Mara Gnanadesikan

Mara Gnanadesikan

2010 - 2019

Mara Gnanadesikan

Mara Gnanadesikan


Mara’s life began in Oakland on December 5, 2010. On September 30, 2019, she died there, far too soon.

For the first half of her short life she was an Oaktown girl through and through: she loved to play at Dimond and Montclair parks, stroll around lake Merritt, visit the Dimond branch library and get a cookie from La Farine on the way home. After listening to classical music on the radio in the morning at White Rabbit day care, for a long while, that was the only kind of music she would listen to.

After moving to Napa, inspired by her experience at Connolly Ranch, Mara wanted to become an “‘erbalist.” As she grew older, this ambition quickly turned to copious slime making (squishy, stretchy, puffy, clear, glittery, glow-in-the-dark, ad infinitum). As the slime recipes abounded so did her ability to trouble shoot until she achieved what she wanted. After a while, she set her sights on becoming a chef and a scientist. During the most recent summer, Mara would get up early to make her mother a breakfast of a perfectly fried egg over easy, toast, and coffee. Mara was looking forward to learning cursive and to getting a puppy after she was done wearing braces.

Her favorite thing in the world was playing with her friends and cousins. Recently, she opted to get hot lunch at school only because it meant she wouldn’t have to take the time to unpack her lunchbox and delay her playtime after school. Play often consisted of building cardboard hideouts, making carefully engineered “snail villages”, and flying down the stairs in a specially outfitted cardboard box.

When not playing with her friends or cousins, she loved riding horses, fishing with her dad, traveling with her parents, and spending time on the beach.

Mara was a great mathematician, nature lover, reader and a friend to all. She was quiet but not shy, observant with piercing eyes, fiercely independent, persistent, loyal, and kind. Despite her youth she contained the depths of an ocean.

Mara’s light will be forever shining in the hearts of those who were lucky enough to know her and survive her: her mother Dominik and father Mukund, grandmother Mrudulla and grandfather Vlado, her relatives and cousins in Croatia, India, and the United States, and her friends.

Donations in Mara’s memory can be made to Mara’s Memorial Fund at the Community Resources for Children Napa (CRC) on-line at

Sign up for our obituaries newsletter

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Breaking News