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GUNJIT S. SIKAND
January 5, 1928 - April 29, 2014
Gunjit S. Sikand passed away peacefully of natural causes on April 29th at the age of 86. Having lived a remarkably full life, he is now at rest. They say that when one passes, the person becomes even larger than life. In the case of Gunjit, it is difficult to imagine someone more dynamic than the entrepreneur, philanthropist, mentor, husband and father we all knew, loved and respected.
Born in Patiala in the Punjab region of India in 1928, Gunjit was the youngest of six children of a Judge and Civic Leader. The first in his family to emigrate, he came to the United States when he was 17 years old to attend Auburn University. After graduation, he relocated to Boulder, Colorado where he received his Master's Degree from the University of Colorado. While in Boulder, Gunjit found his greatest blessing, his beloved wife Margarete, the woman who stood strongly and proudly by his side for 61 years.
Gunjit and Margarete moved to California where Gunjit founded Sikand Engineering Associates in 1958. The company is now in its 56th year. At the same time, he began teaching Civil Engineering at California State University at Los Angeles, a career that would span 20 years. During that time, Gunjit was able to give employment and internship opportunities to many of his students, some of whom still work at the company. In addition to his other pursuits, Gunjit founded and operated Sikand Properties and its successor MG Enterprises, LLC to develop and manage residential and commercial properties.
Because of his genuine concern for the welfare of the communities that supported his goals throughout the years, Gunjit established The Sikand Foundation in 1988. Perhaps his greatest legacy, The Sikand Foundation annually contributes to hundreds of worthwhile charities. Its goal has been to afford care, education and humanitarian services to those in need. The Sikand Foundation will continue its mission for generations to come in honor of the lives of both Gunjit and Margarete.
Everyone who came in contact with Gunjit was immediately struck by his keen mind. However, it was his drive and his passion that truly defined him. He worked tirelessly throughout his lifetime to achieve his goal of being the ultimate provider - for the community, his family, his employees, his students and the numerous charitable causes to which he contributed. If you asked Gunjit his main purpose in life, his response would be that it was to add value, to leave this world better off than it was when he came into it. His lifetime was most assuredly a testament to that principle.
Gunjit is survived by his wife, Margarete; his children, Mark, Renée and Annette, their spouses; and his grandsons, Mark Jr. and Owen. He was the eldest surviving member of his family and leaves behind many beloved relatives in this country and abroad. He will be greatly missed by all, but his spirit will live on through everyone and everything he touched.
Private services will be held. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Los Angeles based charities St. Vincent's Meals on Wheels and the Los Angeles Mission.
Published in Los Angeles Daily News on May 11, 2014
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"May 12 May God comfort you in this time of grief Isa. 40:29"
"I will miss Gunjit who was my friend and neighbor"
- Chuck Reinhart
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