Kamalpatti Shandil: Funeral service Sunday, May 19 at Evergreen Washelli

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

Please join us on Sunday, May 19th, 2024, at 10:00 AM.

Evergreen Washelli Funeral Home
11111 Aurora Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98133

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 Form 6 class, with the best marks in her grade. A skilled athlete, she loved to play basketball in her early years, and held a school record for being able to jump greater than her own height of 5’3”. 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 her formal education, she instead married at age 17 to Harideo Shandil and had her first child at age 19.

A woman ahead of her time, Kamalpatti became a lifelong vegetarian at age five and remained an avid, lifelong reader. Her children would frequently find their mother reading Victorian novels like “Lady Chatterly’s Lover” by the cooking fire in their humble home. The mother of eight children, Kamalpatti worked hard to tend to their cows, chickens, and vegetable garden. As a pundit’s wife, Kamalpatti was widely 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 seemingly insurmountable financial challenges, Kamalpatti ensured that her eldest child, Nayantra, finished school, attended college, and ultimately fulfilled her mother’s dream of becoming a teacher.

Later in life, she immigrated to the United States and proudly became a U.S. citizen in 1995. Kamalpatti was an indefatigable reader of children’s books to all of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, inspiring a love of reading and a thirst for education in four generations of her family.

Kamalpatti was adored by her family for being a devout Hindu who recited her mantras with prayer beads, 106, every morning. She loved to travel, visiting the Caribbean, Europe, Australia, Mexico, and most of the 50 states.

A brilliant cook, she always made perfect rotis and the most delicious imlee chutney anyone had ever sampled. Kamalpatti’s one vice was gambling at the casino, and she was often escorted to the Tulalip casino by her family in her latter years. Her grandchildren joked that Nani’s lucky hand at the slot machines was due to “God being on her side.”

Kamalpatti was known in the local Fiji-Indian community for her gentle, joyous, and refined demeanor. She was soft-spoken and never had an unkind word to say about anyone. She only left the house in stylish outfits and with her hair in a perfect bun. As a widow, she refused to wear bright colors out of respect for her deceased husband and frequently wore pastel pinks and purples, instead.

Even in her latter years, Kamalpatti always had a book at her side, and frequently enjoyed watching Indian soap operas, when not visiting her extensive family tree of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Preceded in death by her father Shiu Balak and her mother Kailash, siblings, Jag Deep, Kamal Kumari, Kamala Sati, Jai Narayan, Arjun, and Sumintra, and 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 a host of nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, friends, and loved ones who adored her unconditionally during her nearly century-long life.

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 and to always teach the children in your life the value of pursuing their education.

  1. Thank you for posting this obituary in honor of my grandmother. I miss you so much, Nani, you will
    always be my hero and my best friend. I love you.

    1. Thank you for posting this story of this lovely and courageous woman. Jena, you have much to be proud of. Your grandma’s legacy continues through you. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  2. Jenna:
    Based upon my experience when you lose someone, like your grandmother, that you’ve loved forever you will surely miss them forever. I wish you well.

  3. When my mom and your grandma sat in your mom’s kitchen and the four of us laughed and enjoyed each other those were memories I will never forget. Thank you for sharing her life story with us. She was a sweet lady. She was blessed with a long and good life. She will always be missed. Love, Marie

    1. Aunt Marie, I always think of Mom and you like sisters, therefore you were like another daughter to Nani. I was thinking about Gram and you today, and how much fun our families would have together with Nani and Mom when I was little. Thank you for always loving us, we miss you so much here in Western Washington.

  4. I’m so sorry for your family’s loss, Jenna. Your Nani was always very pleasant to be around and I enjoyed going to your political events with her. She was always very nice to me. I liked reading this story you wrote about her.

    1. Thank you so much for your kindness to Nani while she was alive, especially at the Fourth of July parade and barbeque when I was running for office in 2023. I especially appreciate your getting the slideshow running and acting as the photographer at her funeral today. I’m so glad you had a chance to get to know her and what a wonderful person she is before we had to say goodbye.

  5. Wow….what a beautiful story about a remarkable woman. Even though I never met her, I am very happy that she led such a wonderful life with her family. I also love her wish for all of us to read a book to a young person.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words about my grandmother. Nani was a remarkable woman, and I could think of no better way to honor her legacy than to encouraging mourners to read to the young people in her memory today. She would read three or four books in a row for us at bedtime if her grandchildren demanded it. She loved to read herself and instilled a love of reading in all of us from a young age.

  6. I’m so thrilled that you and your grandmother shared a life together. Many of us have been cut short of these experiences. Fortunately we also learned the importance of making sure our kids relied on books to think and grow.

    Thank you and RIP Kamalpatti Shandil

    1. Thank you for your kind words about my grandmother, Matt. Nani was my last surviving grandparent and has been a constant, loving presence in my life since I was a baby. I was so lucky to have a wonderful relationship with her until the end of her life.

      I agree, Nani taught us the joy of books to stretch our imaginations as children. The joy of reading is the greatest gift anyone can give a child.

  7. Jenna Nand, I am very sorry to hear of your grandmothers passing on. I understand your grief in having such an incredible person to be your grandmother. My grandmother was an incredible person too and also instilled in me the love for reading and made sure we my little sister and I had those stories and the time to give us all of that love. In our case our mother was very ill so grandmas was our refuge. She spent her whole life giving that love and attention and wisdom that was so needed My grandma and I talked almost every day on the phone after I moved out here and when she left us I didn’t know what I would do without her. I have her missed her for 15 years now but I think of her every single day. I have many things around my home of hers and I just love looking at them. Some would call these things just clutter and old but to me they are grandma still talking to me. Love to you, Jenna. Your grandma would be proud to know you are sharing her life with all of us.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words about my grandmother, Deborah. Nani was such an amazing person, and the center of our family.

      I think it is lovely that you keep mementos of your grandmother around, and my mother gave my sister and me doilies that my Nani had knitted decades ago for us to remember her by. I also have some pieces of jewelry that she gave me over my lifetime that I will treasure Ashire forever and hope to pass along to my own children one day.

      Grandmothers are like your best friend, and often your partner in crime when you are a kid and need someone to spoil you. I will treasure those memories of my Nani forever.

      1. Hey Jenna. My Grandma bought me my first mini skirt and my first itsy bitsy teensy weensy yellow polka dot bikini! Grandma was a flapper. I have two metal mesh bags hanging on my wall that the Flappers wore in the Day. Ruby was her name and yeah. Once in the late 1960″s Womens Lib was becoming more popular and in the Midwest we were a bit behind. So, I asked her I said Grandma What do you think about Womens Liberation? She just looked at me and said Debbie I was born liberated, and I am just fine with Womens Liberation. I wish our grandmas could have known each other haha. Trouble that would have been. Probably would have had to chase em down at the Casino haha.

  8. Ya know Jenna I hope our Grandmas can both somehow look down on us now and know how much we loved and respected them both. How much their influence affected us and they would both be proud of the women we are today I hope they are getting a chuckle out of this conversation. I like to think that they are doing just that. Love to you. Now get started on that baby making! Wink Wink! You can tell your children all about Nani just like I do my nieces and nephews. They love the stories and I am leaving them all of grandmas things when I pass on. Actually Grandma gave me a ring she felt she had no more use for it, so she gave it to me when I went home to visit once. I brought it back and Brian Comstock from here in Edmonds created a whole new band for that stone for me. I am leaving it to the eldest niece. Brian did a wonderful job. He did it all the gold work and everything. He always cleaned it for me when I went downtown here. I would try to pay but he wouldn’t take any money. He is a very nice person. I am happy his daughter and family have kept his store going.

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