Kush Tandon

December 3, 1962January 31, 2019

“The only meaningful thing we can offer one another is love. Not advice, not questions about our choices, not suggestions for the future, just love.” ― Glennon Melton, Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed

The above quote perfectly describes Kush and his relationships. Kush Tandon, born on December 3rd, 1962, left us prematurely on January 31st, 2019. He is survived by his parents Drs. Shiv Nath Tandon and Uma Tandon, twin brother Dr. Lav Tandon, sister-in-law Dr. Amy Wong, dog Arjun, cat Rani, and extended family and friends.

He was a son, a brother, a cousin, an uncle, a friend, and so much more to everyone who ever had the good fortune to cross paths with him. He did not need anything, that did not stop him from offering help to others. Kush had discovered equanimity and contentment, and he spread it to everyone he met. He was easily the happiest person around in family gatherings. He warmed his way into your heart with a smile and a quip, and you knew for a fact that he was one of the best people you would ever meet, “A#1” as Sinatra sang.

A true family man who adopted all he met. He loved his parents, idolized his father, and had tremendous respect for the fact that his mother earned a Ph.D. at a time when it was rare for women to do so. Perhaps the only one he loved more was his twin brother Lav. Although 25 minutes younger, Kush acted like an older, protective sibling and cherished their bond. In later years, Lav was allowed to act as an elder brother, but only on certain issues.

His deep-rooted interest in geophysics led to a rewarding career. Among his colleagues, he was known for his generosity and kindness. He led a full life, finding time to volunteer and support local charities, like iEducate, Samskriti, and YDLP, as well as being an active member of the Houston IIT Roorkee alumni chapter. He did not engage with activism on a surface level simply to tick the box of social acceptance, he walked the talk!

He was truly a man of conviction and once he believed in something he stood by it. Gently glowing in the corner of the room, where the most interesting discussions happened - politics, films, sciences or culture, he was erudite, possessed an incredible memory and his informed contributions never failed to influence.

An avid photographer, his photo journeys are a window to his worldview. He saw beauty in the simplicity of everyday tasks, richness in human interactions, and the grandeur of nature. He was the designated cameraman at family events, his lens capturing us in complimentary light.

As his extended family, we will remember him for the “single member and unanimous-Kush Commission” on the family chat group that often penalized us for our faux pas. I will always remember his as my fellow Thronie and our conversations about Game of Thrones. On that note I leave you with a quote that I think describes his values very well.

“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.” ― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

Kush/ Kushi / KT/ mama/ chacha/Godfather/ Bollywood lover and truly Shaandaar (Marvelous) you will forever be in our hearts and mind. We love you, miss you and know that you are smiling up there as you join the angels.



  • Funeral Service Friday, February 15, 2019


  • Witness Cremation

Kush Tandon

have a memory or condolence to add?

Rajeeva Mehrotra

February 15, 2019

To a wonderful human being and a friend and family. KUSH, Tum Jahan Ho Uss Jagah Jhoome Gi Naachen Gi KUSHi. Happy would be the place where you are going to now. Long Live.

Tin-Wai Lee

February 12, 2019

I met Kush many years ago through a friend who went to LSU. The past 4 years that I have been in Houston, we reconnected and had several lunches together in the Woodcreek cafeteria. Oftentimes it was about books or life-hacking. One January he told me he had a goal to read 50 books in that year. Every time we met for lunch I asked how the progress was going and he said that he was still on his first book! I told him he could change his goal into something more realistic, but he held firm on his goal even until December.

I always appreciated his passion for everything, even though sometimes it meant letting him domineer the conversation about something I wasn't super interested in, just because I appreciated that he had so much energy for it. In fact our last conversation was him telling me about the in-depth backstory of Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas' relationship and multiple weddings!! He was always a happy person who could make me laugh.

I am saddened by this news.

Sean Ramnarine

February 7, 2019

I first met Kush at a Karate Seminar in Texas. He was very friendly and he shared his wonderful photographs of the event with me. He always kept in touch through Social Media and I enjoyed the way he was able to capture wonderful experiences with photos. I will miss him and I know his Karate family in Houston will too. RIP sir.

Sean Ramnarine, Florida

Juan Lorenzo

February 7, 2019

Thinking of Kush always makes me smile. I recall he made me laugh once, when he explained proudly that he had immediately joined the CIA when he first arrived in the US ... (that is the the Cornell Indian Association). He followed my laugh with a tiny, nervous smile, upending a corner of one lip, showing delight in the success at his joke! He was my the only graduate student I knew who kept up with reading and discussing world events from the New York Times .... My life is better for having known Kush! Thank you Kush.

Jeri Flynn

February 6, 2019

Kush and I met professionally many years ago when he was at LSU and then became lifelong friends. I have wonderful memories of visiting my son Tom who lives close to Portland when Kush was at Oregon State. We picked Kush up from his apartment and spent the day hiking in mountain areas and on the coast. Tom sent me wonderful photos from that day, but it appears that I'm limited to sharing only one photo. Choosing that photo has been difficult, because all of us had such a lovely time together, and Tom captured it all. Kush and I shared photos from our travels, mine all over North, Central, and South America, and Kush literally all over the world, but mostly India. We also shared recommendations for books and movies. I will really, really miss my longtime friend, Kush Tandon.

Kevin Gerlitz

February 6, 2019

Such sad news! Kush was a great friend and it was always the highlight of my trips to Houston to catch up with Kush. We worked together at Fugro-Jason in 2010 and he was the first friend I made there. He was so helpful and generous with his time. As well, he was so quick to giggle that it was always a great pleasure to chat with him.

My fondest memory of Kush was inviting him to our place for dinner to meet my wife, I told him not to talk about mangoes because I knew how much he liked Indian mangoes and my wife was passionate about Philippine mangoes. The first thing he says when he meets her was say "So I hear you think the mangoes from the Philippines are the best" and then he giggled and my wife laughed.

Rob Eppenga

February 6, 2019

It is with great sadness that I heard this news. I remember Kush passion for his work. Always willing to share his thoughts and ideas, always wanting to discuss and further refine. He was a nice person that will be missed.

Ruchi Bartar

February 5, 2019

I had seen Kush occasionally while growing up in Roorkee and never got to know him as he was 5 years my senior at school. I have to thank social media for my friendship with him. We connected over chat almost daily and I came to admire his intellect , his humility, his sense of humor and above all his kind soul. With each interaction I felt I learnt something. I will miss my friend,

Carrie Whitehill

February 5, 2019

Words escape me still, the news is so recent and unexpected. I value our friendship that started at LSU in the early 90's and have so enjoyed staying close to you through comments, chats, shared exhaustion with this adminstration, pet photos, jokes, etc...on Facebook.

Daily, I looked forward to seeing your posts and having regular small but thoughtful and genuine interactions; I will miss you dearly.

It is hard to believe but the last time I saw you was in 2010 at AAPG in San Diego, before that it had been more than a decade.
I heard your mischievous giggle from across the convention center and found my way to your warm smile.
Instantly, we were old friends sharing a beer once again.

I have such fond memories of our time together at LSU with the gang, Richard, Ryan, Ricky, Dave, Hodge, Tom, Juan, Liz, Gina, Nemesio, Erik, Angela, Chad, Charlie Smith, etc., ( so many people) crawfishboils, volleyball, soccer, rocks, sunshine and warm grass, cold beers, great jokes and really good friends. Special times, at a special time in all our lives.

There was never anyone like Kush Tandon, and there will never be anyone like Kush Tandon again. You were a special, special person!!

You are loved and you will be missed!

Love and condelences to your family, Arjun and Cassidy <3

Namiko Hino

February 5, 2019


I remember you with a full of bright colours in Louisiana. I met you in LSU while I was studying for Master degree in Paleontology. Some weeks before the submission day of my thesis, when I was pretty much stressed and felt like I would not make it at all, you encouraged me to push the last bit further to finish it up. You spent an hour to describe for me how to get through the difficult moment like this. It was a real sunny colorful day in Louisiana and It was like yesterday and I remember this moment so well so long since this magic hour with you, Kush, provided me with a full of energy and optimism. Love your true smile. Kush, miss you.