February 1, 1933 - March 25, 2021
Raj Varad Kilambi, age 88, passed from his earthly life Thursday, March 25, 2021. Born in Tenali, India A.P., he is survived within his immediate family by his loving wife of nearly 64 years, Jaya, his sons Neal, Navin, and Nirmal, and their respective wives, Juanita, Bridget, and Cherie. He is also survived by and proud of his nine grandchildren, and two step-grandchildren. Our family is sad to say goodbye to a well respected member of the Fayetteville community. As a young man, he left part of his heart with his family in India in the late 1950’s to come to North America where he earned a second Master’s degree at the University of British Columbia Vancouver. Then with his bride, Jaya, always at his side, he completed a PhD in Zoology at the University of Washington, Seattle where his first two sons Neal and Navin were born. He was offered a position starting as an Assistant Professor at the University of Arkansas in 1966 and has the distinction of being the first Indian and first person if not one of the first persons of color hired at the University of Arkansas in that rank. His youngest son Nirmal was born in Fayetteville. He was highly regarded as he steadily rose through the ranks to full Professor and subsequently Professor Emeritus. His academic, research achievements, and publications are too numerous to count but included Chair of the Department of Biology, Who’s Who of American Educators, and the prestigious Fulbright Scholar award. An immensely popular Professor of Zoology for 35 years, his impact on the lives of many students and colleagues is truly immeasurable. We have been blessed to hear many of their personal stories especially his impact in the education of the health care community which also inspired his sons’ careers. He was also a respected leader, proud Naturalized American Citizen, and advisor in the Indian community and was the founding member of The Friend’s of India Society of the University of Arkansas and The Hindu Temple of Northwest Arkansas. He was truly a pioneer. But in the end, his source of pride and most important thing to him was his family. He was a loving and devoted husband, and the most loving and supportive father to his three sons. All he wanted in life was to work hard to provide for his wife and his three sons' health, education, and success as the Kilambi family’s first generation of Americans. We will miss his intellect, his personal style, his great sense of humor, his abundant if not often told story telling, his yoga demonstrations, and his wise advice and counsel. But most of all we will miss his unconditional love and great hugs. We lost the pillar of our family, but take comfort that he is no longer suffering and is in a better place. After a private cremation and family ceremony, a memorial service is planned at a time to be determined soon for all who want to attend, pay their respects, and perhaps share a story. Cremation arrangements are by Nelson Berna Funeral Home of Fayetteville. The family of Dr. Raj V. Kilambi will be honoring his sad March 25th passing by having a celebration of his life. The celebration will be held Sunday May 16th, 2021 at Agri Park, 1167 W Knapp Drive, in Fayetteville (72704). We invite all friends and colleagues who wish to come to honor and celebrate his life and achievements. The celebration will be a casual event beginning at 12 pm noon. We will have brief remarks from friends and family which will be followed by a service of Indian food and conversation at tables in the Pavilion and Tent. Weather permitting, we will have some outdoor activities set up (such as Baggo, Badminton, etc.) as we have many fond memories of our Dad with us at this park for Zoology Department picnics. We kindly ask that if you can attend this celebration or just want to make a comment or tell a story, that you send an Email to: [email protected] Please leave any comments or stories on that Email and let us know how many may attend the celebration to help us in the planning. Thank you very much! Note: This is a University of Arkansas facility and their current COVID 19 rules and precautions will apply. We ask that you wear a mask at all times if not 6 ft apart except while eating. Family groups may sit closer together at the tables, but otherwise appropriate spacing will be required. Food will be served to each guest individually in accordance with the Universities COVID guidelines. And of course, alcohol, tobacco products, and illegal products are strictly prohibited at all times.
Raj Varad Kilambi, age 88, passed from his earthly life Thursday, March 25, 2021. Born in Tenali, India A.P., he is survived within his immediate family by his loving wife of nearly 64 years, Jaya, his sons Neal, Navin, and Nirmal, and their... View Obituary & Service Information
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