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Tushar Atre

Tushar Atre
August 1, 1969 ~ October 1, 2019
Resident of Santa Cruz
Tushar Atre was born Aug. 1, 1969, in Dagersheim, Germany, to immigrants from India who had obtained scholarships to study at the University of Heidelberg and the University of Vienna. After earning degrees, his mother worked as a technologist and his father as a structural engineer. During working hours, Tushar was cared for by a close friend of the family known as "Tante Liesel."
The family moved to the United States in 1971 when their immigrant work visas were not renewed by Germany. They lived in Queens, NY, before settling in Rye, NY, in 1975.
Tushar attended the Rye public schools. The family grew up speaking German with Tante Liesel, often traveling to Germany and India. From a young age, Tushar loved biking, computers, and building. He was drawn to the water and, by the age of 14, had learned how to sail on the Long Island Sound.
Tushar attended New York University, majoring in Political Science and German Literature. He immersed himself in the bike and arts scene of downtown New York City.
He enjoyed his happily uneventful routine biking the streets of Manhattan until June 6, 1990, when he was hit by a car and run over by a truck on Broadway near Columbia University. Tushar was close to death on the operating table. The surgeon told his family to prepare for life without him.
He managed to survive the ordeal. After several surgeries and six months of rehabilitation, Tushar continued with a new lease on life: biking, renovating his homes and enjoying music.
In 1996, Tushar moved to a wonderland full of mountains next to the ocean: Santa Cruz. His free spirit, while able to operate within the confines of the East Coast, felt unleashed in Santa Cruz.
He started Atrenet, a web agency, in 1996, and ran the company until his untimely death. He learned to play the guitar. He supported many local artists. He purchased, designed, and renovated several Santa Cruz homes.
He lived a few years in San Francisco and Los Gatos, but felt most at home in Santa Cruz. As he once put it, "I moved to Santa Cruz for the mountain biking but stayed for the surfing."
Tushar leaves behind family and a vast network of close friends who are like brothers and sisters. In the end, it is undisputed that Tushar lived the words of his favorite poet, Bertolt Brecht: "Do not fear death so much, but rather the inadequate life."
A paddle out was held in Tushar's honor on Nov. 16, 2019. Over 60 people participated in the 90-minute water ceremony and a group of 30 spectators took part from land. Prayers, poems and stories were told in fond memory of Tushar; businessman, surfer and outdoorsman. A traditional Hawaiian origin ceremony was cited to scatter Tushar's ashes. The beauty of the ceremony was complemented by the mist and gentle rain of the morning, a fitting metaphor for those who knew and love Tushar, whose name in Hindi means "mist."
Tushar was abducted from his Santa Cruz home and killed on Oct. 1, 2019, during an apparent robbery that remains under investigation. A $150,000 reward was raised by a group of concerned citizens to find those responsible for his death. A video of three suspects is posted on the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Facebook Page (click here to view). Please call Sheriff's Sgt. Jacob Ainsworth at (831) 454-7635 with any information.


View the online memorial for Tushar Atre
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on Nov. 28, 2019
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