Thomson In The Park Funeral Home and Cemetery

1291 McGillivray Blvd, Winnipeg, MB


Dr. Sasanda Nilmalgoda (nee Abeyratne)

June 29, 1956 ~ June 18, 2020

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Sasanda Nilmalgoda, 63 years of age, following a lengthy battle with cancer.

Sasanda was born on June 29, 1956. A brilliant mind, she attained her undergraduate degree from the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka, and her masters and PhD from the University of Wisconsin in the United States of America. Her Doctorate was earned in the field of Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics.

She and her family arrived in Winnipeg in October 1999 and Sasanda quickly got to work involving herself in the Winnipeg community. She was an active member of the Manitoba Buddhist Vihara and Cultural Association, where she volunteered her time for almost 20 years as both a teacher and then principal of the Dhamma school. As a devout Buddhist, Sasanda spent her free time pursuing her own spiritual development through reading, discussion, and meditation. She also administered and marked special language exams in the Winnipeg School Division. The preservation of her language, religion, and culture through education was important to her.

Throughout her career, Sasanda worked for the Government of Canada, first in the Agriculture and Agri-Food department and then in the Fisheries and Oceans department. She was also the owner of a small business called Ruwanmal Spices. Her curry powder blend was a favourite of many, both within and outside of the Sri Lankan community.

One of her greatest strengths was the way in which she made everyone feel comfortable and welcome in her presence. Sasanda opened her door to provide food and a home for many friends and families, both in Winnipeg and those new to Canada. She shared her resources, time, and energy selflessly, and always without a second thought. She also enjoyed keeping informed about world issues; she had a fiery spirit and loved to vigorously debate current events with her family.

Her kindness, warmth, and brilliant smile will be missed by many, and her loss will be felt deeply. Sasanda will be lovingly remembered by her husband, Upali Nilmalgoda, and three children, Imalka Nilmalgoda, Thisaru Nilmalgoda, and her husband, Stephen Campbell. She also leaves behind her mother, Podimanike; her brothers and sisters Parakrama, Jayampathi, Geethanjali, Chandana, Hashitha, and Chinthaka; as well her nieces and nephews, Chaturika, Aravinda, Gajanatha, Navishka, Kenneth, Madhunatha, Eranga, Melanie, Shalani, Sachini, and Ashwini. She was predeceased by her father, Kobbekaduwe.

Sasanda’s family would like to extend a special thank you to the to the many health care professionals at CancerCare Manitoba and the Health Sciences Centre who spent countless hours caring for Sasanda during her many treatments and stays in the hospital. They would also like to thank their family and friends for their support during this incredibly difficult time.

A private family service has been held.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to CancerCare Manitoba to reflect Sasanda’s generous and courageous spirit.


  • CancerCare Manitoba
  • Online Donations


  • A private family service has been held.


Dr. Sasanda Nilmalgoda (nee Abeyratne)

have a memory or condolence to add?

Greg and Evelyn Resler

June 23, 2020

Our sincere condolences to the family. Our love, thoughts and prayers are with you all as you navigate the days ahead. We hope, in time you will find comfort in all the wonderful memories.