Recommend Jagadish "Jack"'s obituary to your friends
Jagadish "Jack" Desai
Jagadish "Jack" Desai
Jagadish "Jack" Desai
Jagadish "Jack" Desai
Jagadish "Jack" Desai
Jagadish "Jack" Desai

Obituary of Jagadish "Jack" Desai

Jagadish “Jack” Ramjibhai Desai was born in Jabalpur, India on December 17, 1933 to Reverend Ramjibhai B. and Elvina Thakore Desai. Jack was a complex, intellectual, yet grounded person with strong core values. In July 1975, Jack was appointed by Governor Wendell Anderson to the Minnesota American Revolution Bicentennial Commission for his “…prudence, integrity, and ability …”. These are the attributes that Jack lived every day and shared with everyone throughout his life. Jack was the third of eight children. He was preceded in death by Jayant (Saroj), Shantukumar, and Mary (Benjamin Parmar). Surviving siblings include: Suhasini (Joseph Contractor), John (Aruna), Grace (Shantilal Gohil), and Joseph (Meena). Jack was a confident, social, and adventurous young man. While in India, he completed his Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry (1956) and Bachelor’s of Law (1959). However, Jack had aspirations of going to University in the United States. In 1959, Jack received the Crusade Scholarship from the United Methodist Church and he set sail for the University of Montana in Bozeman, MT to obtain a degree in Chemical Engineering which he completed in 1962. He quickly developed a strong social network as President of the International Club and active participation in the Wesleyan Club. In Montana, Jack met his partner for life, Roswitha “Rose” Bullinga, another United States transplant by way of the Netherlands. They fell deeply in love and have been together for more than 60 years. They married in Saint Paul, Minnesota on November 24th, 1962. Their son, Jay (Charlotte), was born in 1965, and has three sons, Griffen, Dylan, and Mason. Their daughter, Sheila, was born in 1968. Jack was preceded in death by Rose’s parents, John & Elisabeth Bullinga, and is survived by her brother, Tom Bullinga (Sue). Jack was a chemical engineer for Gould Batteries from 1962 – 1970. As Director of Quality, he supervised 16 automotive battery plants throughout the United States. With support from Rose, a chemist with 3M, Jack embarked on a new adventure by becoming a life insurance salesman for Connecticut Mutual (Mass Mutual). He completed his Chartered Life Underwriter certificate from American College in 1975. During this time, Jack was nationally recognized as a top salesperson and served as President of the Minnesota State Association of Life Underwriters from 1984-85, the first Asian to do so. At the same time, he and some close friends established a real estate business. Always a learner, wanting a new challenge, and enjoying a good debate, Jack enrolled in William Mitchell Law School and received his Juris Doctorate in 1990. Jack was devoted to Rose, his children, and grandchildren. Jack loved camping, whether in Minnesota or traveling with Rose and visiting friends throughout North America in the RoadTrek. They ventured from coast to coast, to Alaska, and through all the Central American countries to Panama. He enjoyed fishing on White Bear Lake, Lake of the Woods, and Lake Superior. When Rose decided the kids needed to learn downhill skiing, Jack was a good sport and joined in. He became excellent at snowplowing and the family had many wonderful winter excursions to Afton Alps, Lutsen, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and out West. After retirement, Jack and Rose started regularly golfing together, with friends, and in leagues. It was a great way to get outdoors, be active, and socialize. In the past several years he did the same with friends at the Maplewood Community Center, walking and talking during 3 mile treks a few times a week. They also started Wintering at their daughter’s house in Clearwater, enjoying the warm weather, beaches, amazing sunsets, and tricycling around town meeting new people. Jack and Rose were avid travelers, most recently visiting Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan, and going on a family Safari in Tanzania. Between visiting family in India and Europe, they have explored many countries throughout the world. The Arts were an important part of Jack’s life. From 1953-59, Jack was the organist at the Raikhad Methodist Church in Ahmedabad, India. He served on the Metropolitan Regional Arts Committee for three years reviewing and funding various arts related activities in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. He and Rose, along with family members, enjoyed plays at all the wonderful small and big venues throughout the metropolitan area. They also regularly attended the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Jack loved Indian classical and Bollywood music, especially Talat Mahmood, hosting and attending Indian singing parties that went into the wee hours of the morning. Nat King Cole, the Everly Brothers, and Bruno Mars were also his favorites. And, of course, sailing on the St. Croix River was a passion for Jack and Rose. From May through September the sailboat was their 30-minute getaway and entertainment center, often inviting family and friends for a day of sailing, good conversation with the occasional bawdy joke, brandy Manhattan’s, spicy grilled chicken, listening to music, and swimming. Jack felt strongly about family and community participation, support, and giving. He maintained strong connections with his family and friends throughout the United States, Europe, and India. Education was very important to Jack. He encouraged and supported many to have a solid education as well as sponsored family members and others who came to the United States. Several even had the good fortune to experience Minnesota winters. He continues to provide student education support through scholarships at the Path of Grace Methodist Church, the University of Minnesota Foundation, a Fidelity Foundation, and the wonderful ministry work conducted by his family such as Shalom for India. Jack also Chaired the Ramsey County Private Industry Council for four years and worked with public and private organizations to educate and find jobs for displaced, unskilled workers, and former homemakers. Jack and Rose have been active members of the Path of Grace United Methodist Church since 1974, helping with church governance, activities, and community support. In 1973, Jack was one of the founding members of the India Association of Minnesota which continues their work to this day to promote activities of interest to India-born persons and native Minnesotans such as organizing IndiaFest on the Minnesota Capitol lawn every August. Jagadish “Jack” Desai was a fun, outgoing, giving person, with an infectious smile who believed strongly in family, friends, and community. He passed away on Tuesday, June 29th, 2021 in St. Paul, Minnesota at the age of 87. A Remembrance of Jack will be on Saturday, July 24th, 2021 at Path of Grace United Methodist Church (759 East County Road B, Maplewood, MN 55117). The Celebration will begin at 10:00 AM with the Memorial Service at 11:00 AM. In lieu of flowers, the family would like you to send memorials to Path of Grace United Methodist Church (759 East County Road B, Maplewood, MN 55117) or to Shalom for India, in support of COVID-19 relief efforts in India: Please mail Checks payable to “Shalom for Asia”, Rev. Shantilal Gohil, 16220 Bellflower Blvd, Apt. 110, Bellflower, CA 90706 By Electronic Transfer through Zelle: Shalom for Asia is registered at Zelle under email shalom4asia@gmail.com For more details please see: https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/track?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:b8f63274-8116-4bbe-8880-c1e515435b68 Finally, for all of us who loved spending time with Jack and Rose, please share a meaningful experience, a good joke, or a fun story in the “Tribute Wall” section!
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jagadish "Jack" Desai, please visit Tribute Store
Saturday
24
July

Visitation

10:00 am - 11:00 am
Saturday, July 24, 2021
Path of Grace United Methodist Church
759 E County Road B
Maplewood, Minnesota, United States
Saturday
24
July

Memorial Service

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Saturday, July 24, 2021
Path of Grace United Methodist Church
759 E County Road B
Maplewood, Minnesota, United States