by Mariana Silva | Reporter
Munroe Falls — Late Munroe Falls City Council member Purushottam (Puru) Kanodia and his work were remembered by city officials and family members during a dedication ceremony on Aug. 21. A plaque in his honor now stands by the tennis court he helped to light at Guise Park.
“It was a great honor to have him serve [in City Council],” said Mayor Frank Larson. “I wish other people would serve in that capacity in the same way he did […] I’m just very proud to have known him.”
Developing the lighting system for the tennis courts was one of his many accomplishments while serving the city, Larson said.
“He had a very big heart,” said Sudha Kanodia, Kanodia’s widow. “He was very hard working, he believed in honesty and he loved people. He believed in giving yourself to everyone.”
Kanodia was a City Council at-large representative when he died on April 21, 2011 of a heart attack. He was 64.
Service Director Anne DiCola said Kanodia was an important element in getting a light system for the court when the city received a Nature Works grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources in 2010.
“It was very generous of him to take his time to do that for us,” DiCola said.
She said Kanodia helped create an electrical engineering plan, figuring how much and where light was needed and how to look for contractors.
She added he paid attention to the concerns of the residents about having lights at the courts.
“Puru was a very simple person,” said Shubha Khandelwal, a cousin. “He loved this community so much. He appreciated the city of Munroe Falls for recognizing his work.”
Along with several family members and Councilmen, members of the city’s Park and Recreation Board were also present during the dedication in Kanodia’s memory.
“Puru was a big supporter of the Parks and Recreation Board,” said Joan Busic, president of the Board. “He is being solemnly missed.”
Kanodia began as a member of Council in January 2010 to fill a vacancy. He was born in Gogri Jamalpur, Bihar, in India, and moved to the U.S. in 1971 where he built a career in electrical engineering.
He was the president of PFK Associates, an engineering company he joined in 1986 as a partner, and ran it independently for the last nine years of his life. Kanodia also served as treasurer for the International Hindi Association and for the Marwari Association.
“It’s nice to see this recognition for his work,” said Kiran Khaitan, a cousin. “And this plaque is here forever. People who are gone, are gone but the memory stays.”