PROFESSOR PARVATHI (PARI) BASRUR: Dr. Pari Basrur passed away, on November 10, at 11:40 a.m. at Guelph General Hospital, Ontario, with her husband of 56 years at her side. Dr. Basrur is survived by her husband Dr. Vasanth Basrur and daughter Jyothi Basrur and predeceased by her daughter, Dr Sheela Basrur (2008). She will be sadly missed by her grand-daughters Simone Koves and Simone’s father Peter Koves, Natasha and Nina Esmail and their father Amin Esmail. To mourn her, she leaves behind her brother Ram and his wife Kamla Nambiar, brother Ravi, sisters Nalini, Sashi, brother and sister-in-laws and nieces and nephews, long time friends Ed and Susie Reyes, Allan and Lena King and many other close family friends.
Dr. Basrur was born September 15, 1929 in Kerala state, India. After the completion of a M.Sc. in Bangalore, India, she came to Canada in 1955 to pursue doctoral studies at the University of Toronto. In 1959, she joined University of Guelph as the first female faculty member in the Ontario Veterinary College. In her 60 year career, she investigated and shared her fascination with the magic of chromosomes focussing on animal health, reproduction and response to environmental exposure to toxins, carcinogens and clastogens. Her work has been disseminated in over 200 scientific articles and several books. She has contributed to the training of over 5,000 veterinarians and supervised 20 M.Sc. students, 26 Ph.D. students, and 11 Post Doctoral Fellows and mentored countless others. Dr. Basrur’s laboratory was always a vibrant research environment and a meeting place for students and scientists from Canada and all corners of the world. The Basrur home was the “home away from home” for many and she was fondly referred not only as Dr B. but also as Mama Basrur. The food, the scientific discussions, the stories, the self effacing but distinct humour will be sorely missed.
Her many accomplishments were rightfully acknowledged by personal tributes and awards, all of which were of equal importance to Dr Basrur. She was particularly proud of the Order of Canada, YMCA-YWCA Woman of Distinction award for Life Achievement, the Norden Award for Distinguished Teaching and most recently the Queen’s Jubilee Award. Dr Basrur was a role model, friend, inspiration, confidante, a visionary and a promoter, all rolled into one. She literally inspired generations of people and her legacy will carry on. She leaves a void in the lives of many friends, colleagues, and former students.
Dr Basrur retained her dignity, sense of humor and consideration for others during her year-long convalescence following cardiac surgery. The family extends their heartfelt gratitude to the compassionate care given to her at Trillium Health Centre, Mississauga, Grand River Hospital and St Mary’s Hospital, Kitchener and Guelph General Hospital.
The family is holding a private ceremony in the days to follow. A public celebration of Dr Basrur’s life will be arranged in ensuing weeks. Dr Basrur had requested the donations be sent, in lieu of flowers, to the Grand River Hospital Foundation, 835 King St. W., Kitchener, ON N2G 1G3 or a charity of their choice. Condolences may be forwarded to the family through the Erb & Good Family Funeral Home, 171 King Street South, Waterloo, ON N2J 1P7, 519-745-8445 or www.erbgood.com