Dr. Meenal Menezes

Dr. Meenal Menezes

Dr. Meenal Menezes


It is with sadness that we inform you of the passing of Dr. Meenal Menezes on May 26, 2024. Meenal was the beloved wife of Arnold Menezes and daughter of Lalitchandra and Hansa Dalal. She is survived by her son, Francis; her daughter, Maithilee, and her husband, David Molter; and her grandson, Sanjiv. Her brothers, Vikram and Harsha Dalal, along with sister-in-law Shreyasi Dalal, nieces, nephews, and cousins, all grieve her loss. Her departure leaves a void in the hearts of all who knew her.

Born on May 20, 1945, Meenal spent her formative years in Mumbai, India. After the early passing of her mother, Hansa, Meenal was raised by her father and stepmother, Minakshi, with whom she had an especially close relationship. She attended St. Xavier’s College and earned her medical degree at King Edward Memorial (K.E.M.) Hospital, Bombay University, in 1967. It was during this time she met her husband, Arnold, during a rotation. After medical school, they moved to Chicago for an internship and subsequently to the University of Iowa, where she completed her Anesthesia residency and Cardiac Anesthesia fellowship.

Following residency, she served as an adjunct clinical professor, first at UIHC and then at Mercy Hospital in Iowa City. She had a passion and dedication for healthcare, training numerous residents and providing compassionate, thorough care for patients throughout the southern Iowa community. After more than 35 years of dedicated service, Meenal retired in 2010.

Meenal’s belief in healthcare and education continued well past her retirement. She supported organizations including Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), Habitat for Humanity, CARE (India), as well as numerous local schools and the University of Iowa.

With Arnold at her side, they traveled the world together. Their journeys took them to six continents (forsaking Antarctica alone), and they collected stories of travel and exploration throughout the world, including safaris in Kenya and South Africa, visiting the Galapagos, holding koalas in Australia, pilgrimages through the Himalayas and Asia Minor, and visiting more than 60 countries around the world.

Meenal had a lifelong affection and love for the arts. As a child, she learned many forms of dance and brought that love of music and dance to her family and the community. With her husband and friends, they founded KalaMandali, an organization dedicated to the arts of South Asia. They were instrumental in bringing world-renowned artists to Iowa, including Pandits Ravi Shankar, Hariprasad Chaurasia, and Zakir Hussain.

With a keen and inquisitive mind, Meenal was fluent in three languages and pursued lifelong learning. She was an avid reader and lover of wildlife. Talented with her hands, both in and out of the operating room, she created works of art with her sewing, knitting, and embroidery. She was a loving dog owner to Champion, and later Polaris. Despite the limitations imposed by Parkinson’s disease in her later years, she continued to enjoy music, nature, and time with her friends and family.

Meenal passed away from complications of advanced Parkinson’s disease. She will be remembered as a remarkable person who touched the lives of many. She had a ready smile, a love of life, and her laughter was infectious. Her legacy of care, compassion, and curiosity lives on in the hearts of those fortunate to know her. Though her physical presence is no longer with us, her spirit continues to inspire. She will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.

Funeral services will be held on Sunday, June 2, 2024 at Lensing Funeral and Cremation Service, 605 Kirkwood Avenue, Iowa City, where visitation will be from 10:00 to 11:30 AM, followed by a religious ceremony prior to cremation.

In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests considering donations to the World Wildlife Fund, Doctors Without Borders, or planting a tree in her memory. Online condolences may be shared with her family at www.lensingfuneral.com.

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