Kondai L. Parthasarathy, MD
January 18, 1940 – April 4, 2021
On April 4, 2021, Easter Sunday, Dr. K.L. Parthasarathy (Parthas) finally laid down arms in his battle against heart disease and joined Sarasa, his beloved wife of 55 years, 44 days after her death. He was 81 years old.
Parthas, born and raised in Alleppey, Kerala, was the son of Ramachandru Ammal and Lakshmana Reddiar. He was the eldest of 10 children and loved his siblings deeply.
Dr. Parthas, certified in internal medicine, nuclear medicine, and nuclear cardiology, began his career as a graduate of Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore. He spoke fondly of fellow students, Venkataraman (Vengi), Srinivasan (Cheenu), Shankaran, Vedantham (Mani), Viswanathan (Viswam), in whose father’s clinic Parthas worked while awaiting for his documents to go abroad, and Bharathan, who would later become one of his best friends. One story was about how Mani and Parthas, who played the bulbul (a string instrument) a little in high school, had tried to take violin lessons. After the third class, the teacher looked at them and said in Tamil, “For the two of you, this...,” and shook both his head and hand defeatedly gesturing this wasn’t going to work. A few weeks later, they decided to try to learn what they thought would be an easier instrument – the flute. Half an hour into their third lesson, the teacher - different from their first - stopped them and said, again in Tamil, “For you two, this isn’t right. We could try but I don’t think it’s going to work.” With that assessment, Parthas’ musical dreams ended. This long ago rejection is likely the reason why he tried to persuade both his daughter and granddaughter to take the two instruments he failed at.
A letter from one of his medical school friends, Gopalakrishnan (Pillai), persuaded Parthas to come to North America to practice medicine. Leaving his wife in India to have their eldest child, Parthas went to Canada and worked at Moncton City Hospital for 2-years. Later, reunited with his family, he worked at Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn and had his second child. He eventually moved to Buffalo, NY and spent 21 years at Roswell Park because of the nuclear medicine pioneer, Dr. Merrill Bender.
On July 1, 1989, at the age of 49, Parthas had a major myocardial infarction that forced him to retire from full-time employment. Though he wasn't expected to live without a heart transplant, he defied medical odds and not only survived but thrived. Parthas openly attributed his recovery to "the prayers of kith and kin," but his sheer determination and stubborn will to live played a significant role. He loved living and wanted to be a profoundly productive participant in life and fought his hardest for each year, each day, each hour on earth.
Parthas loved to create and invent. He was always thinking about ways to improve existing things and had even applied for several patents to do so. He was intuitively mechanically talented and early in his career had been very interested in being a cardiac surgeon. He loved traveling; his favorite place was Cape Comorin, the site of his honeymoon.
Dr. Parthas had approximately 30 publications and presented or presided over numerous conferences. But the professional accomplishment he was most proud of was teaching resident physicians. Teaching brought him tremendous satisfaction and enjoyment, and even decades later, many of his residents remained in contact with him. Parthas had extremely high standards, and very few people could meet those standards, including himself. However, one person who could never disappoint was his granddaughter, Priya, whose daily Good Morning & Good Night texts lifted his spirits. The most important lesson he imparted as a parent was to love and to value family.
Parthas loved and genuinely cared about people. He was generous, perhaps to a fault. It is not an exaggeration to say he would’ve given the shirt off his back if someone asked him for it. He borrowed money to lend others, never letting them know where the money came from. At Christmas, he gave boxes of candies and cookies to everyone from former coworkers at medical facilities, to his pharmacist, and even the guys who repaired his vehicle. Once, he opened his home to a total stranger, an Indian tourist, who was stuck at the Buffalo-Niagara international airport and found “Parthasarathy” randomly in a phone book and called asking for help.
Parthas devotion to his wife, Sarasa, was unquestionable. Theirs was a true love story. Like most Indian couples of their age, they had an arranged marriage. But they knew they had been destined to be together. Sarasa remembered seeing the name “Parthasarathy” written on a wall when she was a young girl and being unexpectedly mesmerized by it; Parthas remembered pointing her out to a friend at a wedding and asking, “Who is that chick?” her beauty catching him by surprise. Years later, they married in a non-traditional ceremony in Kanakakkunnu Palace in Trivandrum.
Long before the hip-hop group Salt-N-Pepa formed, Parthas began referring to Sarasa and himself as “Salt & Pepper.” It wasn’t because she was fair-skinned, light-complexioned while he was darker, as his young children assumed, but because Salt & Pepper, like Sarasa & Parthas “always go together.”
In the summer of 2020, he began experiencing symptoms of heart failure. Ever the fighter, he researched and sought every non-aggressive treatment option, trying to stave away the inevitable. In February 2021, he was taken to the emergency department and wasn't expected to return home. Once again, Parthas defied medical odds. He returned home under hospice care, and within weeks saw a considerable improvement and decided to continue fighting. Parthas was not the type of person who was satisfied by waiting patiently for his clock to run down; he wanted to run full-out until his time was up. He took himself off hospice care to pursue medical intervention strongly believing "Sarasa wants me to do this." His eagerness to live was probably a reason why he always “looked better than his numbers” (blood work and tests) - something that held true till the very end. He considered the almost 32 years he had "extra" with all of us a true blessing.
Dr. Parthas leaves behind loving children, daughter, Remla, and son, Murali; beloved granddaughter, Priya; adoring sisters, brothers, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, cousins, nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, grand-nephews; countless friends and acquaintances whose lives he touched; and a lasting legacy.
Sometime in the future, a joint Celebration of Life will be held for Salt & Pepper. Instead of flowers, donations can be made to Hospice Buffalo; hospice was the closest thing to the type of concierge medicine care that Dr. Parthas wanted but never had.
- Hospice Foundation of WNY
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Kondai L. Parthasarathy, MD
Beena and Kanna Krishnamurthy
April 8, 2021
We were blessed to have known Parthanna / Machemi / mama for major part of our lives. He was a very caring and loving person and we considered him as our big brother. He helped family, friends and anyone in need. We will always cherish his hospitality, his awesome cooking, his delicious coffee, the card playing sessions, movie times and the wonderful vacations.
It is still hard to accept that he is no more. He is happy that he joined Sarasa vathine, his two brothers and a sister, his parents and other relatives in heaven. We will always hold all his memories lovingly in our hearts. We miss him!
Kanna, Beena and Rajit
April 8, 2021
Salgunan and Malli
Parthanna was the very first relative I met in this country at JFK. We consider ourself lucky and blessed to have known you all these years.
On Easter Sunday we lost a brother, an uncle, a friend, an amazing medical consultant and a very very caring person. Hope you met all the relatives you wanted to meet up in Heaven most of all love of your life Sarasa Vathine
Parthanna’s cherished memories will forever live in our hearts. Both of you will be truly missed.
Salgunan & Malli
Viswam, Arju, Raju Jayashree, Pramoj, Gathi, Abhi, Avi
April 7, 2021
-Arju & Indu-
I feel like We have lost
“The Father of Parthas”
We looked upon You as a man of Caliber... The Gem-of the Family whose worth can never be told.
A noble an Amiable Man you were. To Have You as our Uncle was a great blessing. You will remain in our Hearts. We will miss you!
Even though we are heart broken we console ourselves that you are united with the loved ones who left us. We will always love & cherish the memories.
May your soul rest in peace 🙏🏻
-Jayashree, Phanidhar & Haren🙏🏻-
You were truly an inspiration and
You will be missed dearly!
Rest in peace Maamaa!
-Love-Pramoj, Gathi, Abhishek & Avinesh-
Parthan Aliyan / Anna
We feel very very sad to pay homage to a wonderful personality like you.. Our personal contacts were minimal, but you were there whenever we needed you. We have always admired & respected you. May your soul rest in peace with your darling wife
-Viswam and Suja-
The little we knew & the few times we met, those moments will be cherished forever!
You will always be a role model to us.
You will be missed
-Raju & Akhila-
Chinraj & family Bindu & family
April 7, 2021
After abba ( our father ), l had always looked up to you as my role model. You were always the beloved elder brother whom I respected and loved immensely.
Bedhabba, I can only look back and wish life gave me a chance to spend more time with you, to embrace and learn more from you. The wonderful memory of our time spent together will always remain close to my heart.
Words can’t describe the warmth and love you showered upon us in the limited time we spent with you and Bedhamma during our visit in 2017 & 2018. You will be dearly missed and your memories will forever be cherished.
-Shwetha and Mahesh-
Your caring nature and unconditional love for the entire family can never be replaced.
-Chinna Raj, Seema, Praveenraj, Shwethambika, Vanishree, Mahesh, Prajnaa & Pranay-
An Humble, Loving and Respected person who helped and guided us without fail. Father figure who we all looked up to and will be enshrined in our memories with due respect and love.
-Shrishiv, Siddhi, Raaj, Takshika, Sruthi & Sradhaxna-
April 7, 2021
You were my cousin & then you became my beloved brother-in-law, who had a fatherly & brotherly affection for me!
You were the “key stone” of Parthas family & a good advisor to all of us!
You will be missed....but will be in my heart forever!
Even though you were miles away from your family in India.... you did everything possible for us, as a father would...!
Feel privileged that I was named by you !
Always loved & looked up to you as my Dad... miss you!
My memories of you will be cherished forever! I wish Bala knew you... he wud have really liked you!
Really happy you are with Beddhamma....& all our loved ones who left us!
Yours Aishwarya (as you fondly called me)
-Rajashree & Bala-
Partha bedhabba/ mama/ thatha,
WE LOVE YOU...
The most wonderful person in the family, who till end of life has only gained love and respect.
You have always remained and will remain in every step we take forward..
You have showed us how a person should live, love, help, preach , teach and remain in hearts of people even after we leave this earth..
We will miss you..
-Laxman, Saritha, Sanjana & Avyukth-
Sarasa V Sathiyaseelan & Rethyshree Srinivas
April 7, 2021
One fond memory I recollect- mom helped me drape a sari ... was in a grumpy mood .. reason: I felt I looked even shorter. Bedhabba,, then you brightened me up by saying that I resembled my fav actress, Revathi😊
Will always keep my smile intact like you asked me to!
Will really miss the way you call me- "kanna"
Hugs and lots of love
-Rethy & Suresh-
Beddhabba/ Mama/ Thatha
We feel saddened you are not with us and we miss you immensely.
-Raj Saras Rithika & Rohan-
A thousand prayers or tears are not going to bring you back because I’ve tried that.
I’m treasuring all the memories and love I have of you!
Thankyou for all the advice, guidance, love and care you have showered on me. I feel numb when I think I can’t speak to you.
You truly have been a wonderful dad for us..... Raajika Rethyka Kumana and me!
You have left a void in me that will never be filled. Words cannot describe this difficult moment, but if this is the last time I get to say goodbye then I will do so with the knowledge that I consider myself blessed and lucky to have lived this life as your niece. Love you dearly Bedhabba xxx
April 6, 2021
My brother Parthas was a very compassionate, caring, helpful, understanding, giving person. As his siblings we are all very lucky to have him as brother. He extended his hand whole-heartedly to anyone who needed help. When I asked him for a favor on behalf of my friend regarding a medical issue, his quick answer was: “Your friends are my friends too,” which would bring tears in my eyes. He would then talk to my friend and give the needed advice.
Both my brother and his wife Sarasa touched so many hearts: very loving and giving, with no expectation of anything in return. I could always talk to them about anything, and they always showed so much interest in listening to whatever I had to say. They lived as the best example of a compatible couple. They are now united together with the grace of God, and we all are happy for their reunion.
We thank God that my brother lived this long after he returned from the hospital several weeks ago, for the benefit of his immediate family, relatives, and friends. He kept in touch with everyone regularly (and in some cases, daily), often through video calls, which made everyone happy and contented.
I pray that God keep the soul of my brother and his wife in his loving care.
April 6, 2021
My memories of my brother-in-law Dr. Parthas
As my second cousin and as the brother of my wife, I had always called him fondly as Machemi. I had known him closely since I arrived in the US in1968. My relationship with him was filled with love and respect.
Partha Machemi was very generous with his time, listening to the medical problems of relatives and friends and providing timely and helpful suggestions for treatment. If he was not an expert in the specific medical area of concern, he would consult with proper experts and provide treatment suggestions. He had helped in this way so many people (including me), both here and in India. Machemi was an excellent doctor, skilled in allopathic medicinal practice by training; he was also able to give appropriate tips including relevant exercises for handling issues without resorting to strong medications.
One thing for which we will forever be grateful to him deals with my younger brother in India. He had uncontrollable heart rate in 1986 due to what is called the WPW Syndrome, which was a congenital problem. Machemi knew the world-renowned expert doctor at a hospital in London, Ontario, who was performing cryo-surgery to actually cure this problem. He contacted the doctor and made necessary arrangements for the surgery. I was able to bring my brother to Boston, where I was living then, and then drove him to London for the surgery, which was successful and which saved my brother’s life; thanks to Machemi’s help, my brother is still alive. My brother, my family, and I are forever grateful to Machemi.
After returning home from the hospital a couple of months ago and feeling sufficiently rested, Machemi spoke with immediate family members and friends, both here and in India, regularly for several weeks, often daily and using video calls. During these calls, he expressed his love and affection. We will fondly remember and cherish those affectionate exchanges. Our prayers for the Lord to keep his soul under his loving care.
Hari & Girija Subramanian
April 6, 2021
We are shocked to hear the news! We go back to 1966, when I joined Deaconess as a resident! You will never find a kinder soul like Parthan, who will go out of his way to help & console others! Time & space preclude writing many memories, we join in prayers for his Peace! Respect s, Subram family. 03/06/21
April 6, 2021
“Born to shine” that’s what you were Maamaa!!
Your birth gave a name to our family- PARTHAS
PARTHASARATHY, You were truly “The Sarathy- The Charioteer” of Our Family. You bore everyone’s fears, ups and downs, sadness and mishaps not just on your shoulders but in your heart and made sure we overcame them with Courage and Dignity. You loved all of us (and some of them were your favorites, one being ME 😉) with all your heart and you never took “NO” for an answer, instead you wanted us to “Beat the Odds”.
Maamaa, to me you were the answers to every queries. I will always remember the positive criticisms and encouraging words You showered upon me. I will cherish every moment I spent with you and every conversation we had over the years!!
Also, I am super glad that Dhruv&Tanvi got to facetime with you in the last few weeks. My kids will remember you as their Partha Thaathabba who always said “I LOVE YOU MORE” at the end of the conversation 😊
I will miss you dearly forever!
May You Rest in Peace with Athamma beside you!
Love You Dear Maamaa!!
April 5, 2021
His life is a Lesson for others. Always loving, sympathetic and helping. If we talk half an hour with him we feel elited and feel happy. Was like a Godfather for kins.
April 5, 2021
Parthanna was a rare human being. He wrote his own life story with a wife he adored and a nucleus family as well as extended family. He used to share weekly emails with his family and friends, I am sure it took time and careful research. The emails consisted of jokes because he believed laughter is the best medicine, up to date medical information to keep us educated and uplifting and inspiring messages about appreciating every day of our lives. I have heard from relatives how Parthanna would go out of his way to help any one who needed medical advice. He was an incredible host, pleasant and welcoming. He treated his wife Sarasakka as an equal. He missed her terribly, I pray they are together once again. He was one of a kind.
April 5, 2021
Prayers and fond memories are what we have to remember our dearly departed. I am truly blessed and honored to have known Parthan as a great friend and mentor for so many years. He will be cherished in our memories forever. He will be so deeply missed by so many. May his soul Rest In Peace...
Rajan & Letha Embran
April 5, 2021
Mind is full of pleasant memories of my dearest chithappa and chithi. No words to say. But still a little satisfaction that my chithappa joined chithi as he wished for. Chithappa, you are one of the greatest person who will always be in my heart along with chithi. Still remember you and chithi saying few months back, that in our next birth you want me too as your daughter. My strongest pillar encouraging and giving courage to me in all my tough times, but now both of you left me alone in my toughest and frightening time. Love you and miss you two a lot.