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We Remember

Dr. Debesh Chandra Maldas

March 28, 1954 – August 15, 2022

A loving father and husband, Dr. Debesh Chandra Maldas, aged 68, residing in Brentwood, Tennessee, passed away on August 15, 2022.

Born on March 28, 1954, in Gokul Nagar Gram, to Sachindra Nath and Sushilabala Maldas, Debesh spent his formative years in Midnapore, West Bengal, India. As a young man, he studied at Calcutta University and achieved his PhD in Physical Chemistry in 1985. He continued his Postdoctoral work at the University of Quebec in Canada. He completed a Fellowship in Japan’s University of Kyoto in 1995. Debesh continued his career in the United States as a visiting professor at Michigan State University from 1997 to 2002. In 2002, he joined the State of Tennessee’s Department of Health.

An exceptionally accomplished scientist, Debesh achieved seven patents, published numerous research publications, and was awarded the Marquis Who’s Who Publication Board award.

On February 8, 1988, he married Sukti Maldas in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. Debesh and Sukti welcomed their beautiful daughter Deya Maldas in Three Rivers, Quebec, Canada on April 4, 1994.

Debesh lived a full life, often enjoying gardening and achieving multiple awards at the TN State Fair and Williamson County Fair for his agriculture. He was a prominent, active and beloved member of the Bengali Association of Greater Nashville.

Debesh is survived by Sukti Maldas and Deya Maldas. He was a loving, kind and giving man. He will forever be loved and missed.

Dr. Dilip Kumar Bhowmik

December 25, 1939 – April 15, 2022

Dr. Dilip Kumar Bhowmik passed away peacefully on Friday April 15, 2022. at the age of 82 years old. He was recovering from aspiration pneumonia at West Meade Place Physical Rehabilitation Center. Dr. Bhowmik was born on December 25, 1939 in Badal, India (now Bangladesh) to Kali Pada & Sneha Lata Bhowmik. He graduated from Banaras Hindu University with an undergraduate BSc Agriculture degree in 1960 and a Master’s degree in Agricultural Economics degree in 1963. He met his wife, Shubha Golime, in Hyderabad in 1965, while they were both participating in an international research program called Diffusion of Innovations funded by Michigan State University. Shubha and Dilip were married on July 1, 1967, in Hyderabad. Theirs was a love marriage and the ceremony was held in Hyderabad and officiated by the Chancellor of Institute of Community Development, ICS Jacobs.

Dilip and Shubha moved to the United States in September 1967 to pursue Dilip’s PhD in Communications at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. They then moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in 1971 where Dilip was a professor at Fisk University from 1971-2005 with a two year stint at Meharry Medical College (1971-73.) Dilip was the head of the Fisk University Sociology Department for a number of years. He and Dr. Everett Rogers are renowned today for their article, “Homophily-Heterophily: Relational Concepts for Communication Research.” Dilip had many interests and held many titles outside of his career as a college professor. He was a longtime leader in the Nashville Indian community, serving as the President of the India Association of Nashville (1982-83) and as one of the founders of the Bengali Association of Greater Nashville. He directed and acted in many Bengali theatrical productions and performed in many Indian Republic Day Celebrations.

Dilip Bhowmik is survived by his wife Shubha Bhowmik, his two daughters and sons-in-law, Shonali Bhowmik & Jasper Patch, Ruchi Bhowmik & Francis Grab, granddaughters Priya and Kavi Grab, brothers Biplab and Pralay Bhowmik and his sister Anita Ghosh, as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews.

Funeral arrangements are pending. Please forward your condolences to:
shubhagolime@gmail.com

Statement from daughters Shonali and Ruchi Bhowmik

Dad’s keen sense of humor kept our family laughing. He taught us to embrace others no matter their race, religion, sex or creed. He was a fighter for social justice and civil rights. We will never forget marching with Dad in the march against apartheid when South Africa was invited to play the Davis Cup hosted in Nashville 1978. Dad was a jokester and often played pranks on his wife with his kids such as wearing a wig and fooling his wife as an unruly customer at her Indian variety store, Shubha’s Enterprises. Dad was known for his kindness and wonderful smile and ALWAYS said “thank you” even while he was experiencing tremendous discomfort during his illness. He had a strong moral character and was highly disciplined pushing us to be better and do better. He always said he was a simple man and content with the simple things in life. We loved waking up as little girls at the break of dawn to go fishing with him. We admired his ability to always see the simple truths within the complexities of life. He was an astute observer of humanity and human nature and challenged us to think critically. He believed we all had so much more in common with each other than we realize. He was a fighter til the end and we are grateful to have had him as our father.

Dad’s intellect, wisdom, wit, compassion, kindness and undying devotion to his family will be missed by his wife of over 54 years Shubha Bhowmik, his two daughters and sons-in-law, Shonali Bhowmik & Jasper Patch, Ruchi Bhowmik & Francis Grab, two granddaughters Priya and Kavi Grab, his two brothers Bipalap and Pralay Bhowmik and his sister Anita Ghosh, as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews.

Here is a 15 minute video celebrating their then 45th marriage anniversary of Shubha and Dilip which Shonali made in 2012. It displays Dad’s great sense of humor and love for his wife Shubha.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vY8ovLZUL3E

Dilip and Shubha moved to the United States in September 1967 to pursue Dilip’s PhD in Communications at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. They then moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in 1971 where Dilip was a professor at Fisk University from 1971-2005 with a two year stint at Meharry Medical College (1971-73.) Dilip was the head of the Fisk University Sociology Department for a number of years. He and Dr. Everett Rogers are renowned today for their article, “Homophily-Heterophily: Relational Concepts for Communication Research.” Dilip had many interests and held many titles outside of his career as a college professor. He was a longtime leader in the Nashville Indian community, serving as the President of the India Association of Nashville (1982-83) and as one of the founders of the Bengali Association of Greater Nashville. He directed and acted in many Bengali theatrical productions and performed in many Indian Republic Day Celebrations.

Dilip Bhowmik is survived by his wife Shubha Bhowmik, his two daughters and sons-in-law, Shonali Bhowmik & Jasper Patch, Ruchi Bhowmik & Francis Grab, granddaughters Priya and Kavi Grab, brothers Biplab and Pralay Bhowmik and his sister Anita Ghosh, as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews.

Funeral arrangements are pending. Please forward your condolences to:
shubhagolime@gmail.com

Statement from daughters Shonali and Ruchi Bhowmik

Dad’s keen sense of humor kept our family laughing. He taught us to embrace others no matter their race, religion, sex or creed. He was a fighter for social justice and civil rights. We will never forget marching with Dad in the march against apartheid when South Africa was invited to play the Davis Cup hosted in Nashville 1978. Dad was a jokester and often played pranks on his wife with his kids such as wearing a wig and fooling his wife as an unruly customer at her Indian variety store, Shubha’s Enterprises. Dad was known for his kindness and wonderful smile and ALWAYS said “thank you” even while he was experiencing tremendous discomfort during his illness. He had a strong moral character and was highly disciplined pushing us to be better and do better. He always said he was a simple man and content with the simple things in life. We loved waking up as little girls at the break of dawn to go fishing with him. We admired his ability to always see the simple truths within the complexities of life. He was an astute observer of humanity and human nature and challenged us to think critically. He believed we all had so much more in common with each other than we realize. He was a fighter til the end and we are grateful to have had him as our father.

Dad’s intellect, wisdom, wit, compassion, kindness and undying devotion to his family will be missed by his wife of over 54 years Shubha Bhowmik, his two daughters and sons-in-law, Shonali Bhowmik & Jasper Patch, Ruchi Bhowmik & Francis Grab, two granddaughters Priya and Kavi Grab, his two brothers Bipalap and Pralay Bhowmik and his sister Anita Ghosh, as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews.

Here is a 15 minute video celebrating their then 45th marriage anniversary of Shubha and Dilip which Shonali made in 2012. It displays Dad’s great sense of humor and love for his wife Shubha.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vY8ovLZUL3E

Lily Chatterjee

Dear All,
With heavy heart we share the sad news of the demise of our dearest Mrs. Lily Chatterjee for her journey to eternal peace in heaven. We offer our deepest condolences for the family of Lily di. With her we lost a lifelong dedicated member of BAGN. May God bless her soul.
Memorial Services and Cremation will be held on :
Thursday, October 21, 2021, from 10 am-12 pm at
West Harpeth Funeral Home,
6962 Charlotte Pike, Nashville TN.37209.
Tel. 615-352-9400.
The family requests that you make donations to UNICEF, in her honor in lieu of flowers.
Please attend only if you are vaccinated, and please wear a mask.

Bengali Association of Greater Nashville
Coordinating Committee

Dr. Molly Syamali Chatterjee

Her visitation was held on Monday, March 2, 2020 from 5-8pm at the Roesch-Patton Funeral Home 9010 Church Street E, Brentwood, TN 37027. Private cremation and burial services were held subsequently for the family.

Obituary

(Shared with us by her daughter Dr. Suzanna Chatterjee)

Dr. Molly Syamali Chatterjee, 76, of Brentwood, Tennessee died on February 28, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. She was born on September 17, 1943 in Kolkata, India, she is preceded in death by her parents, elder brother and her late husband, Jay Subimal Chatterjee.

Dr. Chatterjee was dual Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Maternal Fetal Medicine. She practiced medicine on four continents – Asia, Africa, Europe and North America. During her career, she took care of thousands of women and assisted them in childbirth. She was an outstanding student during her medical studies winning many gold and silver medals for her achievements. She was dedicated to medical education and academic medicine. Over the course of her career, she was given multiple awards and was a well-published Professor of Medicine.

She was a Fulbright Scholar in Bonn, Germany who made significant professional contributions to fetal doppler ultrasound research.

She was an active Rotarian, including becoming a Paul Harris Fellow and an Arch Klumph Society Member with Rotary International. After having a successful private medical practice and retiring, she dedicated her life to philanthropy. Most recently, she was able to see her dream of opening a hospital in Kolkata, India come to fruition after years of planning, hard work and determination. She was so excited and happy about Rotary International breaking ground to build a hospital in Kolkata this year. Her generous charitable givings to establish the “Dr. Molly S. Chatterjee Endowed Fund” to benefit projects in Maternal and Child Health, in perpetuity, through Rotary International.

She loved traveling, classical Indian dance and music, poetry Rabindranath Tagore, trying different cuisines, hosting and planning parties and events, and spending time with her granddaughter and family and friends.

She is survived by her two daughters, Shilina Brown, Esq., Suzanna Chatterjee, MD, son-in-law Deron Brown, Esq., granddaughter Olivia Brown and many friends and family.

Dr. Mukul Ranjan Banerjee

With heavy heart we want to convey the sad news that our dear Mukulda is no longer with us. He was founder member of Bengali Association of Greater Nashville and was always involved with all BAGN activities. Please see below the message from his daughter Sumita Keller. We convey our deepest condolences to his family and pray for his departed soul to rest in eternal peace in Heaven.
Sincerely,
Ashok K. Saha, Chairperson, BAGN 2019-20

The following has been shared by Dr. Banerjee’s daughter Sumita.

In Memory of Dr. Mukul Ranjan Banerjee

Dr. Mukul Banerjee peacefully passed on Friday evening at home with his family at his side. Visitation and services will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 10, 2019 at West Harpeth Funeral Home (6962 Charlotte Pike Nashville, TN 37209). In lieu of flowers, the family asks you make donations to Meharry Medical College (https://www.mmc.edu/about/give-to-meharry/) in memory of Dr. Mukul Banerjee.

Dr. Kanailal Mookherjee

An Era has come to an end. With heavy heart, we would like to inform you all that our beloved ‘Mesomosai’ – Kanai Lal Mukherjee is no longer with us. He passed away on December 20th, 2018 at age 89 in Nashville, TN. We offer our condolences on behalf of BAGN to the family and pray for his soul for eternal peace. His life was celebrated on Saturday, January 5th, 2019, 6 pm – 9 pm at Sri Ganesha Temple, 527 Old Hickory Blvd, Nashville, TN 37209.

The family welcomes you to make donations to the following fund created in his memory to support childhood education. Contact Rohini (rchakravarthy1@gmail.com) for questions. https://www.gofundme.com/kanai-mukherjee-memorial-fund.

“Mesomosai” was very special for many reasons and a true inspirational for many due to his view towards life and immense contribution in BAGN and society at large. He was our guide, mentor in various manner and had been instrumental to get next stage ready specially performing puja and other activities in BAGN. He was also a ‘Guru’ in true sense as countless kids got their first “hatekhari” from him and for many of them he was their Dear ‘Dadu’ here in Nashville. Many of us had the opportunity to see and learn various things from him closely, and it’s a big vacuum that may or may not be filled in years to come.

 

The following obituary has been written by her grand-daughter Rohini Chakravarthy.

Dr. Kanailal Mookherjee

Dr. Mukherjee, known by many names (Dadu/Thaku/Babujee/Meshomasai/Cyber Grandpa/Kanuda/Mastersaheb/Room 222), inspired others with his contagious joy, positive attitude, and resilience. He was still joking hours before his death.

Dr. Kanai Mukherjee, was born in Banaras, India. He grew up at the banks of the Ganges River, the eighth of eleven children. In his childhood he learned how to do Hindu rituals from his blind father. He eventually went on to college, where he received a B.Sc. in Agriculture, Ph.D in plant physiology, along with a marriage certificate to a highly-educated trailblazer, Bibha Mukherjee.

In 1960 Dr. Muhkerjee accompanied his wife to the United States when she enrolled in a PhD program in Iowa. He later immigrated to the US with his family in 1968 and became a professor at Essex Community College, a Fulbright professor, and a respected priest in the Baltimore community, where the family settled. He authored several works on applying medical laboratory technology in developing nations. Later in life he started a nonprofit organization, Association of Grandparents of Indian Immigrants (www.agiivideo.com), devoted to spreading knowledge of Hinduism and Indian history and culture. His latest project was a compilation of all the major Bengali Hindu rituals, with translations, audio recordings, and detailed explanations. His works have touched the lives of countless people across the globe.

He is preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Bibha Mukherjee.

He is survived by his pride and joy — his three children, six grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Dr. Harsha Nath Mookherjee

With heavy heart we want to convey that our beloved Harsha Nath Mookherjee is no longer with us. We offer our condolences on behalf of BAGN to the family and pray for his soul for eternal peace.

All were invited to join the services (Shraddha and Puja)
on 11 am, this Saturday (August 11, 2018)  at
Franklin Inn (Best Western), 1308 Murfreesboro Road, Franklin, TN 37064.
This was an open invitation from his daughter, Dr. Paramita Mookherjee to anyone who wants to join this ceremony.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions might be made to The Mookherjee Award at TTU.

The following obituary has been written by her.

Sincerely,
BAGN Coordinating Committee

Dr. Harsha Nath Mookherjee

Dr Harsha Nath Mookherjee was born September 1, 1935 in Kolkata, India to the late Kanai Lal Mookherjee and Kamala Chatterjee Mookherjee.

Dr. Mookherjee and his wife, Ira Ganguly Mookherjee, moved to the US from India in 1967 for him to pursue doctoral studies at Mississippi State University, where he was awarded his PhD in 1971. In 1970, he joined the faculty at Tennessee Tech University where he remained until his retirement as a full professor in 2008 as one of the most published faculty in the Department of Sociology and Political Science. He was an internationally respected authority in sociology and anthropology, became a Fulbright Scholar in 1985 where he was awarded the Fulbright to teach in Papua New Guinea. Dr. Mookherjee cared deeply about his students, establishing The Mookherjee Award, a scholarship for TTU sociology majors that encouraged publishing and academic excellence. He received numerous major grants for an Alcohol Safety Program he oversaw in the Upper Cumberland Area. As a founding member of the local Indian community, he helped to organize religious and cultural outreach programs across the Middle Tennessee region. He and his wife participated in the TTU Host Family Program (ICHA) since its inception in 1970 and he served as President of the ICHU Board for many years. Dr. Mookherjee was a member of the Cookeville Noonday Rotary. He was a dedicated teacher and wonderful mentor, respected and beloved colleague, and cherished friend who will be missed by many in the Cookeville community.

At the age of 82, Dr. Mookherjee passed away Tuesday, August 7, 2018 in his home at Cookeville, TN.

He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Ira; daughter, Paramita (Mita) Mookherjee, son-in-law, Nikita Synytskyy, and grandson, Dmitriy Mookherjee Synytskyy, of Seattle, WA; and three sisters that reside in India.

Bimal Chatterjee

Dear BAGN Members, with heavy heart we are sharing the loss of beloved BAGN member Mr. Bimal Chatterjee. Here is an excerpt from the message we received from Ms. Radha Kirtane on his passing away. “… … apparently, Bimalda suffered heart attack almost a week ago, and came out of it. He was in rehab 3 days, when he got another massive heart attack, which turned out to be fatal. Lily-di and Bimalda are well known in our community and had moved to NJ just 2-3 years ago. Since I just got the news, have not talked to her yet..so really do not have exact details of how and when exactly this happened. May his soul rest in peace and truly pray Lily finds courage to deal with this blow!”

Dr. Asim Dutt

Dear All,
With great sadness, we want to inform you that our respected & beloved Asim-da (Dr. Asim Dutt) left us for the Heavenly Abode at 5:00 pm EST on June 26th 2017 in Ocala, Florida. Dr. Dutt was the first President of BAGN.

Dr. Ranendra Nath De

Dear BAGN Members and friends, we regret to say that long time BAGN member Dr. Ranendra Nath De has left us for The Heavenly Abode on Apri 24th 2012. He is survived by his wife Mrs. Ratna De, daughter Mira M Pellerin and son-in-law Hank Pellerin. May his soul rest in peace!

Dr. Anjali Dutta

Our beloved member Anjalidi, Dr. Dutta passed away on Friday, October, 19 at 4 PM. We mourn this loss of Dutta family and our community. Our deepest condolence to Asimda and their children. Anjalidi’s memorial service was performed at Florida and her body was cremated at 3 pm on Saturday. Later Asimda invited all to the memorial service held at Murfreesboro on Sunday 11th November at 11 am.

Biva Mukherjee

Bibha Mukherjee passed away on May 23rd in Allentown, PA. She is survived by her loving husband, Kanai, daughters Anuradha and Arundhati, son Aseet and six grandchildren.

The following was written by her husband Dr. Kanai Mukherjee

A life to Celebrate

One can write a book on the impressive life of this lady. Born in India in 1926, she received her Masters degree in Geography from Calcutta University (1946) at a time when higher education for women in India was still uncommon. She then went on to obtain a PhD from the University of Iowa in 1964. She was a professor at Benares Hindu University in India for 16 years and later at Morgan State University in Baltimore for 35 years. She retired in 2000 after teaching for over 50 years.

She achieved success professionally while maintaining a strong commitment to her friends and family. In her quiet, unassuming way, she helped countless people through all manners of difficulty. She is most remembered for her selfless generosity, strong personality, love of knowledge and dedication to the Hindu culture. Loved and respected by all who knew her, she touched their lives in a special way.

OM!

Asatoma Satgamaya

Tomasoma Jyotirgamaya

Mrityorma Amritangamaya

Om Shanti! Shanti! Shanti!

Oh Lord!

Lead me from falsehood unto truth

Lead me from darkness unto light

Lead me from death unto immortality

Peace! Peace! Peace!

[From Brihadaranyaka Upanishad]

Friends and relations of Mukherjees:

You are not here to attend the funeral service of a great soul, my wife, Bibha Mukherjee. It is her farewell party as she is returning home. It is a joyous occasion. There is no pastor or any eloquent speaker. I would like to share with you my experience with her during her last few days. This will tell us how to prepare ourselves for our final journey.

Her life was full of service to people and encouraging them to attain the best to serve the creator. She was quiet spoken yet firm in her believes. Most of the time I spoke for her. This reminds me of an instance. My grandson was then two or three years old. He always wanted me to tell him stories but he had no patience to listen to the story. So, when I start to tell the story, he may even slip out and do something else. It was one day when I started to tell a story, he moved to the next room and started to play with his toys. I stopped as I thought he is not interested. He came running like a bullet. “Why did you stop?” I said, “You are not here to listen to me story.” “That does not matter, keep talking.” And then he shoots out. I am sure Bibha is laughing there, as she always did, and asked me to repeat my stories again and again. She was a great listener.

Before my retirement I told Bibha that I want to marry again in order to keep up the modern tradition. She was not the least disturbed. She said, “I have to teach the new bride how to cook your favorites dishes otherwise you will end up eating only cold cut sandwiches.”

During her last few days I stayed with her practically round the clock. I never knew that silence could be so enjoyable. At night when I came back home for few hours of sleep, she pathetically looked at me, asking me not to go. But I had to keep myself going. This gave me an opportunity to review my life. Holding her hands, I realized how precious she was to so many. Last two days her face had a divine glow, she looked lot younger, her wrinkles disappeared and the nurses kept watching her with awe. The change came very slowly. She was not an ordinary woman. A woman who blended tradition with modernization.

It was during this time one of my friends sent me a poem. This was a translation of one of the Tagore’s poem, the Indian poet who received Nobel Prize in 1913, on the final journey of our lives. She heard it many times and I would like to read that to you before I conclude.

O helmsman, in your boat I’ll tread

The ocean of peace that lies ahead.

You will be the comrade here after.

Take, take me in your arm’s shelter.

In my journey into the infinite

Will burn the polestar ever bright.

You deliverer, your grace, your forgiveness,

Will be the only fare for this journey limitless.

The bond with this earth may now severed be.

With open arms let the universe embrace me.

The infinite unknown —-

To my heart may it be known.

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