Kala Gopalan Thaivalappil passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, October 12, 2019 at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, MD. She was undergoing a stem cell transplant for the treatment of her multiple myeloma, which she had been bravely fighting since February of 2019. She was always courageous for others and did not want anyone to feel bad or sorry for her, so she did not wish to disclose her myeloma diagnosis until she had gone through her chemotherapy and transplant and came out on the other end.
She was born on November 28, 1959 in Kerala, India to Renuka Gopalan and the late Gopalan Krishnan. She received her masters in History and married Saseendran Thaivalappil on January 5, 1986. She then moved to the United States on June 13, 1987 and changed careers into computer science. She joined the State of Maryland in 1993 with their Department of Human Resources and then worked her way up to the Network Specialist Supervisor/LAN Admin position for the Office of Information Technology, where she was admired and respected for her dedication, sincerity and trouble-shooting skills.
Family was her passion, and she pushed all of them to be always be sincere, work hard and to strive to do the right thing. She wouldn’t hesitate to help someone, often helping before anyone else could begin to think of what to do. She was an avid gardener with an incredible green thumb, growing plants as exotic as figs and persimmons right in her backyard in Lanham, Maryland. She also grew many varieties of flowers, creating thousands of garlands in her lifetime to give to the temple.
Despite all of the pain that she endured in her final months, she always had a smile on her face for her loved ones and her treatment teams and a joke on the tip of her tongue. All who knew her admired her for her amazing sense of optimism, her spirituality and faith, her strength, her humor, her bravery, incredible work ethic, can-do attitude, and her generosity towards family and strangers alike.
She is survived by her mother, Renuka Gopalan, her husband, Saseendran Thaivalappil, her daughter Silpa Thaivalappil (and her husband Pushpak Taunk) and her son Gopisankar Thaivalappil.
May she be at peace with her father, Gopalan Krishnan and younger brother, Pratheepkumar Gopalan.
Hindu funeral services will be held on Wednesday, October 16th from 11am to 1pm at Donaldson Funeral Home and Crematory, 1411 Annapolis Road Odenton, MD 21113. Cremation services will occur immediately thereafter.
We kindly request that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation to help advance research and care for other patients: https://tribute.themmrf.org/KalaThaivalappil
We thank everyone for their support and prayers.
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