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Yunus Y. Pothiawala

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Yunus Y. Pothiawala Obituary
Yunus Y. ""Dr. P"" Pothiawala M.D. August 6, 1946 - May 2, 2013 Norwich - Yunus Y. ""Dr. P"" Pothiawala M.D. of Norwich, passed away peacefully at his home Thursday, May 2nd, 2013, surrounded by family and friends, after a two year battle with head and neck cancer. He was 66. If you've worked in the mental health field or have entered treatment for mental illness in the Norwich area, at any time in the last 39 years, chances are you've found yourself in the orbit of Dr. P. Born in 1946, in the state of Gujarat in India, he came to Norwich in 1974 to work as a psychiatrist at the Norwich State Hospital and instantly found, in this beautiful city, his adoptive home.Dr. Pothiawala's skill as a doctor, work ethic, and commitment to helping those in need are qualities that no one who knew him could ever dispute. Throughout his career he was, in no particular order: Chief of Psychiatric Services at Norwich State Hospital, Director of Psychiatric Services at the Southeastern Mental Health Authority, Medical Director of Psychiatry at United Community and Family Services, and a staff or consulting psychiatrist for William W. Backus Hospital, Natchaug Hospital, the Social Security Administration, May Institute, Reliance House, and Network Human Services. In addition, he had a private practice with Connecticut Behavioral Health Associates in Norwich, routinely declining payment from those who could otherwise not afford his services. Although he accomplished a great deal professionally, his family was truly his life and he treated them with a level of dedication and compassion that far surpassed what he himself would ever ask to receive. In addition to a loving extended family, Dr. Pothiawala is survived by his daughter Rubina, a pediatric resident, his son Sajid, a writer, his second wife and companion Shahida Sheikh-Pothiawala, and predeceased by his first wife Razia, the mother of his children and love of his life with whom he is finally at rest.In accordance with tradition, his burial was held Friday, May 3rd, in an intimate ceremony attended by friends and family. However, a casual Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, May 18th, from 12 P.M. to 5 P.M. at the Courtyard by Marriott Norwich, 181 W. Town Street, Norwich, CT. It is an open service, and his family is encouraging anyone and everyone whom Dr. Pothiawala has touched, whether patient, colleague, or friend, to stop in and pay their respects. His family has also set up the email address, and they would absolutely love to hear from those he has helped or whose lives he has affected. Because in this time of loss, nothing would mean more to them than to keep his spirit alive in the way of your fondest stories and memories.
Donations may be made in his name to Reliance House, a local mental health nonprofit that continues to serve the community that Dr. Pothiawala served so well, or to The Connecticut Hospice, so that those who are less able may receive the same level of compassion and care that he received at the end of his life. Reliance House, Inc., 40 Broadway, Norwich, CT 06360 ( and The Connecticut Hospice, 100 Double Beach Road, Branford, CT 06405 (

Published in Norwich Bulletin on May 5, 2013
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