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Kamalpatti Shandil: 1928-2024


In Loving Memory of Kamalpatti Shandil
December 28, 1928-May 15, 2024

Kamalpatti Singh was born to Shiu Balak Singh and Kailash Patti Singh in Suva, Fiji, on December 28, 1928. Her father was a carpenter and her mother was a homemaker.
Kamalpatti was a gifted student. She was the Head Girl of her class. A skilled athlete, she held a school record for being able to jump greater than her own height. Kamalpatti longed to go to college and become a teacher, but her dreams were dashed by WWII and the accompanying tuberculosis outbreak in Fiji that killed half her family. Unable to continue school, she instead married at age 17 to Harideo Shandil and became a mother at age 19.
Kamalpatti was a lifelong vegetarian and avid reader. Her children would frequently find their mother reading novels like “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” by the cooking fire. The mother of eight, Kamalpatti worked hard to tend to their cows, chickens, and vegetable garden. A pundit’s wife, Kamalpatti was known for her generosity to the less fortunate.
The greatest tragedy of her life was the accidental drowning of her youngest daughter, Uttra, at age 17. Despite financial challenges, Kamalpatti ensured that her eldest child, Nayantra, finished school and attended college.
Kamalpatti read children’s books to all of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, inspiring a love of reading in her family. She loved to travel, visiting the Caribbean, Europe, Australia, Mexico, and most of the 50 states.
Kamalpatti was known in the local Fiji-Indian community for her gentle, joyous, and refined demeanor.
Preceded in death by her father, Shiu Balak, and her mother, Kailash; siblings Jag Deep, Kamal Kumari, Kamala Sati, Jai Narayan, Arjun, and Sumintra; her husband, Harideo; her daughter, Uttra; and her son, Mahen.
Kamalpatti leaves to mourn: her siblings Kamala Wati and Krishnan Kumar; her children Nayantra and husband Kamal, Rajendra and wife Chandra, Satendra and wife Nitra, Sumintra and husband Kamal, Ravindra and wife Sanita, and Gyanendra and wife Susan; her grandchildren, Arleen, Jenna, Rosalyn, Daniel, Charles, Neal, Mrinaal, Prabaal, Roneel, Romeela, Rob, Pawan, and Suraj; her great-grandchildren, Jaya, Anish, Isaiah, Eva, Kinsley, Kyndall, Kallie, Simone, Jaxson, Jordan, Jalen, Jaycen, and Nadia; along with friends and loved ones who adored her.
In lieu of flowers, Kamalpatti’s family requests that you honor her memory by taking the time to read a book to a young child today.