Dr. Bharathi P. Sudarsanam

Dr. Bharathi P. Sudarsanam, 87, of Parsons died at 11:13 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, at the Freeman West Hospital in Joplin. 

Bharathi P. Sudarsanam was born in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India, on May 12, 1934, to Vemula Isaiah and Salomi. She is the oldest of five children, Rajeswari (sister, deceased), Sarojini (sister, deceased), Prabhakar (brother, deceased), and Grace Kamala Kumari (sister), who resides in Vizag, India.

She grew up in various places in the state of Andhra Pradesh. She excelled academically and earned her bachelor of science degree in zoology from Andhra Christian College. On May 20, 1953, she married John P. Sudarsanam in Guntur. They later had three children, Sam, Neel and Shiloh, and she stayed at home taking care of them. Bharathi earned her master of science degree in marine biology at Andhra University with distinction. Following the completion of her master’s degree, she had her fourth child, Beulah. She started teaching in 1963 and served as head of the biology department at various colleges in Andhra Pradesh before traveling to the United States in 1974 to study, which ultimately paved a path for the rest of her family to follow. She was awarded the prestigious Lutheran World Federation Scholarship that fully funded her doctorate in the field of biological sciences at the University of Kansas at Lawrence. She earned her doctorate in physiology and cell biology from the University of Kansas in 1979. After graduation, she did post-doctoral research at the University of Oregon in Eugene for a year. Teaching was her passion. She decided to teach in colleges, educating students in all areas of biology. She particularly enjoyed teaching students pursuing health care professions. She began working at Labette Community College starting in the fall semester 1983. 

Bharathi and John had a loving marriage, and they supported their children as they studied, married and had families of their own. They grew close to one of their students, Stacy McGuirk, with whom they continued a relationship and considered one of their children. John also shared her passion for teaching and taught in various colleges, including the biology department at LCC. He preceded her in death on July 31, 1996. Bharathi continued teaching for 23 more years, enduring health issues throughout her career with courage. She enjoyed teaching at LCC and was passionate about the school and its students, which is proven by her nearly four decades of service. She retired after the 2019 summer semester.

She was a dedicated and loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend. She was the anchor of her family throughout her life. She encouraged and supported everyone through their trials of life, always rendered her advice and prayed for them. She rejoiced at the birth of each of her eight grandchildren. She never failed to send birthday greetings and gifts to each of them and enjoyed the time spent with them, always cooking and displaying interest in their lives. She was blessed to attend three of her grandchildren’s weddings, the last one being just nine days before she passed away. Despite facing health challenges, she was determined to participate. At the wedding, she saw the two youngest of her five great-grandchildren for the first time. 

Bharathi made her home in Parsons for nearly 40 years. She was a member of Wesley United Methodist Church, the Parsons Lions Club and was active in many biological science academic associations and societies until her retirement. She was an avid seamstress, a phenomenal cook and enjoyed reading and traveling. She was a strong believer in Jesus Christ and made a significant difference and mark on her community. She will be greatly missed.

Survivors include two sons, Sam Sudarsanam of Sunnyvale, California, and Neel Sudarsanam of  Parsons; two daughters, Shiloh Jiwanlal of Wichita and Beulah Strong of Broomfield, Colorado; eight grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; a sister, Grace Kamala Kumari of India; two sons-in-law; and a daughter-in-law. 

All will miss her immensely. 

The service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Wesley United Methodist Church with Pat McReynolds officiating. Burial will be in Oakwood Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Carson-Wall Funeral Home. Memorials are suggested to the Labette Community College Foundation for the John and Bharathi Sudarsanam Endowed Scholarship. These may be left at or mailed to the funeral home, P.O. Box 942, Parsons, KS, 67357. 

Online condolences may be left at www.wallfuneralservices.com.

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