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VISVANATHA, Narasimhan Appala (Van)

VISVANATHA, Narasimhan Appala (Van)

March 1, 1936 – Gurajanapalli, Andhra Pradesh, India      

September 20, 2014 – Calgary Alberta    

Van Visvanatha, beloved husband of Sarala Devi Visvanatha (nee Karri) of Calgary, AB, passed away on Saturday, September 20, 2014 at the age of 78 years at the Foothills Medical Centre.

Van was born in Gurajanapalli, Andhra Pradesh, India to parents Somanna and Narasamma Visvanatha. Van earned his Bachelor in Civil Engineering from Andhra University Kakinada in 1957 as well as his PhD in Civil Engineering (Water Resources) from Utah State University in 1975.     Van had many career highlights throughout the ten countries he worked in. Van started his Civil Engineering career at CWPC and CPWD India and Nepal from 1957-1971. He worked as a consulting engineer at Keith Consulting in Lethbridge, AB from 1975-1981. Van facilitated the design of Oldman River Dam and managed RAJAD project in Kota, India from 1992 to 2001. He was a consulting engineer at UMA Engineering in Lethbridge and Calgary from 1981 until retirement in 2001.

Since retirement, Van was actively involved with VanS Consulting, Rotary Club of Sarcee, and UPS Store #36. Van enjoyed travelling, going for walks and bike rides. He had interests in astrology, Indian classical music, and computers. Van had a strong work ethic and doing it right the first time, and didn’t believe in “giving up”. He battled pancreatic cancer for almost four years. Van was known for his favourite phrases: “No such thing as a free lunch”, “It’s a package deal” and “Time is money.” Van was notorious for giving advice to anyone who would listen.


Besides his loving wife of fifty-three years Sarala, Van is survived by his children, Kumar (Monika), Lakshmi (Douglas Stewart), Surya (Sumita), and Sanjeev (Susmita); eight grandchildren, Ian, Anisha, Colin, Rohini, Curtis, Rajani, Shivanshi, and Rohit; and sisters, Kantham Pariti and Lakshmi Moorty.

A Memorial Service will be held at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY (Crowfoot, 82 Crowfoot Circle N.W.) on Saturday, October 4, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. Condolences may be forwarded through In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations made to Alberta Cancer Society. The family would also like to thank the Calgary health community for the excellent care he received including Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Revera Home Care, Doctors: Joyce, Dowden, Bathe, Stewart.

In living memory of Narasimhan Visvanatha, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Crowfoot, 82 Crowfoot Circle N.W. Telephone 403-241-0044.

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Condolence Messages

  1. I well remember Van from our days working together at UMA Engineering in Lethbridge.’ Our offices were next door.

    We were both at Utah State University in 1975; at which time I was teaching on the Design of Earth Dams in the engineering department.

    I much enjoyed working with him during our UMA sojourn. I have not seem him since but my memories are most pleasant.

    From Byron Cazier Palmer

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  2. To the Visvanatha Family;
    The world has lost a walking encyclopedia. Dr. Van had an amazing capacity for knowledge and willingly shared that knowledge on many and diverse projects and topics.
    Our sincere condolences to the family in their loss of a kind and caring husband, father, grandfather.
    Ken, Marian and Dean Craig

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  3. Offers condolences to Sarala from India.

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  4. Isabel Mortin-Flemons :

    Dear Sarala,

    I am so sorry to hear of Van’s death. I remember how well he looked after Dave on Dave’s first trip to India. I so enjoyed your company and our adventures together on my only trip to India.
    I’d have attended the memorial service today, but I just heard the news.
    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  5. Today I read this news on internet and felt shocked, I met Unkil ji couple of times , he was really very very strong person as i remember, he helped a lot his daughter in law Sumita , She used to be my friend, He sent her to school for learning English, gave car ,bought business and house…..Unkil ji I came to canada and met to you, and you were looking cheerful that time, I feel sorry to Sarla aunty ji too…Aunty ji please take care of yourself…….Unkil ji Rest in Peace…..we will miss you………………

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