Sudesh Mehta (1938 – 2013)

Sudesh mehta

Sudesh Mehta, a tireless and ardent supporter of Punjabi culture who helped organize many functions over the years for the appropriately named Punjabi Culture Club along with her husband, the late Dr. Paul Mehta, passed away on Wednesday, September 25, 2013. She was 75 years old and had been in ill health for some time with various ailments.

Born Sudesh Sharma in Jullundur, Punjab in India in 1938, she received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Punjab University in 1957 and followed it up with a Master in Arts in English in 1960 and a Master of Arts in History in 1962, both from Punjab University. Soon thereafter, she married Mohinder Paul Mehta on January 16, 1963 and their daughter, Samita, was born in late 1964.

Around that time, the Mehtas moved from India to Canada, where Paul served as the Assistant Principal and Sudesh as an English teacher for Leask High School in Saskatchewan. Later, while Paul worked on his Doctorate in Education at the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana, she concurrently obtained a Master of Arts in Library Science from the same university.

In 1970, they moved to Minot, North Dakota where Paul joined the faculty of Minot State University as a professor. Their son, Neal, was born that same year.  Sudesh worked at the Minot Public Library where she served as a Reference Librarian and Adult Programming Coordinator for many years.

The family moved to Houston in 1986 when Paul assumed the position of Dean of Education at Prairie View A&M University, and Sudesh returned to the classroom as a Special Education teacher in the Klein School District, until her retirement in 1997.

After the death of Paul on April 1, 2012, Sudesh’s greatest joy was her remaining family and countless friends throughout the U.S., India, Canada, and England, all who will miss her dearly. She valued all of them and always made the effort to keep in touch regardless of the distance and passing years.  She also volunteered tirelessly to the Indo-American community by supporting the India Culture Center and Punjabi Culture Club.

Sudesh is survived by her daughter Samita Mehta; son-in-law Utpal Mehta both attorneys and their son, Naren Mehta; and son Neal Mehta a Middle School teacher in Austin; daughter-in-law Monique Rodriguez Mehta; and their daughter Nicola Mehta.

The funeral service was held on Saturday, September 28 at Garden Oaks Funeral Home on Bellaire and Eldridge and was conducted by Pundit Bibhudutt Misra to a hall full of people. Samita, also known as Seema, shared her recollections, as did Neal and Naren, who had flown in early that morning from college, as well as by Sudesh’s nephew Dr. Rohit Sharma who visited her often during the past year. Close friends Khush Basra, Saroj Bahl, Kiran Bhatia and Dr. Patricia Smith also paid their respects.