Passing of Dr. Maneck J. Kotwal


January 22, 2024

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Maneck Kotwal Obituary

Obituary published on by Friedel, Williams & Edmunds Funeral Home – New Hartford on Jan. 15, 2024.

maneck-kotwalDr. Maneck J. Kotwal passed away peacefully on Sunday, January 14, two weeks after celebrating her 98th birthday, surrounded by her loving family and friends.

Hers was a life well lived, ever faithful to the tenets of her Zoroastrian religion, which emphasized good thoughts, good words, and good deeds. Maneck leaves behind Jehangir, her loving husband of 58 years, and her beloved younger brother, Navroz Chenoy, a resident of Toronto, Canada.

Maneck was born in Secundrabad, India. She received her medical degree from Grant Medical College in Mumbai, India, and later relocated to Edinburgh, Scotland, where she was awarded the FRCS (Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons) degree in OB-GYN. After practicing medicine for eight years in England, she returned to India and worked in a missionary hospital in Ratlam with her mentor, Dr. Robert McClure, a former medical missionary in China. Maneck greatly loved and admired him and often reminisced about the invaluable lessons he taught her about medical as well as compassionate care. At Dr. McClure’s suggestion, Maneck went to work at the Christian Medical College in Vellore, where she met Dr. Jehangir Kotwal, the love of her life. Maneck and Jehangir immigrated to Vancouver, Canada, in 1970. A year later, they moved to Marcy, New York, where Maneck served as the medical director of the Marcy Psychiatric Center and later at the Mohawk Valley Psychiatric Center after the two centers merged. During that period, Maneck mentored six nurses, who became nurse practitioners and were extremely grateful to Maneck for her help and encouragement. After diligently serving both centers for 25 years, Maneck retired in 1993.

Post-retirement, Maneck channeled her unwavering commitment to improving the lives of the less fortunate by collaborating with Mary Breslow and Father Fred Daley to establish the Barbara Ginter Clinic in the Cornhill area of Utica. With the help of volunteer doctors and nurses, the center provided free health care for uninsured adults and children for six years In recognition of this outstanding contribution, Maneck was awarded the prestigious American Institute for Public Service Jefferson Award. Maneck was a founding member of the Mohawk Valley Institute for Learning in Retirement (MVILR) and served on its board for 15 years. She was also a board member of the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees for more than 12 years. For these and other accomplishments, Maneck was presented with the North Utica Senior Citizens’ Community Center’s “Community Service Award” in 2013, and October 26 of that year was proclaimed Dr. Maneck Kotwal Day in Oneida County. In 2013, Maneck was presented with the North Utica Senior Citizens’ Community Center’s “Community Service Award,” and October 26, 2013 was proclaimed Dr. Maneck Kotwal Day in Oneida County. In addition, Maneck received the CNY Academy of Medicine Scroll Award, the YWCA Outstanding Woman Award, and the New York State Senior Citizen’s Award. The New York Legislature’s resolution stated, “Rare, indeed, is the impressive dedication shown by an individual for the benefit of others, as Dr. Maneck Kotwal has displayed throughout her life.”

An avid reader and enthusiastic world traveler, Maneck enjoyed participating in a book club and Planetsurfers (a travel club). She often regaled her friends with inspiring as well as humorous anecdotes about her travels. During the years she lived in the United Kingdom, she developed a life-long love for hot tea with lemon, a drink she considered a panacea, a cure for all ills. She was also passionate about classical music and opera.

Maneck had a generous spirit and donated to many worthy causes. She often said, “I do not mind paying my fair share of taxes for the benefit of those who need help.”

Maneck also had many special friends, but Navaz and Porus Dhabhar were closest to her heart. She was always grateful to Navaz, and she unfailingly greeted her with a beautiful smile. Shobha and Ramakrishna Rao were also very dear friends of Maneck and Jehangir. Dr. Rao was their colleague until he passed away in 1993. Shobha and the Kotwals remained close, supported one another, and continued to travel and enjoy life together. Maneck also treasured her relationship with her many nieces and nephews. Throughout her long life, Maneck staunchly believed in Zoroaster’s principle that “happiness comes to those who bring happiness to others.

Maneck certainly brought happiness to everyone she met.