Heath and Vaughn Funeral Home - Champaign Il

Today is

Harprit Singh Sandhu

Harprit Singh Sandhu, 80, passed away at home on February 25, 2021. 
Sandhu was born April 13, 1940, to Major Harpal Singh and Mohinder Kaur (Chahal) Sandhu in India. He is survived by his wife, Ann Marlow, his much loved stepchildren, Mitch (Bari Rothbaum) Marlow and Alison Marlow Campbell, dear granddaughter, Caroline and his nephew, Rahul Singh (Sonia) Sandhu and their children. He is also survived by his brother, Gurprit (Gogi)  Singh Sandhu, and his sister, Preetjit (Sandy) Kaur Sandhu Seth. And by his faithful dog, Pretzel.

Harprit went to board at the Welham Boys School at age 6 and was proud to have graduated from The Doon School in Dehradun, India. He came to C-U to attend the University of Illinois in 1958, where he earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering and did his Masters and PhD work in Ceramic Engineering. He never left C-U after falling in love with the people and the community that he found here. 

He was a kind and generous man to the very end not only as an employer but also, very much, to his family and friends. In his retirement, he loved visiting the local donut shop where he’d spend hours talking with his friends. Also during his retirement he wrote several books and developed kits for aspiring electronic enthusiasts.

He was at his happiest when he was with his family, the family he had always longed for. 

Harprit was a deep thinker, great and patient teacher, and was masterfully skilled in many disciplines. He started and ran several businesses, including Sandhu Associates and Rhino Robots. One of his robotic arms was even in a movie. 

He had an extensive hobby shop where he did metal work, woodworking, electronics and welding. He built several buildings and a house, large model airplanes, heirloom furniture for his family, and even a real airplane.  He was never without a pencil and notecards to make notes on future projects. People commonly remarked on how intelligent, uniquely fascinating and well-read he was. He was very knowledgeable on the plants, birds, and trees that grew in the midwest and in the world.  

Growing up on the State Farm of India, he loved the land and deeply cared for the farming community. He owned and made good use of a John Deere tractor that kept him anchored to his farming roots. He was a brave, dignified, and loving man, and will be missed by many. 

A memorial service will be planned for the Fall.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Champaign Public Library or the American Cancer Society.

View the online obituary and send condolences to the family at www.HeathandVaughn.com.


I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time.

—Jo Church


Harprit was my first roommate at the U. of Illinois in 1958. Although we did not keep in touch, I have so many very fond memories of him. We did visit at his home several years ago when I was in C-U for a conference. He was just as I remembered him — a kind and gentle man. He was literally one of the most brilliant people I have ever known, in so many ways. May he rest in peace. My heartfelt condolences to his wife, Ann. 

—Ed Christophersen