Dipa Sarkar, M.D., 89, passed away on October 29, 2020 at Terre Haute Regional Hospital. She was born on July 8, 1931, in a small town outside of Calcutta, India to Rabindra Mohan Biswas and Shubhadbala Biswas. Dipa is preceded in death by both her parents; loving husband, Anil Kumar Sarkar, M.D.; her older sister, Ratna Biswas as well as her younger brothers, Ashish Kumar Biswas and Adhip Kumar Biswas. She is survived by her daughter Rumu Sarkar and her two younger sisters, Reba Chatterjee and Chitra Roy. Dipa lived life to the fullest, accomplishing goals that many dream about. She completed her undergraduate studies at Bethune College, Calcutta, and her medical degree at Calcutta Medical College. Once Dipa started her career as a gynecologist she joined the hospital medical staff in Chittaranjan, West Bengal, India. During that time she married Anil Kumar, M.D., the couple then had their only child, Rumu Sarkar. Dipa and her family moved to Pittsfield, MA, and then later to Mt. Kisco, Westchester, NY, where she and her husband Anil did their residencies in pathology. In 1969 the Sarkar family moved to Terre Haute, IN, where Dipa and Anil joined Union Hospital’s pathology group as the first Indian-American doctors in Terre Haute, later becoming co-directors of the labs at Mary Sherman Hospital, Sullivan, and Clay County Hospital, Brazil, IN. Dipa soon became the first President of the India Association in 1970. As president she helped dedicate a tree to ISU for Mahatma Gandhi’s 100th anniversary that was re-dedicated in 2017. According to Dipa her true career started once she retired from medical practice in 1990, and began her extensive and remarkable volunteer work with over 50 organizations in Terre Haute. In 1996, Dipa received a Letter of Appreciation from President Bill Clinton, and in 2013 she received the first “Aspire Higher” award from Saint Mary of the Woods College. Mother (Saint) Teresa gave Dipa a rosary for her dedicated work as a young medical student in Calcutta helping patients in her leprosy clinic which Dipa donated to St. Mary’s in 2017. Dipa was named “Historian Emerita” for publishing many biographies of prominent Terre Hauteans in the Tribune-Star on behalf of the Historical Museum. Duke Bennett, Mayor of Terre Haute, had proclaimed Dipa’s birthday, Wednesday, July 8, 2020, as “Dipa Sarkar Day”. Dipa was a devoted mother, wife, sister, friend and medical doctor. She was an incredible person and will be missed dearly. Viewing for Dipa will be held at DeBaun Springhill Chapel on Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at 4:30 PM with services starting at 5 PM. Although there are no restrictions on attending the funeral service, the family requests that masks be worn by those attending.
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