It is with great sadness that my elder brother, a beloved leader of Bay Area’s Indian community, and pioneer, Dr. Rameshwar Singh, passed away on May 1st, 2016. Originally from the village of Ujjainka Bangara in the Siwan district from Bihar, Dr. Singh migrated to the USA in 1960, as he completed his Ph.D in Civil Engineering from Stanford University in 1965. He taught Civil Engineering for two years at University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
In 1967, he joined the Civil Engineering Department of San Jose State University. After 42 years of service, he retired in 2009. He was a graduate coordinator during his tenure. He held a number of academic, professional, and public service positions during this period. Reportedly, he was the first person of Indian origin to be selected as President of the California Society of Professional Engineers. He cofounded and was first president of the Federation of Indian association (FIA) in Fremont, California. He also had a successful career in the corporate world with companies such as Lockheed Martin, NASA and Santa Clara Valley Water District. He was appointed by the Governor of California to serve as the “Member of the California State Water Board.”
Dr. Singh was always concerned about the development of India, particularly his state of Bihar. He was a true activist, playing a key role in several organizations like Bay Area Temples, American Organization for the Development of Bihar, the Bihar Foundation, and many others. Shri Tej Singh and Shri Kamla Yadav, two other pioneers along with Dr. Singh, worked together closely to make sure that our rich heritage and culture has deep roots here for future generations.
He visited his village in India quite often. Dr. Singh funded and built much needed aspects of bridges over the local river, school, and temple for villagers. He also provided funds for underserved youth to pursue their dreams in education. My brother also started an endowment at San Jose State University for a scholarship in his honor.
He was a true community leader, and the entire community is going to miss him. We pray to God to give strength to the family to bear this loss and may the departed soul rest in peace.
~Contributed by Ramesh Yadav