Ram Asra Khurana of Newtown, Connecticut, passed away on September 19, 2020. He died at the age of 84.
Ram arrived with his young family in the United States from India in 1970, believing that tomorrow would be better than today. Like Lin Manuel Miranda's Hamilton, "the young, scrappy, and hungry" immigrant landed in New York City knowing no one. He had only $100 to his name, but was certain, like millions of people had been before him, that there would be a place for his family in this country, and that the American promise—a belief that nothing was out of reach for one's children if they worked hard, played fair, and had a little luck, would see them through.
Ram and his wife, Anjana, sometimes worked five jobs between them to provide for their family. While Anjana provided the children with structure and focused on their education, Ram encouraged them to take risks and approach life with a sense of wonder, optimism, and humor. He adored his grandchildren and would mesmerize them with stories of his childhood and challenge them to arm wrestles and headstand contests. He taught them the best way to eat a mango, to love spicy food, to multiply and divide fractions, and the power of compounding interest. Together with Anjana, he believed in education's power to liberate the mind and improve one's life prospects. They modeled this by pursuing advanced degrees while working full-time with small children at home, with Ram receiving an M.B.A. from Baruch College, CUNY, and becoming a Certified Public Accountant.
Growing up, Ram and Anjana experienced first-hand the consequences of prejudice, intolerance, and the loss of civility when India and Pakistan's partition uprooted their respective families. In response, they sought to connect with people different from themselves and taught their children to understand and respect multiple religious traditions. Recognizing the role serendipity and circumstances played in his own life, Ram was slow to judge others.
Ram is immediately survived by his wife Anjana of Newtown, Ct, his sons Rakesh (Newton, Massachusetts), Pradeep (Harvard, Massachusetts), and eight grandchildren. His death was preceded by his son Hareesh.
In place of flowers, his family requests that each of us welcome with hospitality those who are new to this nation, however they got here.
A service for Ram will be Wednesday September 23, 2020 from 9:30 - 10:30 AM at Munson Lovetere Funeral Home, 235 Main St. North., Southbury, CT. A private cremation service attended by the family will follow at Stone Family Cremation Services.
Social Distancing will be practiced. Masks are required to enter the building. Chairs will be set up outside for those who wish to linger after paying their respects.
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