Obituary of Elena Dorabji



March 30, 1946 – Sept. 26, 2018


50 Year Resident of the Santa Clara Valley


Family and friends will gather in Santa Cruz on October 9th to say farewell to Elena Dorabji, a loving mother, grandmother, devoted friend and professor, who passed away on September 26th, following a battle with cancer.


Born in Heidelberg, Germany, she was 72 years old. Elena immigrated from Germany in 1951, lived in Canada, and then grew up in Salinas, CA.


A professor of Political Science for more than 48 years, she earned her PhD at U.C. Berkeley, and taught at De Anza College, Santa Clara University and San Jose State University.  She leaves loving colleagues and former students whose lives were changed by her stories and insight.  She was a dedicated listener of KPFA, very involved with the California Faculty Association, and will be remembered for her dedication to and passion for teaching.


From tiling the bathroom, to sewing winter coats for her granddaughters, to baking her famous trifle, Elena brought precision, efficiency and grace to all that she did. She was an accomplished seamstress, writer, cook, baker, gardener and an ace of all trades. Friends and family gathered around her kitchen table for home-cooked meals and afternoon teas. She was the glue that held family and friendship circles together, creating a foundation to better love one and other. Family meant everything to her.


Elena is survived by her daughters, Tara Dorabji and Zarine Dorabji. She also leaves her beloved granddaughters Kali, Ixchel, and Kula; grandson Oscar; sister Maria Venturini; and dear friend Ken Hayes. She will also be deeply missed by her loving dog, Goldie.


A funeral ceremony will begin at 10 AM on Tuesday, October 9th at Benito and Azzaro Pacific Gardens Chapel in Santa Cruz.  Committal services will follow at Soquel Cemetery in Soquel; a Celebration of Life will follow in Cupertino. Details for those attending are below. 


Any kind acts of charity can be made in her name to KPFA radio in Berkeley, CA.