Kini, Mohandas M. A prominent Boston eye surgeon, died September 24th in the loving arms of his wife at home in San Francisco. Dr. Kini, who suffered from renal failure for five years, was 78. A funeral mass will be held Friday, October 3rd at 10:30AM in St. Peter's Church 100 Concord Avenue Cambridge. Dr. Kini grew up in southern India and went on to become a renowned eye surgeon at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, as well as a clinical professor of ophthalmology at Harvard and Boston University. In the late 1970s, he pioneered new eye surgeries, treating world leaders and local Boston residents alike. In the mid-1980s, at a time when some doctors were wary of treating AIDS patients, Dr. Kini helped identify and treat a retina detachment common to AIDS patients. A colleague described him as a person "to be admired for his gracious manner, absolute integrity, compassionate care, technical mastery, conservative judgment and availability to his patients." In 1957, when he was 21 years old, he left India on a steamship and travelled to Canada to further his education. He was a rare clinician and researcher: in addition to his MD from Yale, he earned a PhD in biochemistry from McGill and did pioneering work identifying enzymes responsible for the metabolism of alcohol in the liver. He went on to become President of the Massachusetts Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons. Despite his success in the U.S., Dr. Kini never forgot his roots. He helped to fund the creation of Sankara Nethralaya, the most advanced eye hospital in southern India. He also periodically flew back to perform marathon cataract surgeries in open-air tents, completing as many as 150 operations in 3 days in order to, in his words, "break the bond between poverty and blindness." In 1963, while at Yale, Dr. Kini met Joanne Fontana at a lecture in New Haven. He came from a devoutly Hindu family; she came from a devoutly Catholic one. It was an untraditional romance that lasted for 49 years. They were married in 1965, had five children and travelled the world. Dr. Kini is survived by Joanne; children Larissa, Mark, Tara, Maya, and Sarah Kini; sons-in-law Joshua Davis and Shamus Roller; sisters Padmini Kini, Indumathy Kamath, and Poornima Nayak; and six grandchildren. If you would like to make a memorial gift, please consider a donation to Sankara Nethralaya OM Trust http://www.omtrust.org/index.html
. Online guestbook www.brownandhickey.com
Brown & Hickey Funeral Home 617-484-2534 617-547-1500
Published by Boston Globe from Sep. 29 to Sep. 30, 2014.