Dr. Narendra Patel passed away unexpectedly and suddenly on the evening of March 15, 2017. He was 78 years old. He had been battling a number of different illnesses for years; multiple heart attacks and bypasses, 2 strokes, 3 brain surgeries, diabetes, partial blindness, prostate cancer, Alzheimer’s, etc…more than any one person should suffer through. But he was not defined by his sicknesses. He had more than nine lives and he always bounced back to live each with grace and dignity. We are grateful that he passed in peace and is suffering no more, and will be remembered most for his generosity and energetic spirit.
Narendra lived an amazing life. For those who knew and spent time with him, he loved to tell stories about his time in India, where his heart was, and Tanzania, where he was born and raised, and where his soul laid. He studied at All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi, India and continued his residency in Louisville and Chicago. He trained for different specialties all over the world, practicing medicine in East Africa, India, London, and various parts of the U.S. Narendra served as the primary doctor for a clinic in Robbins, Illinois for more than twenty years before retiring. He believed in community medicine, bringing together public health and clinical medicine to holistically support communities most in need. He was often known for giving money out of his pocket to patients who couldn’t afford medicine, transport, or even shoes.
He had a love of travel (and food!) and curiosity of the world that kept him constantly engaged with the world around him, even as the Alzheimer’s began to take hold of his mind. He was a kind and generous husband, a father who valued his children’s happiness above all else, an adoring grandfather, and a friend to anyone whom he encountered. He had a sense of humor that tended to sneak up on you and could have you in tears from laughing. He would always make a cup of tea for anyone who visited and would sit down for good conversation about history, politics, travel and life for hours. His kindness was unrivaled and his smile and deep bellied laugh will continue to live on in our hearts and memories.
He is survived by his wife, Suman (Sue), who cared for him with love, tenderness, patience and firmness all her own since his first heart attack in 1980; his daughter/his princess Seema; his pride and joys, sons Hilesh and Ashish; and his beautiful grandsons whom he adored until his last breath, Atticus and Kiran. As his grandson, Atticus, said at his funeral...”if we keep his memory and spirit alive, it's like he's not really gone." Please feel free to add notes of condolence or memories to this site or to donate in his memory. Thank you all for your love, warmth and friendship.