September 9, 1938 – September 11, 2018
Vijai Prakash died on 11th September, two days after celebrating his 80th birthday with his family and the inevitable Indian food. He was born in Delhi to Harpiyari and Girraj Prakash and he was the eldest son of seven children. Due to the nature of his father’s work they moved around India before setting in the Pink City of Jaipur. During his time in India, he played cricket, often in the streets with his friends. One day he was able to convince a maharaja to play on his polo grounds. Vijai achieved a BSc. in Geology at the Hindu University in Benares and then obtained a BSc. in Mechanical Engineering at Durham University in the north of England where he met Moira Smith at a dance in Sunderland. Much to the chagrin of both sides of the family, true love ensued and they were married in 1964. Clearly proving everyone wrong about the pitfalls of an interracial marriage in the 1960s, the marriage endured over three continents and over five decades. After a brief return to India, Vijai and Moira settled in Scotland in 1968 with their growing family. Their three children, Seema, Simon and Sonia grew up there before Vijai was recruited to Storage Tek in 1982, a career move he felt he needed to take even though the family had a good life in Scotland. Vijai then went to Bell Labs and ended his working life at Lucent after the birth of his first grandchild gave him the perfect excuse to take early retirement. Vijai in his youth was a university champion badminton player and in Scotland, naturally, he took up golf which he continued to play in Boulder. His wife forced him to swim and ski, the latter he loathed but he would do anything for Moira. He loved hiking with Moira up near their condo in Frisco, traveling with her around Europe and frequently returned to India to see his family there and be feted as only the eldest son can be. In his retirement years he loved to spend time with his grandchildren, Olivia, Iain, Simon, Sophia and Sydney and was, of great support when his grandson, Iain, was diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension. Vijai leaves bereft his wife of 54 years, Moira, his children and their spouses, Seema and John Hess, Simon and Heather Prakash and Sonia and Kurt Brocko. His clever, dry humour and the unwavering love he had for his family will be sorely missed. A Celebration of Life will be held at Crist Mortuary on 22nd September, at 10 am. The family request that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or the Pulmonary Hypertension Association.
- Celebration of Life Saturday, September 22, 2018
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September 20, 2018
Vijay Mamma (uncle) was a very level headed and cool man. In all the time I had spent with him be it in Boulder, Jaipur or in London he was always chilled and outwardly relaxed. He inspired me in numerous ways some of which would seem plain to most, but to me they weren't, they impacted me deeply and informed my appreciation and understanding of things in a subtle and positive way. Between all 3 of my uncles, I related to him the most. Vinay mamma, if you're reading this, I hope we're still cool.
Vijay mamma played a special role in shaping the parts of my life which I enjoy the most. Here are just 3 things that really inspired me. 1). Classic car restoration. Mamma would purchase parts for his old MG in England and have them shipped to the US without declaring it with customs, as it was MUCH cheaper to do it that way. So I learned that slowly and inexpensively was the best way to restore an old classic. 2) If all else fails, a grilled cheese sandwich will save the day. On numerous occasions in the house where confusion, sometimes arguments would break out about who's cooking what. Mamma would put together arguably the best grilled cheese I've ever had and saved the day. 3) Stay close to family knowing where you've come from, especially when you're so focused on where you want to go.
I can see Mamma in all my cousins, mum and other aunts and uncles. He was the top dog of the family and my Grandfather was always very proud of him. He left a lasting impression on all of us. I've always loved him and will continue to do so. When I prayed for his soul, I pictured him in his MG with Rory by his side, smiling at the thought that he's saved a packet by getting the parts shipped from the UK.
Om Namah Shivaya.
Keerti Mathur (Nephew)