Dr. Dilip Kumar Bhowmik passed away peacefully on Friday April 15, 2022. at the age of 82 years old. He was recovering from aspiration pneumonia at West Meade Place Physical Rehabilitation Center. Dr. Bhowmik was born on December 25, 1939 in Badal, India (now Bangladesh) to Kali Pada & Sneha Lata Bhowmik. He graduated from Banaras Hindu University with an undergraduate BSc Agriculture degree in 1960 and a Master’s degree in Agricultural Economics degree in 1963. He met his wife, Shubha Golime, in Hyderabad in 1965, while they were both participating in an international research program called Diffusion of Innovations funded by Michigan State University. Shubha and Dilip were married on July 1, 1967, in Hyderabad. Theirs was a love marriage and the ceremony was held in Hyderabad and officiated by the Chancellor of Institute of Community Development, ICS Jacobs.
Dilip and Shubha moved to the United States in September 1967 to pursue Dilip’s PhD in Communications at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. They then moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in 1971 where Dilip was a professor at Fisk University from 1971-2005 with a two year stint at Meharry Medical College (1971-73.) Dilip was the head of the Fisk University Sociology Department for a number of years. He and Dr. Everett Rogers are renowned today for their article, “Homophily-Heterophily: Relational Concepts for Communication Research.” Dilip had many interests and held many titles outside of his career as a college professor. He was a longtime leader in the Nashville Indian community, serving as the President of the India Association of Nashville (1982-83) and as one of the founders of the Bengali Association of Greater Nashville. He regularly attended the Sri Ganesha Temple. He loved the arts and music. He showcased his talents as he directed and acted in many Bengali theatrical productions and performed in many Indian Association Republic Day Celebrations.
Dilip Bhowmik is survived by his wife Shubha Bhowmik, his two daughters and sons-in-law, Shonali Bhowmik & Jasper Patch, Ruchi Bhowmik & Francis Grab, granddaughters Priya and Kavi Grab, brothers Biplab and Pralay Bhowmik and his sister Anita Ghosh, as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Statement from daughters Shonali and Ruchi Bhowmik:
Dad’s keen sense of humor kept our family laughing. He taught us to embrace others no matter their race, religion, sex or creed. He was a fighter for social justice and civil rights. We will never forget marching with Dad in the march against apartheid when South Africa was invited to play the Davis Cup hosted in Nashville 1978. Dad was a jokester and often played pranks on his wife with his kids such as wearing a wig and fooling his wife as an unruly customer at her Indian variety store, Shubha’s Enterprises. Dad was known for his kindness and wonderful smile and ALWAYS said “thank you” even while he was experiencing tremendous discomfort during his illness. He had a strong moral character and was highly disciplined pushing us to be better and do better. He always said he was a simple man and content with the simple things in life. We loved waking up as little girls at the break of dawn to go fishing with him. We admired his ability to always see the simple truths within the complexities of life. He was an astute observer of humanity and human nature and challenged us to think critically. He believed we all had so much more in common with each other than we realize. He was a fighter til the end and we are grateful to have had him as our father. Dad’s intellect, wisdom, wit, compassion, kindness and undying devotion to his family will be missed by all of us.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Fisk University on behalf of Dilip Kumar Bhowmik