Surindar (Sindi) Bhaskar, MG USA (Ret)
January 1923 - August 2016
Major General Surindar (Sindi) Bhaskar, USA (Ret.), 93, of Monterey, California passed away peacefully in his home on the morning of August 4, 2016. He was an Oral Pathologist, an Educator, a Periodontist, an Author and the first Asian born General in the United States Military.
Dr. Bhaskar was born in the state of Punjab in Northern India in the winter of 1923. Dr. Bhaskar completed dental school at the University of Punjab at the age of 19 and practiced general dentistry in Bombay for several years. At the age of 21, he desired to further his education and immigrated to the United States to attend Northwestern University School of Dentistry. After receiving his Doctor of Dental Surgery in 1946, he went on to complete a Master of Science, Doctor of Philosophy and speciality training in Oral Pathology and Oral Medicine at the University of Illinois and University of Chicago. He was Board Certified in both Oral Pathology and Oral Medicine.
In 1948, he met his future wife, Norma. After 2 years of courtship, they were married on his birthday, which he often said was his greatest birthday gift. They honeymooned in New Orleans, after which began their 66 year journey together, creating a home, raising a family, traveling the world, and continuing their love affair.
Dr. Bhaskar entered the United States Army Dental Corps in 1955. He served as the Chief of Oral Pathology, Director of the United States Army Institute of Dental Research, Director of Medical Personnel, along with numerous other positions. During his 23 years of dedicated service, he rose from the rank of Captain to Major General. At that time, he was promoted to Chief of the United States Army Dental Corps and the Assistant Surgeon General for Dental Services. During his service, he was stationed at Brooke Army Medical Center, Walter Reed Army Medical Center and The Pentagon. He was awarded the Legion of Merit and the Meritorious Service Medal. Dr. Bhaskar was also a professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine and Dentistry. He wrote over 200 scientific papers, 4 text books and was an internationally recognized lecturer.
After retiring from the U.S. Army, Dr. Bhaskar continued his passion for learning and entered a residency to obtain a Certificate in Periodontics at the UCLA School of Dentistry-VAMC Wadsworth. Upon completion in 1980, Dr. Bhaskar moved to Monterey, California to practice Periodontics with the Monterey Peninsula Dental Group. He continued to lecture throughout the country on both Oral Pathology and Periodontics. Dr. Bhaskar was considered one of the top lecturers in the country and delivered more than 10,000 hours of education. He enjoyed teaching as much as caring for his patients. He retired in 2005, walked daily at Point Lobos State Park, relaxed with his wife and spent quality time with his grandchildren.
Dr. Bhaskar loved his country, the United States Army, his profession and his family. He had a profound life that was full of adventure, success, intellectual challenge, pride, laughter and love. He lived the American Dream.
Dr. Bhaskar is survived by his wife, Norma; his three brothers, Dr. Kedar Bhaskar, Major General Som Bhaskar and Professor Prem Bhaskar; his three sons and daughter-in-law, Dr. William Bhaskar, Dr. Philip Bhaskar, Thomas Bhaskar, CFP and Brenda Bhaskar; and his beloved grandchildren, Elizabeth, Brian and Emma Bhaskar.
Major General Bhaskar will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery with Full Military Honors.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Dr. Surindar Bhaskar Scholarship Endowment at the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry in San Francisco, California. View the online memorial for Surindar (Sindi) Bhaskar, MG USA (Ret)
Published by Monterey Herald Obits on Aug. 14, 2016.