In 1967, Ramesh G. Fofaria emigrated to Raleigh, North Carolina from a small village in Western India. For the next five decades, he worked tirelessly searching for ways to give back to his adopted country, state and community. For his efforts, he was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine from former Governor Michael Easley in 2003 and the President’s Volunteer Service Award from former President Barack Obama in 2014.
Ramesh passed away Wednesday afternoon, May 30, 2018, at his home, surrounded by dozens of family and friends. He was 74.
Ramesh was born in Porbandar, India, to the late Gulab and Kashi Fofaria. From a young age he balanced supporting his family while maintaining achieving excellence in his education. It was this fierce motivation that drove him to seek higher education in the United States and achieve his Masters in Civil Engineering at North Carolina State University in 1970.
After graduation, Ramesh got a job as a civil engineer for the N.C. Department of Transportation in 1970 and spent the next 33 years designing bridges for our state. He holds the distinction of having designed at least one bridge in each of North Carolina’s 100 counties.
Ramesh was also instrumental in assisting Indian American families preserve their cultural and religious beliefs while thriving and contributing to our local community. He worked with area funeral homes to understand Indian memorial services and helped families navigate this difficult process. He worked with area hotels and reception halls to understand Indian weddings, and helped dozens of budding families plan their nuptials.
After retirement, he stayed active with volunteerism, working with Habitat for Humanity, the Triangle Red Cross, RDU airport, and WakeMed Cardiac Rehabilitation, to name a few, where he made terrific friends and did great work.
He is survived by his wife Chetana Fofaria, his sons Raj and Rupen Fofaria, daughter in laws Chantelle and Rachana Fofaria, and grandchildren Shailen, Nilay, and Chloe Fofaria.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, June 1st at 4:00 p.m. at L. Harold Poole Funeral Service and Crematory, 944 Old Knight Road, Knightdale, NC 27545.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the either the Jain Study Center of NC (www.jscnc.org), International Alumni Association of Shri Mahavir Jain Vidyalaya (www.iaamjv.org) or any organization advocating for volunteerism.