Dr. Muttu Velupillai Ananda Mahendiran M.D., MBBS, passed away on the eve of June 22, 2020 in Baltimore, MD.
He was born on Thursday, May 13, 1943 in Inuvil, Sri Lanka. He was part of a large family; a brother to his loving sister, the late Ranee Sivarajasingham, and his brothers, the late Anandarajendran, the late Anandajeyendran, the late Anandayogendran, Dr. Anandabalendran, and Anandakulendran.
The son of Muthu Velupillai and Ayilium Manikathiyagarajah, he devoted his entire life to medicine, beginning his career studying diligently at the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. He married his forever partner and loving wife of 46 years, Ambigadevi Mahendiran (daughter of Manickavasagar Mahadevan and Rajasoundary) in 1974 and together they had three children, Gajan Mahendiran, Gayathri Mahendiran and Shavitri Mahendiran. His journey in life led him to Nigeria in 1979 to provide a better life for his family. In Nigeria he was an active member in the community of Kaduna where he was the primary community doctor. His roles including being everything from an internal medicine doctor, obstetrician, forensic pathologist and even medical examiner. His patients would often comment on his compassionate care and calming presence. His bedside manner was unparalleled. They were lucky to have him as their doctor. He would many times provide care pro bono to those who could not afford it. His family ultimately had to leave Nigeria nevertheless because of civil unrest in that country, ultimately relocating to Canada in 1986 and finally the United States in 1989. He retrained in psychiatry, completing his residency at Mt. Sinai’s Elmhurst Hospital in 1991 and worked in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania after his training. He worked at Torrance State Hospital for nearly 15 years as a devoted state employee of Pennsylvania and throughout the Philadelphia area thereafter. He received many accolades including a certificate for recognition from the Mental Health Association in Westmoreland County PA, where he was recognized for his treatment of patients in conjunction with patient rights as well as mentoring and teaching certificates. He was always encouraging, even in the most troubling of times and he always exemplified the most important characteristic in achieving his own American Dream-persistence.
He sacrificed so much to ensure that his three children could obtain higher education. They all became medical doctors and that was his pride and joy over the years. One of his daughters followed in his footsteps to become a psychiatrist while the others became an anesthesiologist and breast radiologist, respectively. He is survived by his wife, Ambigadevi; his son Dr. Gajan Mahendiran and daughter-in-law Amudha Mahendiran; his daughter Dr. Gayathri Mahendiran and David Leiter; his daughter Dr. Shavitri Mahendiran and son-in-law Dr. Vinay Somashekar; and his grandchildren Nithin and Anya Mahendiran. He was an extremely loving husband, father, grandfather and friend and his legacy continues to live on in them.
Dr. Mahendiran will always be remembered as a compassionate and quiet gentleman. He was always devoted to his family and there wasn’t anything he could not provide for them. He valued diligence and wanted to work in his profession until the very end. He instilled a tremendous work ethic in his children and they continue to echo his legacy through their hard work in their respective medical fields. He found joy in working long hours, frequently taking overnight call even at the end of his career because he was unquestionably devoted to his profession and his patients. He was a true gentleman in every sense as his kindness reached far and wide. He loved Tamil Cinema, South Asian music and enjoyed gardening and traveling.
His life was full of people who loved and respected him. There wasn’t a day he didn’t cherish. His life will be celebrated as his light shines ever so brightly within all of us. He will be dearly missed by many.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Sri Shiva Vishnu Temple
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