West Des Moines

David Girharilal Khodai, 80, passed away peacefully at his home on March 30, 2021, in Des Moines. He was born in Bath Settlement, Guyana on December 19, 1940, to Betty and Albert Khodai and raised in Kingelly Village.

His ancestors migrated from India to Guyana to work on sugar plantations and growing up in Guyana he lived a very simple life. As a kid he enjoyed playing cricket, working, and visiting his family in nearby villages.

He has always been the rock for his family and at a young age he became the sole provider when his parents were both ill. His siblings all said he was like a father to them.

He was a master in the art of tailoring. Those skills brought him to America with $25 in his pocket, and following his brother Johnny, he went to work for Wilson’s in 1972. He opened Dave’s Tailor Shop in 1978, living the American dream, something he strongly believed in.

Tailoring helped him make money and saved his client’s money, both things that he truly enjoyed. In an article in The Des Moines Register in 1987, he said he loved to take something that doesn’t fit someone and make it perfect for them. In 1998, he moved to Tampa where he lived his best life and worked as a tailor for Brooks Brothers for 16 years.

David loved working, telling stories, and spending time with his big family, watching his girls perform, and watching football. He was hardworking, giving and caring, and never met anyone who didn’t remember him.

He spent the last 6 years of his life back in Iowa and loved being closer to his daughters and grandkids. Despite all of his health challenges, David was proud and loved his independence.

His life will be celebrated and remembered by his former wife, Bev Khodai; aunt, Gloria Bulkan; daughters, Melissa (Eric) Burkheimer and Amanda (Scott) Phaydavong; step -daughters, Julie Cummings and Anita Gurwell; brothers, Johnny (Reba) Khodai and Jailal (Laura) Khodai; sisters, Jasmatee Roopnaraine, Babjone (Raymond) Jadoo, Rajmattie Khodai, and Janet Metz; grandchildren, Trenton and Nathan Burkheimer, Scottie and Andre Phaydavong; step –grandchildren, Mark, Mike, Tommy and Dylan Gurwell; and many cousins, nephews, nieces, aunties, uncles, and friends and family who loved him dearly.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Betty and Albert Khodai, uncle, Riley Bulkan, and brothers-in-law, John Metz, Seaford Roopnaraine, and Hiraman Hardat.

A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, April 10 at 10 a.m. at Hamilton’s on Westown Parkway, 3601 Westown Parkway in West Des Moines with burial following at Laurel Hill Cemetery. The family will receive guests, also at Hamilton’s on Westown Parkway, on Friday, April 9 from 5-7 p.m. and again for refreshments following Saturday’s burial.

The family requests masks be worn and social distancing is encouraged.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the family in loving memory of David. Condolences may be expressed at

Service Details

Friday, April 9, 2021
5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Hamilton's on Westown Parkway
3601 Westown Parkway
West Des Moines, Iowa
Saturday, April 10, 2021
10:00 am
Celebration of Life
Hamilton's on Westown Parkway
3601 Westown Parkway
West Des Moines, Iowa
Laurel Hill Cemetery
Des Moines, Iowa
Hamilton's on Westown Parkway
3601 Westown Parkway
West Des Moines, Iowa 50266
(515) 224-0078

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