Dr. Madhukar “Duke” Laxman Joshi – scientist, inventor, Sanskrit scholar, Hindu priest, pioneer, linguist, armchair philosopher/historian and politics politico, author, family man, hiker and friend – died at home from an infection on Sept. 30, 2018 at the age of 88. We wish to thank Chittenden County Home Health and Hospice, under Dr. Zail Berry for their tender care during his last weeks.
Born in Wai, India “Dr. J,” as dubbed by the Boyle family, quickly climbed the academic ladder. He became valedictorian of his high school, received two bachelor degrees in electrical engineering and mettalurgical sciences, a master’s degree. He was the first of the Joshi clan to step foot onto U.S. soil, receiving a scholarship from Yale University for his PhD in mettalurgical science. In October 1956 Duke married Indumati Datar and had four children (Rama, Vijay, Lakshmi and Sheela). We settled in Essex Jct. when Duke was transferred by IBM. He enjoyed a long 30-year career, retiring after receiving a Fifth Plateau Invention Achievement Award. Several patents bear his name.
Duke loved hiking, traveling and languages. He and Indu hiked the Green Mountains, White Mountains, the Ghats in Maharashtra, India and the Alps. He traveled around Europe with friends on several occasions. At the age of 50, when he took an IBM assignment in Sindelfingen, he learned German fluently, including reading and writing. Unfortunately, two places he wished and missed going to see were the Great Wall of China and the Emerald Isle.
After retirement, a 15-year labor of love ensued when Duke researched and gave birth to a reference guide entitled “Travelogue: An Illustrative Pocket Compendium of Words from Sanskrit to English,” which features the ancient and modern journey of 346 Sanskrit cognates from India to England. He seemed to sense that his time on this earth was coming to an end and so, he pressed his granddaughter Shanti to edit and type his work in its entirety, over the course of the summer and school vacations saying, “Shanti, I don’t have much time.” This published in India three days before he died, thanks to the work and effort of his younger cousin brother.
“Education is Excellence” embodies the essence of our father. With that spirit, we have created the Madhukar L. Joshi Scholarship in his memory where the top female and top male student from Tarkateertha Laxmanshastri Joshi School in Wai will receive funding to support their college education. A tax-deductible memorial contribution by check can be made out to: Youth Making a Difference, 2493 W. Landau Ln., South Jordan, UT 84095 with “Wai-MLJOSHI” in the memo. Find more at www.ymad.org. Services will be held in May 2019 with announcement at a later date. Please share memories and condolences at www.awrfh.com.