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Virbala D. (Shah) Desai

December 13, 1937 ~ June 3, 2018 (age 80)

Virbala Dinesh Desai, 80, of Olympia Fields, IL, passed away suddenly on June 3, 2018  at South Suburban Hospital, Hazelcrest, IL. 

The funeral service was held Tuesday June 5, 2018 at Lain-Sullivan Funeral Home in Park Forest, IL. The ceremony was officiated by His Holiness Swami Ishatmananda from the Vivekananda Vendanta Society of Chicago. She was surrounded by a multitude of family and friends. She was cremated and her ashes will be dispersed in the Ganges River in Haridwar, India and in the Pacific Ocean near Orange County, California.

Virbala was born in Mumbai, India on December 13,1937. She graduated from St. Xavier’s University with a degree in psychology and received her Masters in Education from Governor State University in University Park, IL. She taught preschool education for many years and was beloved by her students and colleagues. 

Virbala was married to Dr. Dinesh Desai, and they emigrated to the state of New York from India. They subsequently built a home in Olympia Fields, IL and lived out their lives there. Dinesh Desai passed away in 1993.

After her husband’s passing, Virbala continued to live for many years dedicating her life to the service of others. She was of Hinduism and Jainism faith, and an avid follower of Vendanta philosophy. Virbala also enjoyed many hobbies including gardening, swimming, tennis, going for walks by the ocean, meditation, and yoga. She was an amazing chef who cooked some of the most memorable Indian meals. She was actively involved in her community and was dedicated to the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita.

Virbala is survived by her son Sameer, her son Aseem and her daughter-in-law Lindsay, and her dear grandsons Parth, Shivam, and Oliver whom she truly adored. She is survived by her siblings - our dearest Narendra and Rekha Shah. She has numerous cousins, nephews, and nieces whose lives she touched greatly – they loved her and she loved all of them dearly. She was cherished by her friends in the Indian community and in her Gita study group, and she loved all of them which was manifest through a life of service to others.

Virbala is preceded in death by the Shah family members:  Nagindas, Maniben, Shanthi, Kanthi, Harshad, Lalita, and Kusum. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to the Vivekananda Vendanta Society of Chicago. The family of Virbala Dinesh Desai wishes to thank her dear Gita study group family for their great assistance in organizing her funeral service and being with her for so much of her life. 

This Vedantic benediction symbolizes the life of Virbala Dinesh Desai. It is from the Brhadaranyaka Upanishad – I.iii.28.

Om asato ma sadgamaya

Tamaso ma jyotirgamaya

Mrtyorma amrtam gamaya

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti


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