Born Hyderabad India around March 1921 (there were no official birth records!), passed away peacefully 8th August 2005 Brighton UK.
“Steve” – to his European family and friends, “Nachi’ to his Indian family, was the epitome of an English gentlemen. Always dapper and dignified, he was one of the kindest and gentlest souls one could ever meet.
The following cherished images plot his rich and mostly happy life. We hope you enjoy them, and to all who knew him, remember him well and with a warm smile.
Johan, Lyn and Hannah Coorg. August 2005.
Steve’s cremation took place on 15th August at 3:15 pm. at Woodvale Crematorium, Lewes Rd, Brighton, East Sussex.
Detail from family photo showing young Steve, probably not looking forward to going to school!
Early – 1930s
His father Venkatchar Sreenivas Coorg was a prominent civil engineer undertaking projects all over India. Sreenivas, the only son with four sisters, was the apple of his eye.
His early education was by English teachers in Hyderabad.
At the age of 13 his natural mother, Garuda, passed away. Venkatchar remarried Kamala, just 8 years senior to young Sreenivas, or “Nachi” to his close Indian family. Kamala still lives in Hyderabad with the senior sister Mythily (b.1918).
Approx. 1947 – London.
After finishing studies in India, Venkatchar agreed to sponsor Nachi to study at Chelsea College of Aeronautics.
He arrived shortly after the war at Tilbury, on a boat full of returning servicemen.
Nachi’s boyhood dream was to come to Europe (unusual for the time). He quickly adapted and grew to love the London life, enjoying tennis, cricket and meeting all sorts of beautiful blonde European girls at the “International Club” on the Strand!
After his first round of studies, Nachi’s father called him home and arranged him a position with Deccan Airways in Hyderabad. It lasted just 6 months. Nachi was determined to return to UK and persuaded a very reluctant and sad father that his future lay in Europe. It caused a sad rift between them, never really resolved. Venkatchar passed away in 1971. Nachi did not see his father again.
A further period of study at Hamble gained Nachi (by then becoming “Steve” to his UK pals) his aircraft engineer papers and one of his first jobs was based in Jersey servicing Dakota aircraft used to export potatoes.
Nachi first visited Switzerland around this time. He had a passionate affair with Heidi, which in the end was not to be. Heidi’s conservative father disapproved of the relationship.
It also was around then at Lake Luzern that Nachi met his future wife Zita, a vivacious Dutch blonde, just like him on a student trip. Zita was with a boyfriend, yet somehow the charming Nachi persuaded her to meet him, without the hapless boyfriend’s knowledge! The relationship blossomed from then on.
1948 – London
Zita’s first visit to UK.
She must have been impressed with his sartorial elegance! Despite not being well-off, Nachi took great pride in his clothes. Here seen sporting real Saville Row suit and original Ray Ban Aviator sunglasses.
Sent as a gift to Zita Ferrari and family in Utrecht Holland, this photo surely must have tipped the iceberg and persuaded Zita that Nachi was “The One”!
On 19th March 1954 the records show that 32 year old bachelor Sreenivas Narasimha Iyengar Coorg married 26 year old Dutch spinster Zita Ferrari.
The happy couple settled first in King’s Avenue, Ealing.
Nachi scraped a living for them both as an insepctor for Fairey Aviaiton in Hayes, Middlesex.
Only son Johan Coorg was born in September 1955. Nachi had to take all the overtime he could get.
1957 – Amsterdam Schiphol airport
The young Coorg family needed more living space and Fairey moved Nachi – by now he had become more “Steve”- to a company house in Maidenhead, Berkshire.
This photo shows Steve, Johan, Zita, her mother and her beloved uncle Johan Von Stein, the artist, “Ojo”.
Mum and son used to stay in Holland virtually all summer with the Dutch family, whilst Steve joined for his annual 2 week break.
1964 – Holland
By the mid 1960s Steve had become such a regular visitor to Holland that his Dutch became quite understandable.
The family continued to fly into Amsterdam every year until 1966 when Steve and Zita proudly bought their first car, a Ford Anglia. From then on it was “hit the open road” to Europe every summer.
1967 – Top of the Eiffel Tower.
Father and 11 year old son enjoy the view.
Although it was Steve who first passed his driving test, Zita was absolutely the car lover. She became a part time driving instructor. Steve was content to sit as passenger, smoking his pipe and taking in the countrysides of northern Europe.
1970 – Dover.
New car, new home. The old Fairey company had handed the house to the council and Steve and Zita saved like mad to buy their first house, a modern semi-detached, also in Maidenhead, in 1968.
Steve had received regular promotions and was doing quite well. Then the bombshell hit in 1971- Fairey was sold to Westland Helicopters and the factory near London was closed. Redundancy loomed for many, but Steve was valued and offered relocation to Westland’s plant in Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset.
1981 – Varsseveld Holland
The family settled in Weston and Steve continued to progress in his career. He ended up in senior management at Westlands.
Holidays every year continued to be motoring trips to France, Belgium, Holland and Germany visiting many old friends and relatives.
By 1983-4 unfortunately Zita experienced her first bout of anxiety, which worsened into clinical depression. This condition was to repeat in the 90s and dogged her regularly until her untimely death in 1997. Throughout these tough periods Steve was a tower of strength, never wavering, giving her total loving care.
1983 – Early retirement
Steve grabbed retirement offer two years early. This photo with the chairman.
In 1988 Steve returned to India for 6 weeks to visit his dear family after a long break of some 50 years!
1991 – Hannah Coorg (one day old)
Steve was totally thrilled by the arrival of his “lovely Hannah”.
Right up to his passing away, he enjoyed a wonderful rapport with his grand daughter.
1994 – Bristol
Steve really enjoyed gardening at all his homes and was a most welcome volunteer for his son! And skillfully aided by toddler Hannah!
2000 – A pint in a pub
Beer……… another one of Steve’s great loves. There was nothing he enjoyed better than a pint in a lovely pub garden on a sunny day. But it was always in moderation.
Johan, Lyn and Hannah had relocated to south east England in 1993, moving to Brighton in 1996.
After four years on his own in Weston, Steve decided to buy an apartment in Brighton in 2001.
Close to family, Steve very quickly settled and these were to become amazingly happy final years.
He visited old friends and family in USA. He returned with Johan to his beloved Switzerland to revisit the spot where he met Zita, and the whole family took wonderful holidays in India, Spain, Morroco and Turkey.
2003 – Barcelona & New York
In 2003 Steve underwent full chemotherapy to treat Lyphoma. He absolutely met the treatment head on with strength and continued to enjoy life, going into full remission for 2 years.
2004 – The Sussex Countryside
Steve thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful Sussex countryside.
2005 – July
Despite the terminal return of his 2003 illness early in 2005, Steve handled the rapid loss of leg movement with great courage and dignity, always seeing the good sides of life and remaining deeply interested in others and affairs of the world around him.
Here enjoying a pint at a favourite country pub with Lyn.