Vinodini Gokani of Glen Ellyn, IL, passed away peacefully at home at the age of 80 years old on September 12, 2022. She was born in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. She emigrated to the United States in 1973, starting a new life in a new country.
Vinodini was a woman devoted to her family, her friends, and her faith. She always put others first by serving them through her incredible gourmet meals, lovely gatherings, and vibrant conversations. She was the consummate dinner party hostess with a passion for living. She was also known for her sense of humor, and had a sharp wit and an infectious laugh. No one left one of her dinner parties with an empty stomach or empty heart. Vinodini – affectionately known as “fula” or flower – was always dressed to the nines.
After being a home economics teacher in Uganda, she continued her passion for cooking by crafting delectable meals for her friends and family. It was not uncommon for a newlywed to request a crash course in cooking, which she always obliged. She was especially renowned for Indian dishes and deserts of all kinds (including amazing cheesecakes and her famous badam puris).
She loved listening to music of all types, including Indian music and 70s singer-songwriters. Her tastes varied from Lata Mangeshkar to Jim Croce to R.E.M. She encouraged those around her, including her children and her niece, who she helped raise, to work hard and strive for the best in life. Family members always came to her for advice and even tough love, both of which she doled out generously. She will always be cherished for her strength, courage, and compassion for others.
She is survived by her husband of 54 years Dr. Ramnik Gokani; her children Dipti Paudel (Vijay), Dr. Trupti Gokani (Binal), and Reena Bajowala (Adnan) and niece Miloney Thakrar; as well as niece and nephew Misha and Rickin Thakrar (Prina); grandchildren Milan Paudel, Paras Paudel, Ariya Patel, Anika Paudel, Arman Patel, and Sanya Bajowala; and sibling Suren Thakrar (Jyoti). She was preceded in death by her brother, the late Shirish Thakrar, and parents the late Amritlal and Shanta Thakrar.
Services are to be held at Leonard Funeral Home, 565 Duane St. Glen Ellyn, IL on Friday, September 16, 2022. The puja will begin at 10:00 AM CST, followed by services including family speeches and visitation at 11:00 AM CST. All will be live-streamed via a link in Vinodini’s obituary: https://www.leonardmemorialhome.com/obituary/Vinodini-Gokani . The interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to Shree Nathaji Temple https://shreejidwar.org/donation.html
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