Nirnimesh "Nirni" Kumar

July 25, 1984August 30, 2020

With deep sorrow, the family of Nirnimesh Kumar announces his passing on Sunday August 30, 2020 at the age of 36 years. He was a passionate researcher and teacher, a loving husband, and a caring son and brother. He will be dearly missed and fondly remembered by his family and friends.

Prayer service will be held on Tuesday, Sept 8, 2020 at Butterworth Funeral Home in Seattle.

All are welcome to sign the online guestbook below and add any stories or messages for the Kumar family.


  • Prayer Service

    Tuesday, September 8, 2020


Nirnimesh "Nirni" Kumar

have a memory or condolence to add?

Bart Nijssen

September 23, 2020

As one of Nirni's colleagues at the University of Washington, I'll remember his infectious enthusiasm and his relentless energy for his research and teaching. I am still shocked by his passing and will miss his dedication, warmth and affection.

Jessica Ray

September 23, 2020

I only knew Nirni for a short time as a fellow Civil & Environmental Engineering assistant professor at UW, but his presence filled the room. His laugh was so contagious. It was a laugh of someone who just pulled a prank on you and it always made me forget about whatever I was stressed or worried about. He brought so much joy and fun to every conversation. I will miss him so much.

Gregory Korshin

September 23, 2020

So sorry for this terrible loss. He was such a sensitive, kind and gifted person. May his memory be a blessing.

Satyam Agrawalla

September 19, 2020

As much as this is painful news, I have always known Nirni as a cheerful guy with a clean heart and will always remember him this way. It was great to catch up with you in the past year after college and I wish we had met more often. May your soul rest in peace.

Kristen Thyng

September 18, 2020

Though we never worked together on a project in particular, Nirni was one of my favorite colleagues. He was incredibly kind and generous with his time. We always spoke when we ran into each other at conferences, and I really valued his advice, ideas, friendship, and support. He remembered everything I had told him in the past, would ask about how things were going in particular, and really tried to help in our conversations in whatever way he could. He was also just so much fun. He had an excellent sense of humor and I enjoyed that very much about him. I have a huge sense of loss that will always be felt by me and surely by the communities that he was such an important part of.

Annika O'Dea

September 18, 2020

I was lucky enough to know Nirni as a mentor, a colleague, and a friend, and he excelled in all of those roles. He was smart and engaging with a quick (and sometimes mischievous) smile and seemingly limitless energy. He was incredibly generous with his time, his knowledge, and his conversation, and I gained so much in the time I spent with him.

What an enormous loss - for his family, for his many, many friends, for his students and colleagues, for the coastal oceanography community as a whole. My heart goes out to Monica, his family, and everyone else who loved him. He will be so missed.

Jim Riley

September 17, 2020

It was a joy to interact with and work with Nirni.
He cannot be replaced.
My deepest sympathies go to Nirni's family.

Erkan Istanbulluoglu

September 17, 2020

Nirni was my next door neighbor in the office. He was closer than a sibling. His office was a place for gathering of friends for fun conversations and relaxation, where we joked about ourselves and everything else. Whenever I needed someone to talk to, Nirni was there for me to give support, to pick me up, make me smile. I miss Nirni so much already.

Maddie Smith

September 15, 2020

Nirni was on my PhD committee at UW, and was a wonderfully supportive mentor to me (and so many others). Of course he was a brilliant and engaged scientist, but he also went out of his way to include and connect others, acknowledge our successes, and support our endeavors. A friend said the other day “Nirni saw me as a scientist before I saw myself as a scientist”. I couldn’t agree more; Nirni’s mentorship helped me see and become a better version of myself. He is missed deeply. Our grief stems from our love, and I will try to channel my grief over this loss into loving my community in a way worthy of him.

Erick Rogers

September 14, 2020

I interacted with Nirni regularly since 2017. This was mostly by email and phone conversations, because of the distance, but nevertheless, I will miss him a lot. I'll miss out on his contributions to our collaborations, but also in the emotional sense. He was a pleasure to talk to. I always found myself in a better mood after finishing a phone call with Nirni, vs. before the call. He was empathetic, talented, had a quick mind, and he was very productive, as we all know. I suppose that because of his similar background and expertise, and being not too much younger than me, he was a "fellow traveler" in a lot of ways, and this was often a feature of our conversations. It is going to be difficult to move on without him. My deepest condolences to the family.
~ Erick Rogers


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