Obituary: Dr. Sri Potarazu Krishnarao

He was a Chief Scientist at the National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service.

Sri Potarazu Krishnarao, a well-known Indian American and a Washingtonian for more than 6 decades, died on January 19. He was 86.

Krishnarao  was born in 1930 in India and obtained Bachelor’s Degree in Andhra Pradesh. In 1954, he arrived in the United States to study at Florida State University. from where he obtained a graduate degree.

There was intense racial discrimination in the South at that time, and Krishnarao clearly followed Gandhian principles and courageously opposed the discrimination. After receiving his Ph.D. in Meteorology at New York Univesity, he joined the US Government and reached the pinnacle as Chief Scientist and Senior Executive at the National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service (NESDIS).

He received several distinguished awards, among them the Distinguished Service Medal, Fellow-New York Academy of Sciences, Fellow-American Meteorological Society, and Fellow-Royal Meteorological Society, UK.

Krishnarao and his late wife, Smt. Rukmin

Krishnarao published more than 60 scientific papers in various journals. He retired from government in 2002, but continued to be active in community service.

Krishnarao was one of the founder trustees of the Sri Siva Vishnu Temple in Lanham, MD, and served the temple as a vice chairman.

He was a strict disciplinarian and a strategic thinker, and these attributes were of immense benefit to SSVT when it was being built. A very religious person with deep devotion to Lord Rama, Krishnarao and his late wife, Smt. Rukmini, were one of the principal organizers of annual Srinivasa Kalyanam on Ugadi day at SSVT.

Krishnarao is survived by his two sons, Ramu and Sreedhar, two daughters-in-law, Uma and Jyotsna, six grandchildren and two great grandsons.

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