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OBITUARY

Ved Prakash Kumar

March 3, 1929May 28, 2021
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Ved Prakash Kumar was born on March 3, 1929 to Ram Rakhi Kumar and Waris Shah Kumar in Lilla District, India (now a part of Pakistan).

He graduated with honors from Lahore Medical College with a Bachelors of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences. Ved married our lovely mother, Shanti Kumari Luthra (whom he affectionately called Shanta) in 1955 in the month of September. Shortly, thereafter, they had a beautiful baby girl, whom they named Jyotsna, who is pictured here with her cousin Poonam, Shanta, and Ved. He went on to have three more daughters.

Ved had a successful career with a pharmaceutical firm, IDPL in India where he held an executive position. He went on to work for the Ministry of Health and held the position of Under Secretary of Health. He then transitioned to the World Health Organization, and finally joined the World Bank in 1980 as a Public Health Specialist.

Since his passing, we have received emails from family and hundreds of friends who called him their own as "grandpa" and "uncle". All tributes had a common thread and message: Mr. Kumar made everyone feel special. His neighbor, Shilpie said, "He met our friends once when we had him over for dinner and the next time, he greeted each and everyone by their first name." His cousin, Dr. Vinod Sachdeva echoed the same sentiment.

Our dearest father will be sorely missed by Preety, me, his grandchildren that extend beyond immediate family to include Sahil, Neel, Shikha, Shamik, Priya, and Sonia. His brothers and their families will miss him very much and have shared their closeness to Ved in their own words (under comments) and in the photographs that are posted here.

Bandu, who made our fathers last months on earth so very special by treating him like a king, serving him high tea daily, and caring for him as if he were her own father, said she is going to remember him forever.

A death notice in the Washington Post will be available to be viewed on Friday, June 4th.

Below are comments and quotes from many of you and us.

"One of Phuphaji's teachings has really stuck with me: a promise made must be kept. Whether large or small, he always kept his promises. If he said a birthday card is on the way, surely enough it would arrive soon after. If he promised to share nutritional advice for acid reflux, the conversation would be followed by a letter with a daily diet plan. Through his example, the idea that one must only make a promise if one can keep it was etched deeply in my mind."

-Rashmi, Ved's loving niece

"My Bade Chachaji was my guardian angel during my childhood days. I used to run to him for every problem and he would sort it out for me.This bond continued forever. For me he was an inspiration, a role model and have always tried to emulate a lot his characteristics in my profession."

- Ila, Ved's loving niece

Dad,

I will always love you. You were the most wonderful father one could have asked for. Please accept this as my homage. I do not know if I will be able to speak at the funeral. I don't think I inherited the public speaking gene:). Until we meet again...

Your daughter in morning (Dolly)

"Bhaisaab was a father figure for us, and his passing is a terrible loss. We miss him and will continue to miss his visits and keeping the family united"..

Love & Prayers,

Manju & Sat

"Badhey Chachaji was my role model....that's how I would want to live in my life: Live Life Kingsize. He knew how to live his life to the fullest. Whether it was his daily walk routine or enjoying his palak, paneer IU a, dal, curd ... or unwinding with a game of cards over drinks with friends."

"I miss him very much and love him. Thanks to God for a man like him. Wherever he is gone, may he be peaceful. My family sends their sympathies."

-Bandu, dad's caregiver since the stroke in January 2020.

"Chachaji always made me feel special and loved. Amongst my most vivid childhood memories are the ones of his vibrant postcards sent from various countries his travels would take him to. All of them addressed to “Piddi Kumar”, his pet name for me. My 8th birthday was extra special because he was in town and we all went to Taj Mahal hotel for dinner.....for an 8 year old that was just the most glamorous thing to do....and that too with a spanking new “imported” orange and white polka dotted frock! He followed my career growth with interest and was most happy when I joined Shell. Will miss him but happy that he lived a full life and I would like to celebrate that."

Arpana Kumar Ahuja (Mini)

Services

  • Celebration of Life Service

    Sunday, June 6, 2021

    VIEW VIDEO

Memories

Ved Prakash Kumar

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Kantabagh Anand

June 12, 2021

Kumar Sahib was a very decent man. Always there when you needed him. A good and close friend for many years. We have great memories of the times spent playing cards and socializing. We especially remember the wonderful trip together to Trinidad. We will truly miss him.

- Kanta and DilBagh Anand

Subash Chandra

June 5, 2021

I consider myself exceptionally fortunate to know Mr. Ved Kumar for over forty years. We were initially colleagues together at the World Bank. Throughout these four decades, we not only became close friends, but also family.

Mr. Kumar was always there when I needed him for advice. His sincerity and desire to help was obvious. He was polite, earnest, respectful, and caring in all matters. I will cherish every memory of the moments we shared together.

Mr. Kumar was also very brave person, and endured several medical challenges during the last few years. Despite all of these difficult moments, his spirit never faded.

This is not just the time for us to grieve for Mr. Kumar, but it is also our time to celebrate his life. He never wanted to see people sad. He wanted to make everyone happy. So as we lay his body to rest, let us all think back and remember those moments when Mr. Kumar touched our lives. How he made us laugh and how good he was as a person. We should all be thankful that we were given the chance to have known this man named Mr. Ved Kumar.

He is now in his heavenly abode - may his soul rest in peace with the Supreme – and may God bless the family with inner strength to bear the pain of separation. He completed his journey of life and you have given him a befitting farewell.

God bless the family.

-Subash Chandra, World Bank Colleague and Friend

Poonam Vadehra

June 4, 2021

A wonderful human being who was always watching over us and protecting us . He has touched my life in so many ways that I fall short of words to express my love and gratitude for our beloved Phupaji.
He was a gracious man who lived his life to the fullest on his terms with unmatched style and charisma. His aura will never leave us but always be be with us in so many cherished memories . Just like my father to me , his loss is a void that will be very difficult for me to fill and get by.
Love you forever and miss you Phuphaji

Preety Kumar

June 3, 2021

My father was my anchor and my rock. He was always there for me and my children. No matter what the challenge, he had my back. I told my older son, Sahil, I felt like an orphan now. He laughed and said, no Mom, you are now the head of the family. I told my younger son, Neel, I was struggling with letting go. He said, "Mom, how many people can say they had someone like Nana in their life. And you had so many years with him. We should not mourn but rather celebrate his life.". I still think of all the small and big things his loss means to me and will continue the journey without the shade he provided. Hope to meet you again soon Dad. Love, your daughter Preety.

Denis BROUN

June 3, 2021

Ved Kumar was a mentor and an adviser, who knew much more than he would care to show and was wiser than most.
I remember regularly walking with him (and barely keeping pace, although he was 25 years older than me) and receiving his recommendations, which have helped me so much when I served in the World Bank.
I always kept a special place for him among my public health heroes. His contribution to a better health for people in poor countries cannot be underestimated.
May him rest in peace.
Dr Denis Broun

FROM THE FAMILY

Portrait taken around 2006

FROM THE FAMILY

Ved and Shanta (Mom and Dad) very soon after marriage. (1956?)

FROM THE FAMILY

Ved, Shanta with Bittu (Jyotsana, standing by mom (Shanta)) and Poonam (Baby, standing by dad (Ved)).

FROM THE FAMILY

Dad with Priya and Sonia (Halloween 2015 with Mrs. Claus and Bumble Bee)

FROM THE FAMILY

Ved with his brothers. Sat Paul to the left (Retd. Air Force Wing Commander), and Suraj Kumar (Statistician) to the right.

FROM THE FAMILY

Portrait taken around 2006

FROM THE FAMILY

Ved and Shanta (Mom and Dad) very soon after marriage. (1956?)

FROM THE FAMILY

Ved, Shanta with Bittu (Jyotsana, standing by mom (Shanta)) and Poonam (Baby, standing by dad (Ved)).

FROM THE FAMILY

Dad with Priya and Sonia (Halloween 2015 with Mrs. Claus and Bumble Bee)

FROM THE FAMILY

Ved with his brothers. Sat Paul to the left (Retd. Air Force Wing Commander), and Suraj Kumar (Statistician) to the right.

FROM THE FAMILY

Ved with Suraj, his wife Kannan, and Son (Puneet), Wife, Kim and Son (Omni)

FROM THE FAMILY

Ved with nieces Ila (Left) and Vandana (Right)

FROM THE FAMILY

Dad at Shikha's (Grand Niece) wedding, Rochester, NY, 2018.

FROM THE FAMILY

Ved (dad) with niece, Vandana

FROM THE FAMILY

Pictured here (partial picture) is Ved (dad) with Dolly (aka Sangeeta) to the right.

Biography

Ved Prakash Kumar was born on March 3, 1929 to Ram Rakhi Kumar and Waris Shah Kumar in Lilla District, India (now a part of Pakistan).

He graduated with honors from Lahore Medical College with a Bachelors of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Ved married our lovely mother, Shanti Kumari Luthra (whom he affectionately called Shanta) in 1955 in the month of September. Shortly, thereafter, they had a beautiful baby girl, whom they named Jyotsna, who is pictured here with her cousin Poonam, Shanta, and Ved. He went on to have three more daughters.

Ved had a successful career with a pharmaceutical firm, IDPL in India where he held an executive position.
He went on to work for the Ministry of Health and held the position of Under Secretary of Health. He then transitioned to the World Health Organization, and finally joined the World Bank in 1980 as a Public Health Specialist.

Since his passing, we have received emails from family and hundreds of friends who called him their own as "grandpa" and "uncle". All tributes had a common thread and message: Mr. Kumar made everyone feel special. His neighbor, Shilpie said, "He met our friends once when we had him over for dinner and the next time, he greeted each and everyone by their first name." His cousin, Dr. Vinod Sachdeva echoed the same sentiment.

Our dearest father will be sorely missed by Preety, me, his grandchildren that extend beyond immediate family to include Sahil, Neel, Shikha, Shamik, Priya, and Sonia. His brothers and their families will miss him very much and have shared their closeness to Ved in their own words (under comments) and in the photographs that are posted here.

Bandu, who made our fathers last months on earth so very special by treating him like a king, serving him high tea daily, and caring for him as if he were her own father, said she is going to remember him forever.

Below are comments and quotes from many of you and us.

Dearest Dad,

"You were my rock and anchor through the journey of life. We were cut out of the same cloth. Street fighters to the end. You never failed to be there for me and my kids. I was talking to Sahil, your first born grandchild (and grandson) and told him I'm an orphan. He laughed and said "Mom, you can't be an orphan. You are too old for that. Nana would want you to be leading the family." I told my younger son, Neel, I am really lost. He said, "Mom, you should be celebrating Nana's life not mourning his death. He was so loving and incredible." I listened to them, Dad, and I understood what you have done over the years. You have infused hope and strength in us through your example. I will miss you, your strength, and your sense of humor. I will miss you in small ways and big ways. Impossible to explain your presence in my life every day and frankly no words seem to suffice. I hope to be reunited with you soon. Your loving daughter always,"

- Preety (our mom's and dad's youngest daughter, whom dad nicknamed 'Preetam Singh' because he thought she was going to be a boy. She outdid any boy I ever knew. (Ms. CEO)

"Mr. Kumar was the best person in the world. He was the most optimistic, friendliest, nicest, sweetest, and strongest person I know. Mr. Kumar is very smart. He always knew a lot about events that happened around the world. He also always recommended interesting books to us. Every Wednesday evening, we had ice cream parties at his house. He would tell us amazing stories of him adventuring around the world. When he went to India in the winter, we waited until he came back and told us about his adventures in India. Mr. Kumar inspires me so much because he never gives up on anything he does. I really miss listening to his stories and giving him hugs. Mr. Kumar will always be in my heart. I love you so much Mr. Kumar. He will always be the best person in the world."

- Sonia (Granddaughter)

"One of Phuphaji's teachings has really stuck with me: a promise made must be kept. Whether large or small, he always kept his promises. If he said a birthday card is on the way, surely enough it would arrive soon after. If he promised to share nutritional advice for acid reflux, the conversation would be followed by a letter with a daily diet plan. Through his example, the idea that one must only make a promise if one can keep it was etched deeply in my mind."

-Rashmi, Ved's loving niece

"Mr. Kumar was a grandfather and friend to Sonia and me. He is the most generous, kindest, and wisest person I know. His smile always brightened up a room. Every Wednesday afternoon, I finished my homework as fast as I could and encouraged my sister to do the same. On Wednesday evenings, we would have ice cream parties at Mr. Kumar’s home. He always delighted us with his stories. He was an amazing storyteller. His adventures around the world enthralled us. I could listen to him talk for hours. He described everything in the most vivid details. He would tell us about his childhood and school life. It was always fascinating to compare our experiences to his. We also watched Shark Tank together and discussed current events. When he visited India in the winter, Sonia and I would count the days until he came back so we could resume our weekly parties. I will forever be grateful for everything he taught me. Not only Mr. Kumar was a wonderful storyteller, but he was also an incredible chef. Whenever he made tofu fried rice, a favorite of mine and Sonia’s, he would always fill a large Tupperware dish for us because he knew how much we loved his cooking. I always admired his ability to be self-reliant. When Sonia and I saw him come outside for his daily evening walks, we would ask our mother to go outside and join him. He had endless energy and sometimes we had a hard time keeping up with his pace. I loved spending time with him. He always tried to expand our knowledge whenever he could. When I received awards at school, Mr. Kumar was the first person that I wanted to show them to. He would always give me a congratulatory hug and handshake. Mr. Kumar is the best role model that I could have ever asked for growing up and I am so thankful that I was able to spend so much time with him. I can only dream of becoming half the remarkable person that he was. I love him very much and I will forever cherish the memories that we made. Mr. Kumar will always have a special place in my heart. May he rest in peace."

Priya (Granddaughter)


"My Bade Chachaji was my guardian angel during my childhood days. I used to run to him for every problem and he would sort it out for me.This bond continued forever. For me he was an inspiration, a role model and have always tried to emulate a lot his characteristics in my profession."

- Ila, Ved's loving niece

Dad,

I will always love you. You were the most wonderful father one could have asked for. Please accept this as my homage. I do not know if I will be able to speak at the funeral. I don't think I inherited the public speaking gene:). Until we meet again...

Your daughter in morning (Dolly)

"Bhaisaab was a father figure for us, and his passing is a terrible loss. We miss him and will continue to miss his visits and keeping the family united"..

Love & Prayers,

Manju & Sat

"Badhey Chachaji was my role model....that's how I would want to live in my life: Live Life Kingsize.
He knew how to live his life to the fullest. Whether it was his daily walk routine or enjoying his palak, paneer IU a, dal, curd ... or unwinding with a game of cards over drinks with friends."

"I miss him very much and love him. Thanks to God for a man like him. Wherever he is gone, may he be peaceful. My family sends their sympathies."

-Bandu, dad's caregiver since the stroke in January 2020.

"Chachaji always made me feel special and loved. Amongst my most vivid childhood memories are the ones of his vibrant postcards sent from various countries his travels would take him to. All of them addressed to “Piddi Kumar”, his pet name for me. My 8th birthday was extra special because he was in town and we all went to Taj Mahal hotel for dinner.....for an 8 year old that was just the most glamorous thing to do....and that too with a spanking new “imported” orange and white polka dotted frock! He followed my career growth with interest and was most happy when I joined Shell. Will miss him but happy that he lived a full life and I would like to celebrate that."

Arpana Kumar Ahuja (Mini)

"Mr. Kumar was an exemplar who showed how to live life and demonstrated that one can attain any goal, and that age is not a limitation. Amongst the many things he taught and told me, one of them is that one should live their life the way they want to, otherwise one will regret once they become dependent or old. Therefore, he told me that he wants to keep doing his day to day activities by himself and stay independent as long as he possibly can. His strong will-power and determination were apparent when he suffered with minor paralysis in his left side, but by continuously working and exercising tirelessly, he overcame and resolved that problem. This was a great lesson to me and to all of the people who know him, that age is not an excuse for not trying to achieve our goals. I remember after his daily evening walks, he used to come over and we had small chats and discussions. Sometimes we also had drinks and he shared his life experiences. Given that he traveled around the world, he had several stories and lessons to share. With his association and teachings, I saw him as a fatherly figure. He showed the way how one can live a good life and be remembered by others forever. I believe his lesson to everyone is that we should live our lives as we want. We all wish that Mr. Kumar rests in peace. He will be greatly missed."

Mudit Tyagi (Friend and Neighbor)

"Mr. Kumar (Uncle) was the most affectionate, caring, simplistic, and loving soul. He was one of a kind and had a big heart that took in everyone. He found happiness in every single detail of life. Uncle was very kind at heart. He was my best friend and father. If I ever needed any advice, he would be the first person I would go to. Uncle had an incredibly sharp memory. He was always able to remember my friends’ and their children’s names. Uncle could adjust to any group of people. He was likable by all. Uncle will always live in a special place in my heart. I am glad that I was able to spend so many years with him. Sending him endless love. May he rest in peace."

Shilpi (Daughter and Neighbor)


"There will be a large hole in our lives - he was such a kind, graceful presence in ours.
May he rest in eternal peace, and may we always remember the man whose example should guide us forward on our own life journeys."

Natasha, a very good friend and member of the Mukherjee family (Deepak, Joy, Lisa, and Natasha)

"Dear Dolly and Preety, Very sorry to hear the news of Ved Uncle. Our Heartfelt prayers for the noble soul to rest in eternal peace. We all are extremely sorry for your loss, it's heart wrenching to lose your parents. Our deepest condolences to both of you and other members of the family. I want you to know that Lata and I share your grief. This is a monumental loss to all of us. Please stay strong. God bless you."

- Micky Gulati, nephew.

"I met Mr. Ved Kumar about 27 years ago through a group of friends which met on weekends to socialize and play cards. Over the years, our relationships deepened to the extent that we were comfortable sharing our personal feelings, views, regrets, and ideas. I was always inspired by the many qualities of Mr. Kumar.

He made friends quite easily and maintained these friendships. I always wondered at the way he remembered the names of his friends all over the globe and the way those friends made efforts to meet him and keep in touch with him and also sought his advice. During the last ten years or so, I spent a lot of time with him. He invited me for lunch many times and we often went out to have lunch. We had developed a special bond and I felt very disturbed to see his deteriorating condition during the last one year or so. I have lost a very good friend, a mentor, and a source of strength in adverse times. He will not be physically with me but his ideas, thinking and concern will always be a source of strength."

- Yash Kedia, World Bank Colleague, Friend, and Cards buddy.

"I want to convey my deepest condolences to you and Preety. All three of us have received so much love from Kumar uncle. We shall always cherish our memories of him and the good times we had together."

-Jui Bannerjee (Rashmi's sister-in-law)