Mansukhlal (Manu) Gosar Rajpar Shah (26 January 1949 – 26 September 2019)

It is with deep regret and sadness that we announce the death of Mr Mansukhlal (Manu) Gosar Rajpar Shah (Gaam Navagam) on Thursday 26 September 2019, formerly of Mombasa, London and Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
He was husband to Niru Mansukhlal Gosar Rajpar.
He was son of Late Gosar Rajpar Sumaria and Late Paniben Gosar Rajpar.
He was son in law of Late Hansraj Lakhamshi Shah and Late Gunvantiben Hansraj Lakhamshi.
He was father to Raju & Monica, and Meena.
He was grandfather to Jainam and Devika.
He was brother to Jayaben & Late Jayantilal Shah, Savitaben & Chandravadan Shah, Late Kanti & Ushaben Shah, Amichand & Ranjan Shah, Jayendra & Srimattee Shah, Ashok & Nila Shah, Rumit & Irene Shah, Daksha & Pravin Shah.
He was brother in law to Late Manjula & Mahesh Shah, Prafula & Vipul Malde, Hasmita & Hitesh Shah, Shailesh & Alpa Shah.
He was a friend and community member to us all.

Mansukhlal (Manu) Gosar Shah passed from this life on September 26th, 2019. He was born January 26th 1949 to Paniben and Gosar Rajpar Shah (Sumaria) as the middle of their 9 children. His formative years were spent on the Kenyan Coast in Mombasa, surrounded by his large extended family. There were many relations living nearby, and Manu grew up close to both sides of his large family. He would often share stories of playing soccer (football) with all his cousins, enough for an entire league, and how a single injury did not imply that the injured could sit out.

As he grew older, he began a love of exploration and adventure. As part of Outward Bound, he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in his teens, the tallest mountain in Africa, with just a pair of flip-flops. After finishing high school his love for adventure did not stop. At 17, he moved across the globe to pursue a degree in Electrical Engineering at Queen Mary’s College in London. He spent the summers in the Adirondacks of upstate New York as a summer camp counselor and convinced his cousins to join him on this adventure. This was one example of his persuasive abilities. His fondest memory from camp was taking young students gold panning. He was very popular with the students, and one of the parents presented him with gold cufflinks which he treasured.

Back at Queen Mary’s he met the love of his life, Nirmala (Niru) Hansraj Shah. After college, in 1969, he decided to start a new adventure and moved to the US, eventually settling in Baltimore, Maryland. He convinced his brother Romi, and several of his cousins, to also join him. His persuasive power began to grow, and he convinced Niru to join him, and to marry him in 1971, though maybe not in that order. At that time in the US, UK engineering degrees were not recognized, so he pursued a second Bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, this time in Civil Engineering. After a few years in Baltimore, he became a community man, and helped found the Gujarati Samaj of Baltimore, a cultural organization for those with roots in Gujarat, India. Living between two Metropolitan areas of Baltimore and Washington, DC he also helped to build up the Gujarati Samaj of Washington. He also continued to persuade others in his family to come to Baltimore. Soon, there was a long list of Shahs in the Yellow Pages, and they were all his family or his friends.

He worked at Maryland’s State High Administration for over 30 years retiring as Division Chief of the Office of Traffic and Safety. He served as a panel member on numerous National Cooperative Highway Research Projects, Traffic Records Assessment Teams for New Mexico and Oregon, American National Standards Institute Committees, and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Official’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan Strategies for Head On and Run-Off-Road Crashes. He was a Fellow of the Institute of Transportation Engineers, a Life Member of American Society of Civil Engineers, a Registered Professional Engineer (Retired), and a public notary.

Manu had a love of continual learning and one degree wasn’t enough. He earned a Masters of Art in Urban Planning and Policy Analysis, a Masters of Science in Civil Engineering, and a Masters of Business Administration. He even started a Doctoral program and became an ABD (all-but-dissertation). After several years in Baltimore, he was blessed with his son, Raju, and the young family decided to move to the suburbs in Hanover, MD. A few more years later, he was blessed with his daughter, Meena. A generation later, he was blessed with two grandchildren, Jainam & Devika, and they were his delights. He enjoyed everything with them, especially playing cards and watching movies.

Manu continued to be a family man, but also grew into a larger community man. In addition to his continued involvement with the Gujarati Samaj, he became active in the nascent Jain Samaj. He was recognized with a JAINA Adult Award in 2007 for his contributions to the Jain Society of Metropolitan Washington and continued to remain active, participating in building a new Jain Center to accommodate the growing society. He also was very active in the Greater Baltimore Temple.

In addition to cultural and religious involvement, he also was involved in civic organizations, and served on the local PTA (Parent Teacher Association, Jessup Elementary, MacArthur Middle and Meade High), Boy Scouts of America (Troop 550 of Linthicum, MD), and as a trustee of the public libraries (Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore MD and the Anne Arundel County Public Library). In his belief in giving back to the community, he taught mathematics and economics at several Community Colleges, continuing to teach for over 40 years. Additionally, he helped others by starting a Tax Consulting company helping many of America’s Small Business Owners, many of which were former students and remained good friends to his last days. He was an unstoppable force.

Manu retired from his professional life to become a fulltime Adjunct Professor at Anne Arundel Community College. With his new found time, he began to travel again, and took many trips around the world with his wife Niru. Together they traveled on six of the seven continents including several roadtrips around the United States. He will be greatly missed by his wide network of friends and family.