Saturday, June 18, 2022: 1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EDT
Please join us to celebrate the life of our father Vivek at the Mt. Airy Radha Krishna Temple in Philadelphia (or virtually via Zoom) on Saturday, June 18 at 1:30pm ET. We welcome family and friends to share memories of our father during the service. If you would like to be part of the scheduled program, please email Sugirtha Stathis, Vivek's daughter, at [email protected].
We kindly ask that you RSVP by Wednesday, June 8 so we can manage preparations accordingly. We will record the service for those who cannot attend.
Per Hindu custom, all guests must remove their shoes prior to entering the temple room where the memorial service will take place. For more information, please visit https://everloved.com/life-of/vallipuram-vivekananthan/funeral/.
The remarkable life journey of Vallipuram Vivekananthan (“Vivek”) came to a gracious end on November 14, 2021 at 82 years of age. He is survived by his loving children and grandchildren. Born in Sri Lanka, Vivek immigrated to the United States in the mid-70s, settling in Philadelphia with his family and eventually becoming a citizen of the country that became his home.
Vivek was a true citizen of the world, having traveled to over 100 countries, and devoting his life to the service of others. As founder and President of Volunteers for International Solidarity, Vivek organized countless volunteer work camps in the Philadelphia region, bringing people from all over the world to support local community projects.
A self-described “peace activist”, it was not uncommon to find him at a protest fighting for workers’ rights or various humanitarian causes, both here and across the globe. He once spoke to the United Nations to urge support for the safety and security of the East Timor people amidst invasions from neighboring nations, and to assist in the country’s social and economic redevelopment. Throughout his life, he was an outspoken advocate for a living minimum wage, free education and healthcare for all as basic tenets for human dignity and prosperity. Vivek was heavily involved with the Green Party, serving in various leadership roles of the Philadelphia chapter, and helping to establish the Party’s first chapter in his native Sri Lanka.
His natural charm was undeniable, always smiling and happy to chat. He genuinely enjoyed meeting new people, learning about their backgrounds and perspectives. He loved a good debate, but was only curious, never judgmental. He put everyone at ease, and had a LOT of knowledge to share from his extensive travels and constant news consumption.
For a time in the 80s, he ran a lunch counter at Reading Terminal Market called Vivek’s Health Foods. His menu of freshly blended vegetable juices, homemade miso soup, and sandwiches of crusty bread, muenster cheese and sprouts were well ahead of their time. People came for the food and stayed for the conversation with the quirky and affable owner. He believed in good wholesome food and herbal remedies (for headaches, he advised peppermint tea and pressure points instead of over-the-counter medicine).
He was a great figure in his family, a pillar of strength, knowledge and kindness. In his final days, relatives came from near and far to spend precious moments with their “mama” or “periyappa”. His loss will be felt for years to come, but his legacy of selflessness and love for others will live on indefinitely.
A memorial service will be held in the spring (tentative date May 1, 2022 - May Day) to celebrate Vivek’s incredible life. Details will be shared on his Facebook page (Ananthan Vivek). In lieu of flowers,