John Kuriyan, M.D.

Obituary of John Basil Kuriyan, M.D.

It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of John Basil Kuriyan, M.D. (“Sunny”), who left us peacefully on February 11, 2024, at his home in Martinsville, New Jersey. Born in Cochin, India, to Dr. K.T. and Theresa Kuriyan, Basil's journey was one marked by dedication, compassion, and pioneering achievements.

Basil's early life in India laid a strong foundation for his future. He graduated with a medical degree from Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, a testament to his dedication and hard work. In 1960, seeking to broaden his horizons and further his expertise, he ventured to America. He completed his residency in cardiology at Brooklyn VA Medical Center and pursued additional specialization in anesthesiology at McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, Canada. 

After completing his training in anesthesiology, Basil dedicated himself to serving communities in New Jersey. He began his esteemed career at Raritan Valley Hospital in Greenbrook, eventually joining Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick. For 35 years, he worked tirelessly, becoming a pioneer in administering anesthesia for open-heart surgery patients at a time when such practices were emerging. His contributions were instrumental in advancing patient care and medical practice.

Basil’s faith was a cornerstone of his life. A devout man, he prayed for his patients daily, carried a rosary, and was a regular communicant at Blessed Sacrament Church in Martinsville. His spirituality was a source of strength and inspiration, both for him and those around him.

Beyond his professional and spiritual commitments, Basil was a devoted family man.  He cherished road trips across the United States and Canada with his loved ones, creating memories that would last a lifetime.  He had a big smile and would proudly display it when family and friends surrounded him at the dinner table.  Guests had to watch out for his heavy pour, as he was passionate about ensuring those around him had a good time.  If you were one of the lucky ones, his harmonica would magically appear and his tunes were enjoyed by all.  While he had a big smile, his heart was even bigger and nothing filled it more than time spent with his family, most recently his grandchildren.  Fortunately for all, that big smile was passed down generations to his grandchildren, who proudly display it for all to remember their beloved grandpa.           

Basil is survived by his loving wife, Ayona; his sons, Navin and Kavin (and his wife, Megan); his cherished grandchildren, Hudson, Zoe, and Liam; his siblings, Dr. George Kurian and Lilly Verghesa; and his niece and nephews.

He was predeceased by his brother, Dr. James Kurian, and his parents.

Basil will be remembered for all the heart and kindness he shared with his friends and family.  He truly loved each of them, and if you knew him, you knew it.   When his time came, he carried himself with dignity and strength.  He will be greatly missed, but his legacy will live on through the love and values he instilled in his family.

A visitation will be held on Saturday, February 17, 2024, at 11:30 a.m. at Higgins Home for Funerals, 752 Mountain Blvd., Watchung, NJ. A memorial funeral service will be held immediately after commencing at 12:00 p.m. Cremation services were held privately.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Basil’s memory to Blessed Sacrament Church, 1890 Washington Valley Road, Martinsville, NJ.


Memorial Funeral Service

12:00 pm
Saturday, February 17, 2024
Higgins Home for Funerals
752 Mountain Blvd.
Watchung, New Jersey, United States
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