BY HEIDI ULRICHSEN
Parameswar Viswanathan will be remembered as a caring social worker who lived by the ideals of Mahatma Ghandi.
Viswanathan, 65, who taught social work for 30 years at Laurentian University, died during a canoeing accident Saturday.
He and his two sons, Sundar and Hari, were enjoying an excursion on George Lake in Killarney Provincial Park when their boat capsized.
Provincial police say the man quickly went unconsious. An autopsy has shown Viswanathan died from a stress-induced heart attack.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Shantha, and his sons.
There will be an interfaith memorial service for Viswanathan at St. Patrick?s Roman Catholic Church in Sudbury June 12 at 4 pm. A private cremation
service was held Tuesday.
Long-time friend, Dr. Vijay Kumar says, ?You could go to him for any problem that you had. If you are in any crisis, you just call him and he?ll come and reassure you. He was a very good counsellor. A lot of his friends used him when they were in distress with some problems in their life.?
The man?s health had suffered in recent years, says Kumar. Viswanathan retired from Laurentian after developing lung disease. But that didn?t stop his love of gardening and the outdoors.
?He loved the wilderness, nature and especially organic gardening. That?s his specialty,? says Kumar.
The Viswanathan family were celebrating a family reunion in Killarney Park.
Viswanathan is a founding member of Sudbury Interfaith Dialogue and was active in the India-Canada Association and the Multicultural Association of Sudbury. The devoted Hindu cared deeply about religious tolerance.
?It was very important to him. He believed in multi-faith. He believed that all religions are equal and that kind of thing,? says Kumar.
Viswanathan came to Canada from India in the late 1950s.
?He helped a lot of immigrants to integrate into the community and things like that. He would especially help if they were bachelors who had come
from India and they didn?t know how to cook. He used to feed them and take care of them.?