Cover photo for Venkat  "Kv" K. Rathnam's Obituary
Venkat  "Kv" K. Rathnam Profile Photo
1945 Venkat "Kv" 2022

Venkat "Kv" K. Rathnam

July 16, 1945 — November 14, 2022

K. V. Rathnam Passes to His Rest

In 1945, Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru along with others negotiated India’s independence from the British empire in London. In Nuzvid, Andhra Pradesh, on July 16, 1945m Raja Rathinam and Kanthamma Kuchipudi celebrated the birth of their son, K. V. Rathnam, fondly called KV.

When still in his preteens, KV along with his neighborhood friends in Azariahpeta, looked forward to Saturday afternoons. That’s when, Ella May Stoneburner with her helpers invited the village children to learn Bible stories and Christian songs. Miss Stoneburner was an American missionary nurse in the nearby Giffard Memorial Hospital. Noting KV’s keen interest for learning, this missionary nurse convinced his parents to educate KV at a Seventh-day Adventist school in Narasapur. Miss Stoneburner financed KV’s education. Travelling by train to the school, KV met Sumathi who was heading to the same school with her older sister.

Following his high school education, KV headed to Spicer Memorial College, now Spicer Adventist University. His heart, though, was in Nuzvid where Sumathi attended the Adventist nursing school. He transferred to the same nursing school. Soon after completing their nursing degrees, KV and Sumathi celebrated their wedding in 1967 at Nuzvid.

Immediately following their marriage, the young couple accepted nursing positions at the Scheer Memorial Hospital in Banepa, Nepal. Subsequently, KV and Sumathi served in several Adventist schools in India as teachers and school nurses.

In 1972, KV arrived in Berrien Springs with the help of Dara Paul, his childhood friend. KV landed a job at the Memorial Hospital in Saint Joseph. He worked as a psychiatric nurse for 37 years. A few months later, Sumathi, Venson and Vineesha joined him in Berrien Springs. A few years later, Hannama, his mother-in-law arrived and lived with them until her death.

Along with his friends Pramod Gaikwad and Melchizedek Ponniah, KV started the Southwest Michigan India Association (SMIA). Two weeks ago, along with 450 people, KV attended the Diwali dinner and a variety program hosted by SMIA.

KV was deeply committed to his church and his community. Let’s Get Involved, a non-profit entity, he founded educates poor and underprivileged children in India. An Assisted Living facility in his home serves people with psychiatric illness. KV also operated Papachi Art Gallery in Saint Joseph capitalizing on his passion for art and photography.

Known for his humor, KV often said, “don’t cry for me at my passing but repeat my jokes.” Although he passed away on November 14, his legacy of benevolence, goodwill, congeniality and spiritual commitment will be perpetuated by his family, friends and the children he educated in India.

KV was a member of the Pioneer Memorial Church where his life intersected with students from many countries. On November 14, KV breathed his last and sleeps in Jesus whom he loved and worshipped to the very end of his life. That same Jesus is returning to this earth very soon. That resurrection morning will be a great reunion with Sumathi, Venson, Vineesha, Surekha, hosts of friends and relatives.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Venkat "Kv" K. Rathnam, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, November 20, 2022

9:30 - 10:30 am (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Starts at 10:30 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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