Bishnu Bhandari, who was resettled by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 2010 when she was 99, passed away in Glendale, Arizona, on May 27. She was 103.
She could be the eldest resettled Bhutanese to end life in diaspora.
Born in 1911 in Lamidanda, she was married to late Sunman Bhandari when she was just seven. Her husband died at the age of 82 in 1988.
At the age of 81, Bhandari was forced to take refuge in Nepal. She arrived in Nepal with Prem Bhandari, the only living son among five her five sons, in 1992.
Late Bhandari arrived in Arizona on March 4, 2010 through the federally funded third country resettlement program.
In the U.S., she became a special guest to several community events and celebrations. According to her family, Bishnu spent final stage of her life in watching televisions and talking with kids.
“She was an amazing lady,” recalled one of her relatives. “If someone greeted her over phone by saying hello, she would say kodalo.”
Former National Assembly member, K.B. Chouhan, who last visited Bishnu in her residence a few days before she passed away, commented that it was one of the rarest visits to see someone, who has survived a century-long history of a country.
“She was lying unconscious on her bed. She was a vivid example of motherly love,” said he.
She is survived by her son Prem, two daughters namely Dil Maya Dhital and Hari Maya Sherpa, 27 grandchildren, 38 great-grandchildren and Ganga Bhandari, Bishnu’s adopted son.
Funeral service was conducted at 8:30 AM at 4141 N 19th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85015 on June 2.