Prakash Desai cropped
Prakash Haribhai Desai
  • 65 years old
  • Date of birth: Oct 18, 1950
  • Place of birth:
    Navsari, Gujarat, India
  • Date of passing: May 5, 2016
  • Place of passing:
    Detroit, Michigan, United States
Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born

Born on October 18, 1950 in the city of Navsari, State of Gujarat, India to Haribhai B. Nayak and Shanta Nayak. Prakash Nayak was the middle son of with his siblings Kiran Desai and Bina Desai.

Surprisingly to probably most of us, but Prakash was apparently a pretty naughty kid and would get in trouble due to him experimenting and tinkering with various toys and gadgets a lot. How ironic as it prepared him to be an Engineer growing up. He attended The Birla Institute of Technology and Science and graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering in 1971.

He was fortunate enough to come to America as a student and pursue higher studies as he graduated with a degree in Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering in 1972 and became a teaching assistant. Never one to stop learning about life, he graduated with a Doctorate in Philosophy in 1976. An Engineer with a philosophical mind is truly a genius! However, he was a very humble person and never referred himself with a Dr. title in his name though he had earned it. With his educational accomplishments behind him, he joined GM in ’76 in Detroit.

After about a year and half later, his parents decided it was time for him to get married and so he followed the custom at that time that still exists today, and went back to India to find a wife! He may have been highly educated in the world of Engineering and put together complex systems, but would that prepare him to find his life-long companion? It certainly did as he was introduced to Geetha Dhirubhai Desai late 1977 and with some Bollywood like twists and turns of how they met and how he “wooed her”, which I won’t get into, they were married on January 16th, 1978.

Soon after settling into their first home in Utica Michigan in April ‘78 they had their first child, Shalini on Dec 15, 1978. Of course in our culture, you can’t have just one child…so, on January 5, 1983, the Sveta made her presence well-known to the world! In-between this time, his job had him move to Downers Grove, Illinois in 1981 where they established a strong network of close friends. Eventually, his career would take them to Troy, MI in 1992. Just when he thought life settled down, it took another adventurous turn when Satyam was born on March 9th, 1984. I’m sure Prakash was excited to have a male companion in the Desai home! 

Prakash was pretty much a kid in an adult’s body and a gentle bear. His humility, kindness, and playful nature drew people together of different backgrounds as he loved to learn something new from everyone he met. In this physical life, Prakash leaves behind Geeta Desai, his best friend and companion, 3 ever-loving children Shalini, Sveta, and Satyam, a son-in-law Nihal Solomon, a daughter-in-law, Pam Desai, 3 grandchildren with boundless amounts of energy and entertainment Sanjan Solomon, Greyson and Norah Desai, his two siblings Kiran and Bina, many relatives, and numerous friends.

Prakash introduced all of us to his world and left a unique mark in all our lives, May he rest in peace knowing that we shall all meet again one day. 

The family asks you to donate to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation in lieu of flowers: http://pulmonaryfibrosis.donorpages.com/Tribute/PrakashDesai2016/

The obituary at AJ Desmond & Son's Funeral Home:
http://www.desmondfuneralhome.com/obituary/Prakash-Haribhai-Desai-Ph.D./_/1614402

The obituary in the Oakland Press:
http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/theoaklandpress/obituary.aspx?n=prakash-haribhai-desai&pid=179906414&
 

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Bindiya Vakil on 15th May 2016

"Prakash masa was a gentle and fun soul who touched our lives and left them richer for his presence.  When we stayed for several months with masa and Masi, he took us all over and showed us all the amazing sights with tremendous enthusiasm and gusto.  He was always kind and jovial and despite our parents not being there for several months we never felt we weren't at home.  He had a zeal for life and for adventure.  We still remember him on our adventures and will always celebrate his enthusiasm for the small wonders all around us.  He lives on in our memories and in the amazing cousins we have in our lives."

This tribute was added by Pulin Desai on 12th May 2016

"Prakash-uncle was an absolute gentle soul. My family & I consider ourselves very fortunate that our lives crossed each other. Always a smile on his face, always a comforting hug, always a sense of wonder were only just a few things we had come to expect from him. We will miss him dearly. Look over us & RIP, Prakash-uncle."

This tribute was added by Deepak Goel on 11th May 2016

"I knew Prakash in Pilani and then reconnected here in Michigan.  We some him often at our frequent dinner meetings and Prakash was a delight to be with.  Always, pleasant, upbeat, proud of his family and be there for all always.

he made significant technical contributions and GM, his family, friends and every one around him is better off through their association with Prakash - I know a learnt a ton from Prakash.   RIP Prakash."

This tribute was added by Rakesh Pant on 11th May 2016

"A very humble, cultured and decent human being with beaming smile, this is how I knew Prakash in Pilani.
We had special bond. And I will not be surprised if several friends who came in touch with Prakash, will say the same thing, and that was another of his millions of quality. He used to make the 'other' special. He once asked me to teach him "Lara's Theme" on harmonium and the sessions started. To my surprise, he picked up very fast and drop in my room occasionally to practice!
After leaving Pilani, we met at US embassy, I had gone there to get my US visa (to visit Chicago on 4 month trip sponsored by CFTC) and he had gone there to get visa for Geeta. This was in 1978. He insisted with lots of love that we must visit him in Detroit being so close to Chicago. And Hema, Nitin then 1 year old and I did stay with Prakash and Geeta for couple of days and received Maharaja's treatment. Prakash then took us on long ride to Nigeria Falls and I still remember Sarnia Border (Stamped in my passport as we crossed over to Canada)
We will miss Prakash
Jai ho"


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This memorial is administered by:

Nihal Solomon

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