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Mrs. Phoolan Nandlal, born on March 10, 1931, died peacefully on Feb. 16 at Yale-New Haven Hospital, surrounded by her 7 children, 14 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren. She was the daughter of Motyah and Galo (both deceased) and is the last of 4 daughters, Bhyaratie (Dolly, deceased), Sylvia, and Lutchmin (Gracy, deceased). Phoolan’s parents died when she was only 2 years old.
She was born in Siparia, Trinidad, West Indies, where she attended school. Later, she moved to Avocart and grew up with her grandparents Bhahuartya and Dhoray (both deceased) who were from Bastilya, India. She was taken out of school and married at age 16 years to Raghunath Nandlal. Phoolan had 4 paternal uncles and 6 aunts.
Phoolan was heartbroken that she was denied an education, not being told about her parents, and denied her inheritance. Despite her anguish, Phoolan persevered. She brought up 7 children with 1 deceased on her own and took care of her 14 grandchildren and visited her 10 great-grandchildren.
Phoolan leaves behind 7 children, Krishna (Polly), Parbatie (Raymond), Sumintra (Robert), Samdaye (Stephen), Vishnu (Dularie), Ramesh (Chris), Toolsie (deceased), and Radhika (Richard). Her 13 grandchildren with 1 deceased are Adesh (Indra), Darin (Mala), Ravi (Mohanie), Terry (Lisa), and Kevin; Sabita (Scott) and Sherita (Justin); Sheba Leelawatie and Dr. Ivan Richard; Avinash, Sarah, and Suresh; and Amanda and John. Phoolan’s great-grandchildren are Kimberly and Ryan; Ashley (NanKumar) and Aaron; Teg and Surina; Jason and Natalie; and Jordon and Alex.
Phoolan valued education and instilled this among other values in her family. In addition, she went back to school in her 50s and 80s for a GED. She was astute, witty, organized, clean, neat, and took pride in her appearance. In addition, she loved all those who came to know her and vice versa. She enjoyed cooking, gardening (fruits, vegetables, flowers), flower arrangements, art, and music. Phoolan was detail oriented. She always wanted to learn how to play the piano and learned to play the keyboard at age 88 years.
Phoolan worked very hard from sunrise to sunset in Trinidad with her husband to build her empire while raising 8 children. This work ethic stayed with her into her golden years. She sang “You are my Sunshine” to all her babies. She loved her doctors, nurses, and other care providers. In 1978, Phoolan lost her husband, a son, and a grandson. She persevered, and was extremely independent as a widow as well as a private person. Phoolan lived independently in Trinidad for about 25 years and designed the addition to her home.
Phoolan was graceful, elegant, and took great pride in her appearance. She chose to live with her daughter Radhika Nandlal and son-in-law Richard LaRonde in Branford for the last 4 years of her life. May she Rest In Peace (RIP).
The Funeral Service took place on Feb. 20 at Leo F. Kearn’s Funeral Home, Richmond Hill, Queens. Cremation followed after Hindu Services at St. Michaels, East Elmhurst, Queens, New York.
The Memorial Service for Mrs. Phoolan Nandlal will be held in the town of Branford, Saturday, March 7, at 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Branford Elks #1939, 158 S. Montowese St., Branford, (lower level). Any inquires please call 203-645-7478.
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