Passed away peacefully at home in Winnipeg on March 13, 2021.
Ramu was grateful for a lifetime of deep friendship with many people. It wasn't just his charm, warmth and intelligence that endeared him to people: his unbridled sense of humour and fine south Indian cooking also won over those fortunate enough to know him. (Even his Canadian-raised kids loved his lemon rice and pork meatball curry.)
Ramu rose above the barriers of caste, colour and poverty to become a leading academic in his adopted country. Not long after joining the sociology department at the University of Manitoba in 1972, he co-edited the first-ever compilation of Canadian sociological studies for university students. His teaching, researching and writing career focused on marriage and the family, women and work, sibling relations, urbanization, and the effects of globalization on industrial workers.
Ramu brought his unique combination of vision, skill and disinterested dedication to all his endeavours, whether as an organizer of miners in the Kolar Gold Fields, president of the Hindu Society of Manitoba, a member of the University of Manitoba senate, head of the Canadian Sociological Association, or president of the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute.
Music was a large part of his life - Indian ragas, old Bollywood tunes, western classical, jazz, the blues and Afro-Cuban sounds. He was a proud dad at his son's jazz concerts and his daughter's Bharatanatyam dance performances. Yard work, gardening and household renovations were just challenging ways of having fun for him, an attribute likely inherited from his dad, Nanjappa, an ingenious craftsman. His U of M colleagues helped him adjust to suburban Canadian life by teaching him how to build a straight fence, make pizza from scratch, and enjoy fishing even when he didn't catch fish.
Left to mourn his passing are his wife Jude, his daughter Priya, son Shashi, and their mother Prabha Menon. In India his grieving relatives will be gathering at the family farm on the Hemavati River to spread his ashes. The bereaved include his only surviving brother Suresh; sisters-in-law Susheila, Shakunthala, and Mahadevi; and nieces and nephews Sharat, Bhanu, Karthika, Deepak, Jyoti, Satish, Urmiladevi, Nipun and Nikhil. He will also be terribly missed by his large circle of friends in Mysuru, and especially his old college mate, Natraj. An Eleventh Day ceremony was held on March 24.
Mandagere inda Manitobage-Mahaayaana
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