It is with deepest sadness that I am writing to share with you the news that yesterday, June 5, 2022, my beloved father, Krishnadas Banerjee, passed peacefully from this life to the next. Known to many of you as Kestoda or Kris, Dad was a loving and devoted father, a proud and doting grandfather, a talented and competitive athlete, and a brilliant scientist and scholar with a razor sharp intellect until the very final moments of his life. He looked after his family above all - words cannot express how deeply he will be missed. In his final days of life Dad was surrounded by the warmth and love of his adoring family and dear friends. Though I tried to persuade him to move to New York countless times over the past 19 years, Dad did not want to leave Pittsburgh. Born in the steel town of Jamshedpur, he moved to the Steel City of Pittsburgh in 1961 and never left. He cherished his adopted hometown, and wore his trusty Steelers hat year round. He had a wonderful group of friends among the elder statesmen of the Indian community in Pittsburgh - they had lunch together most days of the week and last dined together just a week ago. He attended the annaprasan of his tiny grand-niece the week prior. His was a life well lived until the very end.
I am so grateful to UPMC Family Hospice, whose compassionate, expert care allowed us to honor Dad's wish to die with dignity and comfort at home. He was not in any pain, and we were able to share some fond, sweet memories together in his final days, which I will always treasure. Above all, I am forever indebted to Vanessa - loving, devoted caregiver, and honorary daughter, to both Mom and Dad. She is an angel in the truest sense of the word.
A Fulbright Scholar himself, nothing was more important to Dad than education and the pursuit of knowledge. In these next few days of June he asked that our family focus its attention on his cherished grandchildren - his darling "Chhoto", Arjun, as he sits for his final exams this week, and his precious Kira, as we celebrate her graduation from high school at the end of this week. Although I am heartbroken that Dadu will not get to watch his granddaughter walk out first in the class procession and give her graduation address from the podium, he did get to hear a private recitation of her speech, and Kira could see the pride, admiration and joy on her beloved grandfather's beaming face as he listened with tears in his eyes.
I know Dad and Mom will be shining down on Kira this weekend as we celebrate this most auspicious occasion, and I will be in touch a bit later in the summer as we arrange a memorial service to celebrate my father's remarkable life.
With much love and shared sorrow,