Obituary: Boeing employee shared his passion for music
When Sharad Gadre moved his family to Seattle in 1966, to begin what would be a 30-year career at Boeing, his focus was on work but his...
Seattle Times staff reporter
When Sharad Gadre moved his family to Seattle in 1966, to begin what would be a 30-year career at Boeing, his focus was on work but his love for music was almost always on his mind.
Mr. Gadre was an accomplished vocalist, performing North Indian classical music along the West Coast. He even intertwined the skills he gained on the job, where he worked as a computer scientist, to create software for students of Indian classical music.
In retirement, Mr. Gadre devoted more time to music even though he battled a blood disorder, which eventually evolved into leukemia. He died at his North Seattle home on Tuesday (Aug. 3). He was 71.
Mr. Gadre was born in 1939 and grew up in a small village a few hours from Mumbai. As a teen, Mr. Gadre moved into his grandparents' home in the larger town of Pune so he could attend high school and college, said his son, Rudy Gadre of Clyde Hill.
Mr. Gadre married the daughter of his parents' friends, and in the mid-1960s, Mr. Gadre and his new bride, Shaila, moved to London so he could study structural engineering at Imperial College, Rudy Gadre said. After receiving his doctorate, Mr. Gadre was hired by Boeing to work on its supersonic transport program. The couple moved to Seattle in 1968.
When the program was canceled in the 1970s, Mr. Gadre transferred within Boeing to another department he was deeply passionate about — computer science. Mr. Gadre had worked with computers while in London, and when the first Apple II was released for home use in 1976, he bought one the day they hit the market, his son said.
"He was fascinated by them [computers]," Rudy Gadre said. "People didn't understand why we had a computer in our house. He knew they would be a big thing in the future."
When Mr. Gadre retired from Boeing in 1996, he left the company as a senior principal scientist, Rudy Gadre said. As a retiree, Mr. Gadre put his computer skills to use and created RagaParichaya, a program devised to help people learn the elements of Indian classical music. Before he died, Mr. Gadre was working on an updated version of the software. His son said he plans to eventually release the update so users can download it for free.
"From the time he was a really young child he had a passion for music," Rudy Gadre said. "He had a mathematical brain; I think the mathematical aspects of music meant a lot to him."
Mr. Gadre performed as a vocalist for Seattle Maharashtra Mandal, Indian Association of Western Washington, Ragamala of Seattle, Ragamala Performing Arts Society of Canada, and other groups, Rudy Gadre said. He also performed as an accompanist on the harmonium, a free-standing keyboard. Mr. Gadre received several awards for his dedication to music, his son said.
Besides music, Mr. Gadre had a love for squash, tennis, cricket, badminton, bicycling and skiing, his son said. He played in a local squash league until he grew ill.
"He was very disciplined. He never sat around watching TV much; he just made time for his passions," Rudy Gadre said.
In addition to his son, Mr. Gadre is survived by his wife, Shaila Gadre, who is a retired architect. He is also survived by grandsons Griffin and Kieran.
A private memorial service will be held this week for Mr. Gadre. In lieu of flowers, the Gadre family is asking for donations to be made to Ragamala of Seattle.
Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or email@example.com
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