C. Desmond Gunatilaka, M.D. Obituary

C.  Desmond   Gunatilaka, M.D.
C. Desmond Gunatilaka, M.D.

May 22, 1943 - June 2, 2019
Born in Sri Lanka
Resided in San Jose, California


Dr. Cecil Desmond Gunatilaka passed away at his home on Sunday, June 2, 2019. He was 76. Desmond grew up in Mount Lavinia, Sri Lanka, where he attended the prestigious St. Thomas College before studying at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo. In 1971, he moved to the United States for residency at Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn, New York, where he met the love of his life, Josephine Palalay, an intensive-care nurse at the hospital.
After residency, Desmond began working at the VA Hospital of New York City before marrying Josephine in 1975. The couple then headed west to San Jose, California. There Desmond opened a private practice affiliated with Santa Teresa Community Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospital, where his son, Timothy, was later born.
Beloved by both patients and colleagues, Desmond practiced medicine, specializing in pulmonary disease and internal medicine, for five decades. Described by friends as brilliant and kind with a mischievous sense of humor, he was an ardent lover of dogs, gastronomy, photography, traveling, and the San Jose Sharks, for whom he held season tickets since 1993.
Desmond was preceded in death by his parents Grace & Hugh and his brother Geoffery. He is survived by his caring wife Josephine, son Timothy (Ivy Howell) of New York, siblings Dr. Srilal (Nelum) and Priyani Silva (Lucky) of Sri Lanka, countless close relatives, nieces, nephews, friends, and his shiba inu Dixie—all of whom will dearly miss Desmond’s loving devotion, imaginative storytelling, and boundless wisdom.
Family and friends are invited to attend a Funeral Service on Saturday, June 15, 2019 at 1:00 P.M. at LIMA-CAMPAGNA-ALAMEDA MISSION CHAPEL, 600 S. Second Street, San Jose, with Viewing to begin at 11:00 A.M. A reception will follow at a restaurant nearby. Donations may be made in Desmond’s name to the ASPCA.

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Lima-Campagna-Alameda Mission Chapel
600 South Second Street
San Jose, CA US 95112
Saturday, June 15, 2019
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Chapel Service
Lima-Campagna-Alameda Mission Chapel
600 South Second Street
San Jose, CA US 95112
Saturday, June 15, 2019
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM