Vivek Likhite, also known as John, passed away on March 3, 2016 after several years of various illnesses. “Mr. Likhite,” as he was known to his students at ETHS, initiated a program that connected students interested in careers in health to Evanston hospitals. The program continues years after his retirement. Students are able to observe and study various aspects of the medical profession through this program. Prior to his tenure at ETHS he taught Science at Nichols Middle School.
Likhite was born in Baroda (Vadodra) India and came to this country with his family at the age of ten, arriving at Ellis Island. They lived in various places until they settled in Elgin, IL. His name was changed to John because the culture at the time was unused to “foreign” names, but in later years he used his birth name. After earning a Ph.D at Illinois State University, he came to Chicago, where he met his wife Diane at the Gad’s Hill Settlement house. Diane Likhite taught in D. 65 as a reading specialist in elementary schools and a became a math teacher at Haven Middle School. Their sons, Craig and Michael live in Evanston. Michael teaches at Orrington School and his wife Jennifer teaches at Chute Middle School. Craig is a VP at Cramer Krasselt Advertising Firm and his wife April recently retired as coach of the Northwestern University women’s running team. There are three grandchildren, Cade, Jake and Kai Elizabeth.
A memorial service was held at ETHS in the Upstairs Theater, attended by a few hundred people, and the eulogies indicated that he was beloved by all for his friendship, sense of humor, his love of teaching and mentoring students, as well as enjoying science experiments and nature walks with his three grandchildren. He was also known for his great Indian cooking. Many people and former students have written to his family to express his influence on their lives; that he made them better people because he was caring and insightful. Close friends joke about going places with him and running into former students everywhere, who would stop to talk to him. He always gave them a big hug. Vivek was a good neighbor to all who knew him in the Firemens Park neighborhood.
A scholarship has been set up in his name to be awarded to a deserving senior planning to to study for a career in healthcare. Contributions can be sent to:
Likhite Scholarship Fund at ETHS, Career and Technical Dept. (CTE), 1600 Dodge Ave. 60201.