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OHMKARAM
a Registered, Tax Exempt 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization

Ohmkaram, Kerala Hindu Organization in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA was founded in 2006 to promote awareness of Kerala Hindu culture, arts, and tradition through community participation.  Ohmkaram promotes the Malayalam language and literature.  We facilitate and encourage members and youth to participate in community service.  The organization will serve as a platform for the effective networking for anyone interested in Kerala culture, irrespective of race, religion or national origin.

For more information contact Sunil Krishnan 314-397-2652 or email us at info@ohmkaram.org
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OBITUARY

NOVEMBER 18, 2020








Palliyil Vinod Menon

Palliyil Vinod Menon was born on 03 August 1969 (a true summer of 69 baby!) in the small town of Keningau, in the state of Sabah, Malaysia; to Bheemath Sethumadhava Menon (Chittur) and Kakkayur Palliyil Ambika Kumari (Kakkayur, Pallakad). He is the eldest of 3 boys, his siblings Vibin and Vimal are in Kuala Lumpur and Livingston, Scotland, respectively. Both his parents were born in India, his father came to Sabah as a young 16 year old, and his mother followed suit upon marriage. 

Shortly after his birth, his parents moved to Kota Kinabalu, the state capital of Sabah, where his 2 younger siblings were born. His primary and secondary schooling was done in Kota Kinabalu, at Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan Tanjung Aru and Sekolah Menengah La Salle, respectively. As a student, Vinod not only excelled in his studies, but was also very actively involved in various extra-curricular activities. A strong debater, he took his love for the written word further in various part-time assignments with local newspapers, namely the Daily Mail (the Sabah version, not the more well-known UK namesake!) and Borneo Bulletin, while still studying and also during the long breaks following his O-Levels and A-Levels equivalent exams.

Vinod left home at around the age of 19 to do his Pre-University at the Petaling Jaya Community College, Kuala Lumpur. Following a two-year stint there, he proceeded to the US (his lifelong dream) to pursue a degree in Electrical & Electronical Engineering at the Southern Illinois University (SIU) at Carbondale, and later a second degree in Computing at the SIU extension at Edwardsville. A true town boy at heart, Vinod preferred to avoid the hustle and bustle of city life and spent all his years at the same apartment complex a stone’s throw from where he did his second degree, apart from several extended stays for work at variou cities around the US.

Vinod had a keen interest in politics – not just that of his adopted country, but also always very much in touch with the latest developments in his home country. He was an avid sportsman and was a lifelong supporter of Tottenham Hotspur FC. Currently sitting proudly atop the English Premier League, how apt it would be if Spurs were to now go on and end their 59 year wait for the League title come the end of the season, as a tribute to Vinod!  

Vinod was the most loving, caring, kind-hearted, jovial and bubbly person one could ever hope to meet. This came across strongly to everyone that he came into contact with, even if said contact was brief. A simple person, with very strong values and regard for his roots. Being such a family-oriented person, it is a shame (or perhaps, with his untimely passing, a “blessing”) that Vinod never met the match of his life to share in his journey of life. Nevertheless, he was very much loved by family and friends alike the world over. Apart from his dear Mummy and 2 siblings, he leaves behind a sister-in-law, Rhitu, his 3 “dumpling sayangs” (as he always affectionately called them) – his nieces, Adhya and Ashta, and nephew, Virath (US Veliachan will always be looking over them, no doubt), as well as aunts, uncles, cousins and many, many other relatives and close friends to mourn his passing. 

Vinod became a member of Ohmkaram in 2009. Immediately he became
very active. His first contribution to Ohmkaram was design of T-shirt with image of Sun on the front and teachings from Upanishath at the back to raise money for Scholarship. He used to explain to non-Indians that teachings from upanishath is like 10 commandments. His next contribution was his work on the annual Souvenir magazine, Gitanjali. He was very particular that the magazine should be of high quality printed on a good quality glossy paper. In other words he was a real perfectionist. In recognition of his quality of work and dedication Vinod was chosen to be an executive committee member with a portfolio of treasurer in 2011. He was instrumental in establishing Foundation Account, which is an investment account, due to which Ohmkaram has a rainy day fund today. Vinod created the first Scholarship application form for Ohmkaram. A revised version of that form is what we are using today. Vinod became Chairman of the Board of Directors in 2014. He provided valuable pieces of advice to the Executive Committee and members at large during his time as the Chairman. During that time he organized a special program called Chendamelam which is the first of it’s kind for greater St. Louis. His leadership in this program is highly commendable. Success of this program is the reason for bringing more such programs by Ohmkaram in the following years. For the second special program, Shobana’s Krishna, Vinod developed marketing and fundraising strategies, likes of which we have not seen before.  

In 2015 some members of Ohmkaram started thinking about applying for grants to raise funds for it’s activities. One of the requirements of applying for grants is 501C(3) registration. A lot of research and work was done by Vinod for successfully completing 501C(3) registration. Because of the registration Ohmkaram has been applying for grants every year. Towards the latter half of 2016 Vinod had to go to cities outside St. Louis for work. Even then he kept his Ohmkaram membership and worked for all major programs. He created and executed his marketing strategies from Detroit while working there for the third special program Kerala Express. He came all the way from Detroit to renter a helping hand for the program. Needless to say that the program was very successful. In short, Vinod did a lot of qualitative dedicated work for Ohmkaram in his short time with us

Vinod Menon became a member of Ohmkaram in 2009. Immediately he became very active. His first contribution to Ohmkaram was the design of the Ohmkaram T-shirt with image of a Sun on the front and teachings from the Upanishads at the back to raise money for Scholarship. He used to explain to non-Indians that teachings from the Upanishads are like the Ten Commandments. His next contribution was his work on the annual Souvenir magazine, Gitanjali. He was very particular that the magazine should be of high quality printed on a good quality glossy paper. In other words he was a real perfectionist.  

In recognition of his quality of work and dedication Vinod was chosen to be an executive committee member with a portfolio of treasurer in 2011. He was instrumental in establishing Foundation Account, which is an investment account, due to which Ohmkaram has a rainy day fund today. Vinod also created the first Scholarship application form for Ohmkaram. A revised version of that form is what we are using today. 

Vinod became Chairman of the Board of Directors in 2014. He provided valuable pieces of advice to the Executive Committee and members at large during his time as the Chairman. During that time he organized a special program called Chendamelam which was the first of its kind for greater St. Louis. His leadership in this program is highly commendable. Success of this program is the reason for bringing more such programs by Ohmkaram in the following years. During the second special program, Shobana’s Krishna, Vinod developed marketing and fundraising strategies, likes of which we have not seen before. In 2015 some members of Ohmkaram started thinking about applying for grants to raise funds for its activities. One of the requirements of applying for grants is 501C(3) registration. A lot of research and work was done by Vinod for successfully completing 501C(3) registration. Because of the registration Ohmkaram has been applying for grants every year. Towards the latter half of 2016 Vinod had to go to cities outside St. Louis for work. Even then he kept his Ohmkaram membership and worked for all major programs. He created and executed his marketing strategies from Detroit while working there for the third special program Kerala Express. He came all the way from Detroit to render a helping hand for the program. Needless to say that the program was very successful.  

Last but not the least Vinod was a good cook and loved to try out new recipes. He was extremely helpful and dependable, while being very generous, and not just with his time. He negotiated and managed to secure great deals for the Food Committee, while establishing many lasting friendships with the local restaurants. 

In short, Vinod did a lot of qualitative dedicated work for Ohmkaram in his short time with us. We at Ohmkaram will always remember him for his ready smile, sociable attitude and friendly nature. Vinod was also our Mahabali for few years during the Onam programs, and we will continue to miss our ever-memorable cheerful Mahabali who will now live in our hearts forever.

Rest in eternal Peace, dear Vinod. You will be very deeply missed, but never forgotten. 

Fides et Opera. 
Om Shanti.