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Francis Sundaram Azariah

August 05, 1934 - May 26, 2010

Francis Sundaram Azariah, “also known as French” of Palo Alto, was born in Tiruchirapalli, South India to a family of five brothers and two sisters. He attended Bishop Cotton’s School in Bangalore, India and graduated in 1954 from St. Xavier’s College. He came to the United States in 1955 where he was the first foreign student to attend Pasadena City College and he later graduated from Cal State Los Angeles. He met his future wife Shalini, and from that union they had three children.

Francis began his career in the semiconductor industry at International Rectifier in El Segundo, CA. He later moved his family to the Bay Area where he worked at Fairchild Semiconductor and headed their Marketing Department for Integrated Circuits. Later his talents led him to other semiconductor companies where his career in International Marketing expanded over 30 years. He decided to “retire” and help his son Ramesh in a non-profit venture, and was a member of the Board of Directors. In this capacity, Francis had an opportunity to touch the hearts of literally thousands of young people and to guide hundreds in the right direction, affecting their lives in a positive way.

Francis was also a founding board member for an up-and-coming semiconductor design company that specializes in power management products. Many of these products are destined to have a huge world-wide impact. This is certainly not the last we will hear from Francis!

Francis was a man who gave unselfishly with his heart. All who knew him can attest to his friendly smile, his generosity and his warm hospitality. He possessed a great sense of humor and love for people and always made you feel comfortable. He enjoyed the best of friendships.

Francis embraced the principles of yoga and tai chi; he was an avid skier, diver/scuba instructor and spent many years as an underwater photographer, which took him all over the world in such places as Trivandrum, India, St. Croix Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Hawaii, Costa del sol-Spain, etc. However, his favorite diving spot was Point Lobos in Monterey Bay, CA.

Francis was active in the YMCA, American Red Cross, Stanford University’s DEER Research and WISE Fitness programs, as well as the Palo Alto Neighborhood Disaster Activities (PANDA) Organization. He encouraged his eldest brother to establish King Center – an orphanage and school in their ancestral village in South India.

Francis seemed to have lived, learned and experienced many lifetimes within his short life. He developed a thirst for making this world a better place for everyone, thus, began researching conditions and possibilities. In the early 1960’s, before there was any national movement regarding our environment, he was very much interested in global warming, environmental pollution, renewable energy and promoted the use of in-home water filters for clean and safe drinking water.

Over the past year, Francis had an opportunity to return to his native country, India, and Sri Lanka, along with his wife, Shalini and son, Ramesh to visit his relatives, friends and former classmates. He was delighted to see the King Center Orphanage and school in operation.

Francis was preceded in death by his parents Vedamanickam Asirvatham Azariah and Elizabeth Sugirtham Azariah, four brothers and two sisters.

Francis leaves to celebrate his life his wife of 54 years, Shalini and their three children, Sheena Luxmi Azariah of St. Paul, MN, Ramesh Sundaram Azariah of Palo Alto, CA and Shanti Kumari Azariah of El Sobrante, CA; a granddaughter, Katya of Glendale, CA; a brother, Eric Dhanapal Azariah and his wife Betsy Azariah of Cerritos, CA, and his two “life-long” brothers, Udaykumar Koppikar and Gopikrishna Saraf of Palo Alto, CA.

Francis will always be remembered for his radiant smile, his undeterred, undying love of life, and his unfailing willingness to help others. He was full of ideas and dreams and was determined to make them come true….. and…. That he did!

Francis will be dearly missed by many. We can say he truly enjoyed a great life and achieved his life-long dream of “Coming to America and Making it His Home!”

He Did it His Way!

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