Dr. Sumant Malhotra Optimist and Devoted Friend 1976-2016


HOUSTON:  Dr. Sumant Malhotra, an optometrist devoted to family and a legion of friends who all packed into the hall, was eulogized in a standing room only funeral service at the Winford Funeral Home on the city’s southwest side on Monday, October 3. He was almost six weeks shy of his 40th birthday when he succumbed to a seven-year battle with brain cancer and passed away at his parent’s home on Friday, September 30, 2016.

Just last year on May 26, many of the same childhood friends and their young children, along with his family, wife Kavita and then 5 year-old daughter Sarina, had gotten together to celebrate his courageous battle with cancer which was then considered to be in remission. They held a special surprise get together for him in the private back room over boxes of pizza party at the Marquee, a members-only club in City Centre.

Sumant was a devoted husband, father, son, brother, and friend who touched the lives of many people.  He will best be remembered for his infectious smile, laughter, devoted friendship, selflessness, transcendent personality and work ethic. There was a profound outpouring of love and support from across the globe and many came together be with him in his final days and posted their meeting on the Facebook page.

Sumant was born in Montreal, Canada but grew up near Buffalo, New York before moving to Houston in 1990. In high school, he excelled in academics, music, and tennis, graduating summa cum laude.  He then attended the University of Houston, graduated with honors, and subsequently completed his doctorate in Optometry in 2004.

Sumant was the older son of long-time Houstonians Bindu and Bhagwant Singh Malhotra. Bindu is from New Delhi and worked as an former school teacher and registered nurse for 30 years, currently at Memorial Hermann Hospital Northwest. Bhagwant, from Lucknow, is a retired civil engineer. They left India in 1971 and lived in Lockport, New York for 10 years before moving down to the sunny climes of Houston in 1990. They have a younger son, Kavin, a radiologist in Houston.

Sumant was diagnosed with stage 3 anaplastic astrocytoma, a type of brain cancer characterized by headaches, depression and sometimes seizures, in October 2009 and had surgery in a week later to successfully remove the tumor. Unfortunately, it returned as a stage 4 glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive malignant primary brain tumor in humans, and Sumant had surgery to remove most of it in March 2015.

Throughout his multiple brain surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy, he steadfastly maintained a positive and selfless attitude and continued to work hard to provide for his family and never made excuses.  Sumant worked as a full-time optometrist at America’s Best in Fort Worth, where he lived with his wife and daughter, up to the day his condition left him no choice but to stop.

Throughout his battle, he continued to defy statistics and his courage was a true inspiration to all around him. In his last days, In passing, he brought together many from across the globe with the unifying purpose of celebrating his exquisite, but short life.