PROVIDENCE, RI–Ashwani D. Budhiraja passed away on Feb. 22, 2023 at the age of 83. He is survived by his beloved wife of 54 years, Rita, his only sister, Savitri, his daughters, Pratisha and Sangeeta, their spouses, Scott and Rox, and his precious granddaughters, Sofi and Siya.
He was born in Malupota, India, on July 12, 1939, the third in a family of six brothers and a sister. He witnessed partition at the age of eight, crossing the border into Ludhiana with his family.
After graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering from IIT Kharagpur and an MBA from St. Xavier’s College in Jamshedpur, he met Rita in 1967 while working at Jemco as Chief Engineer.
In 1969, he moved to Rhode Island to study engineering at Brown University. As early immigrants, he and Rita built a large community of friends in Providence, and were the founders of the Indian Students Association which later became the Indian Association of Greater Rhode Island. After an accomplished 40 years career in Mechanical Engineering and Management, he retired in 2010.Ashwani was an avid traveler, an accomplished tennis player and swimmer, and enjoyed table tennis, billiards and bridge. His first language was Urdu, and he spoke Hindi, Punjabi, and Bengali. He was a pillar of strength and support to his brothers and to his and Rita’s families in India and the States. He had an excellent singing voice, was a talented painter and gardener, and a skilled builder and renovator. He loved sweets and Rita’s cooking until his last meal. What he most cherished was private time with Rita and his daughters. Many will remember his hearty back pats and enthusiasm.