A Life Well Lived

funeral homes in Rockford, ILObituaries are a part of funerals at funeral homes in Rockford, IL. While many obituaries follow a general and similar format, some obituaries are deeply personal. In the recollections of the family member writing the obituary, the real story of who the deceased person was is unwrapped and shared with the world.

One such obituary is that for Dr. Arun Bhalchandra Ektare, who died in September 2918. His son, Abhay, wrote Dr. Ektare’s obituary as a loving remembrance letter to his late father:

“To my dear departed father, Dr. Arun Bhalchandra Ektare, who passed away on September 16th, 2018.

Due to the enormity of your sacrifice, in two generations we went from humble origins in the third world to respected careers and comfortable lives in the first. With immense courage, you left everything you had known the first 41 years of your life, to begin from scratch in another country for the sake of your children’s future. You paid fealty to one ideal at the expense of all others- above proximity to your family in India, above your sense of belonging, above your ease with your place in one culture, above the comforts of understanding and being understood- all set aside for the promise of America for your son and daughter.

Your children grew up sheltered and comfortable in Grand Junction, often ungrateful and self-centered the way teenagers often are, sometimes resentful of the fact that our stern immigrant father didn’t understand us and told us to never mind and study harder whenever we complained about our relatively trivial struggles. This was the folly of youth. We were aware of our privilege then but only in an abstract sense. What you endured for us did not become clear until we became adults and stood on our own two feet.

You and mom embodied values which today appear so out of fashion that they seem almost quaint- your decency, your honesty, your absolute selflessness, your complete disinterest in ego and materialism, your stoic resolve in the face of relentless adversity to fulfill your duty to your family, without praise or gratitude.

The minute I heard of your passing, the tough exterior part of you receded in my mind instantly and forever. In my grief, I am shaken by the totality of you. Your unquestionable love for your family. Your love of music. Your life-long love of learning. Your acceptance of everyone and refusal to judge or dismiss anyone. How much you enjoyed being with people, hearing and telling funny stories. I cannot stop hearing the sound of your laugh. The more I hear it, the harder I cry. I see you sitting upright in bed, now a tired old man, listening to the music of the old country with your eyes closed and a tranquil smile on your face, lost in nostalgia and the memories of your bygone youth.

In one sense your story is no different than most of all our fellow citizens’ ancestors who braved the journey for a brighter future. You were one of millions of ordinary people who came to America seeking to work hard, to contribute and to belong. In another, more personal sense, your story is that of a formidable hero who carried everything on his shoulders to give us a happy home and secure future. We can only hope the breaking of our hearts now is testament enough to our gratitude and love we feel for you.

You have earned your eternal rest. Now it is our turn to try and be worthy of your sacrifice by following your example. To be decent people, to care for family and think of others first, to give back to the country which took us in, accepted us and gave us everything you gave up- our sense of belonging, our livelihoods, our friendships, our memories and happy lives.

We love you Baba and we will miss you terribly until we meet again.

In loving memory,

Your son,


Dr.Ektare is survived by his wife, Bharati; daughter, Mallika, and son, Abhay.”

For more information about funeral transports at funeral homes in Rockford, IL, our compassionate and experienced team at Collins & Stone Funeral Home is here to help. You can visit our funeral home at 128 S 5th Street, Rockford, IL 61104, or you can call us today at (815) 965-1515.

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