On Wednesday November 4, 2020, Hemant Vithal Kulkarni left us the way he lived his life; with strong stature, self-dignity and compassion for his family and friends.
Hemant was born on January 6, 1941 in Bombay, India to Vithal and Indira Kulkarni. He grew up alongside his sister (Irawati) and two brothers (Ashok & Jayant) in the bustling epicenter of Dadar near Shivaji Park.
His father being a well renowned English professor at Esmail College inspired Hemant to take his education further. Under the guidance of Dr. Rebello, Hemant passed the degree of PhD. in the Technology of Oils, Fats and Waxes. While at the University of Bombay, Hemant worked on three separate Public Law 480 projects sponsored by the U.S. Government of Agriculture. A little detour from his professional life led him to marry Meera Bhalchandra Joshi on March 15th, 1970. Their dedication to each other would encapsulate 50 plus years together.
His work with the USGA gave him and Meera the opportunity to accept a job as a Senior Chemist at Pharmacia P-L Biochemicals in March of 1971. This opened another chapter in starting a new life in America while also providing for his newly born son, Mandar. There he would be responsible for development and production of an entire lipid product line. Fast-forward 12 years later where Meera would inspire him to start his own biochemical business, which still exists today.
Hemant’s fascination with science did not inhibit his passion for his other loves in life. He was a gifted writer who had many of his articles printed in various publications. Hemant took a keen interest in the world of philately as he collected stamps and shared knowledge with people from all over the world. His understanding of risk/reward led to a successful hobby in trading equities in the U.S. and overseas. Following and playing sports was always a part of his life growing up. In 1970, he wrote a letter admiring the great cricketer Sir Don Bradman and mailed the letter to him with the delivery address showing “Somewhere in Australia”. Not only did Mr. Bradman receive the letter, he mailed Hemant back a personal letter along with his autograph. He represented his schools and colleges in sports such as Badminton, Swimming, Cricket, Table Tennis and Chess. However, all things Wisconsin sports never took a back seat to anything.
As a loving husband (Meera), dedicated father (Mandar), affectionate father in law (Smriti), doting grandfather (Nikita/Alisha) and sibling to (Irawati, Ashok & Jayant) – his life could not have been more complete.
It’s been said by many that the reason he was put on this earth was to help others in need while loving his family unconditionally. May God protect his soul as he continues to watch over and guide us moving forward.
The Kulkarni Family