharon), Bharati (Balakrishna), Pratima (Alan), and Sirish (Debbie) and his dear granddaughters, Bianca (John), Sasha, Alyson, Maya, and Sonia.

 

He touched many lives during his 85 years. He was passionate and philanthropic about making education accessible to children in need in his native India. He left India with his young family in 1970 to start working at Bell Northern Research and ended his career in the service of Canada with the Department of Communications.

 

Services to be held in Bangalore, India.

 

 

Selfless, giving father knew importance of education

by Anand Prabhu, son of Achyuta Prabhu

 

Some people, they say, are born with silver spoons in their mouths. My father, Achyuta Prabhu, was not one of them. Riches came to him in other ways, through his love of family, his philanthropy, and his enduring friendships.

 

He was born in Mangalore, India, on Jan. 25, 1926, the youngest of six children - three boys and three girls. Their home had neither electricity nor running water. Despite his father's lofty position of headmaster at the local high school, the income to support a family of eight was meagre. Food was in short supply, clothes were mostly hand-medowns, and toys were virtually nonexistent. He learned very early to eat everything off his plate because there never were second helpings.

 

Education was of supreme importance to him. Dad always credited his early learning opportunities for the success he was to have in later years. He used to say that education was his ticket out of being "comfortably poor." He obtained success because others gave him the opportunities to advance his studies. But these opportunities were not without hardship. At one point, he spent several months sleeping on the sidewalk and studying by street light while in college. Being a selfless and giving person, he later gave away much of his savings by setting up scholarships for hundreds of children in need, and building educational facilities at schools and colleges in his native India.

 

It was for the educational opportunities and a better life that he and my mother, Shalini, brought their four young children to Canada. We arrived in Ottawa in 1970 with six small suitcases filled with clothes. Everything else had to be purchased, mostly second-hand. Humble beginnings, yet again. And as one would expect of him, much success followed through the years. Dad enjoyed a successful career first at Bell Northern Research, as Nortel was then known, and then at the Department of Communications in Spectrum Management.

 

His family and the time we spent together meant everything to him. Picnics at Lac Philippe and at the Mackenzie King Estate were frequent. Breakfasts around the kitchen table could go on for hours on weekends.

 

His early life experiences left a lasting mark on how he led his life. He was always careful with his spending, saving with financial security in mind. And the kitchen cupboards were always filled with provisions.

 

In later years, after his retirement, Dad was unable to bear the cold winters in Ottawa and yearned for his homeland. So, my parents became "snowbirds," spending winters in Bangalore, India, and their summers with each of their four children in Ottawa. The tradition was that they would leave for India after a family Thanksgiving and return to Ottawa in the spring. More recently, each time they left, we were left to wonder if it was the last time we would be seeing either of them.

 

Dad passed away suddenly on May 9, 2011, due to a pulmonary embolism and a series of small heart attacks. The night before, he had been sitting on an upper floor balcony, nestled in the trees, sipping a fine single malt Scotch. He was no doubt warmly anticipating the reunion with his family.

 

He passed away 12 days before he was to return to Ottawa for the summer. Supremely organized as he always was, his bags were packed and ready to go. He was 85. He leaves behind his lovely wife of 57 years, four children, and five grandchildren. We miss him terribly.

 

Anand Prabhu, His son

 

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