Serene Lady Champaben Gandhi Slips Away Quietly and Quickly on Her 82nd Birthday

Champaben Gandhi

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

HOUSTON: She would always be at her daughter Manisha’s side, accompanying her on many community functions and she would relish those events, sitting quietly by herself or with some other elderly ladies whom she had come to know. Often she would come dressed in fine, bright colored sarees and say a few words to the people who would greet her.

That serene lady, Champaben Gandhi passed away quietly and quickly this past Friday, April 12 which was also her 82nd birthday. She apparently had a silent heart attack as she was in the bathroom, although she never exhibited any symptoms before. She was rushed to the hospital and held on long enough for most of her immediate family to be by her side.

Champaben was born in Bahadarpur, a village close to Baroda in Gujarat on April 12, 1937. She and her husband Chandrakant Gandhi, who was born in the small village of Dabhoi, Gujarat, migrated to the US in December 1974 and initially came to Hoboken, New Jersey before settling in the Houston area.

Chandrakant passed away in 1988, when the couple had been married for 34 years. As a young widow, Champaben adapted to her life here and her four children who were all also in the US.

Her family released the following statement:

“Our beloved Champaba was always smiling and cheerful. She left us unexpectedly but with a spiritual calm and she is on her way to a celebration with Srinathji bhagwan. As a mother and grandmother, she was always by our side with love, strength, and good health. Champaben was joyful, energetic, enjoyed dancing to garba and even sang along with family.

She taught us that material possessions and trivial luxuries have no value. She taught us that the things that matter the most are love, faith, and family. Unlike many of us, for her, life was not about herself.

It will be hard to not hear her chuckles, adorably and innocently giggling to American jargon reading social cues from the rest of us. It will be hard to not hear her daily prayers. But we also know that she is at peace and she will be forever cherished and loved.”

Champaben leaves behind her three children Manisha Gandhi, Lata Desai and Gopal Gandhi. Her daughter Pratima Maniar passed away last December in New Jersey.

In addition, Champaben is survived by her grandchildren Bina, Janie, Shilpa, Reema, Seema, Kushal, Radhika, Mansi and Manan.

Her funeral was held on Tuesday, April 16 at the Winford Funeral Home in Southwest Houston.

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