Praphulla N. Bhat

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Praphulla N. Bhat, formerly of Huntingdon passed away on May 25 in Pittsburgh, PA. Affectionally known as Phulla, she was born May 10, 1943, and is survived by her three children (Amar, Kavitha, and Niranjan), their spouses, and 10 grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 58 years; Dr. B. Narayana Bhat. Born in Koteshwara, a village in southern Karnataka State, India, as the second of 10 children, she helped to raise her younger siblings until her marriage to Dr. Bhat in 1963. Together, they immigrated to the United States in 1964. After Dr. Bhat completed his surgical residency in Nashville, the couple settled in the town of Huntingdon. For 25 years, Phulla supported his career as his surgical practice’s part-time bookkeeper and executive administrator and maintained a flourishing household with three children as chef, chauffeur, and event director. In the Huntingdon community, she had a busy social calendar, participating in the Junior Women’s Club, Garden Club, Book Club, and as a school volunteer. She would recall with increasing fondness and less irritation over the years driving all over town to find her husband when a phone call had alerted him to a surgical emergency, and he had left his pager at home. She was known for introducing her Huntingdon friends to the spiciest food they had ever had (even when toned-down), and the community to Indian culture. Together, the couple were instrumental in the founding of the Sri Ganesha Temple in Nashville in 1985. Following Dr. Bhat’s retirement, they moved to Nashville in 1997, contributing as vital members to the local Hindu community. Phulla was a regular figure and a force at the Temple until she and her husband moved to Pittsburgh in 2020 to be closer to their daughter. Phulla was a devoted wife and loving mother and grandmother. She was deeply involved in the lives of her children and grandchildren, and had a phenomenal memory for everything – recipes, people, conversations, and events. She enjoyed travel, visiting many countries with her husband during his life. Despite serious health issues which began in her thirties, she continued to raise her children, travel, and stay involved in her community with remarkable resilience and fortitude. She will be remembered by her siblings, children, grandchildren, extended family, and friends for her strength in the face of challenges and her ability to thrive in a country so different from the one in which she was raised, while holding fast to her cultural heritage and family traditions. Services were held on May 28 at the Gene H. Corl Funeral Chapel Inc., 4335 Northern Pike, Monroeville, PA.

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