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1938 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
DES PLAINES - Prafulla V. Dunung, 80, died peacefully Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018, at his home. He leaves behind his wife of 56 years, Vaiju P. Dunung; daughter, Sanjyot P. Dunung; grandsons, Shanth, Yash, and Anand; and extended beloved family and friends. Born June 16, 1938, in Kolhapur, India, to Vasantrao Dunung and Kusum Bagi, Prafulla was the third eldest of eight children. In 1962, he received a Bachelor's Degree in Architecture from the J.J. College of Architecture in Mumbai, India. During this time, he married his longtime sweetheart, Vaiju, and they gradually moved to Liverpool, England, to pursue their advanced education. Prafulla received a Masters in Architecture from the School of Architecture, Liverpool University (1966 -1968), specializing in precast concrete technology, and prefabrication construction. He served as Project Architect, working closely with renown British architects, James Stirling and Michael Wilford, on the design of the award-winning low-cost, affordable housing scheme in Runcorn town in the southeast of Liverpool. Prafulla moved to Des Plaines in 1972, joining Austin Company where he was employed in multiple roles, including serving for a decade as Chief Architect until his retirement in 2003. He channeled his artistic talent into his career and over the years became an award-winning architect here for a range of commercial buildings and private homes. He received recognition for his design work; including the Seven Seas Aquarium and the snow leopard habitat at the Brookfield Zoo. He will be remembered for his incredible artistic talent, professionalism, mentoring, integrity, and contributions to the architectural community at large. In addition to being an excellent architect, Prafulla was also a mentor to many young architects working under his direction. He shared his wealth of knowledge and professional experience with younger and less experienced colleagues and trained them in the areas of design, construction technology and project execution. He did this quietly, with a great deal of patience and without any expectations of rewards or recognition for this role. To his staff members, he was more like a gentle guru than a demanding department manager. For decades, he was an active member in the AIA (American Institute of Architects); ALA (Association of Licensed Architects), serving as a board member; and, CSI (Construction Specification Institute). Prafulla was an early advocate of preserving the environment and utilizing solar technology. Prafulla served as a Trustee of the Des Plaines History Center and the board of the City of Des Plaines Architectural Review Commission; and, Prafulla and Vaiju sponsored a brick at the Des Plaines Public Library and the Clinton Library in Little Rock, AR. Prafulla was a founding member of the Indo-American Cultural Center and volunteered extensively within the Chicagoland area including for a number of years at the Museum of Science and Industry. Prafulla was deeply devoted to his wife's care with her muscular dystrophy. Together they supported organizations to assist those living with disabilities. Prafulla was well known for his great sense of humor and humility. He would work tirelessly but rarely looked for credit or acknowledgement. An avid philosopher and historian, he was curious about world cultures, and he and Vaiju have traveled extensively. He will be greatly missed by family, friends, and colleagues. A memorial with a select display of thirty of his paintings was held on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018 at Oehler Funeral Home on Miner Street in Des Plaines.
Published in Chicago Suburban Daily Herald on Nov. 7, 2018
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