Updated 11-03-17

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Family Development Associates, Inc.

In Memoriam


Swapna Shah

July 31, 1946 - September 20, 2012

Family Development Associates regrets to announce the loss of one of its dearest and most devoted counselors, Swapna Shah. We honor and remember her by reposting her obituary listing but a fraction of all her wonderful achievements in life:

Swapna Shah passed away at her home in northeast Washington, DC, on Thursday, September 20, 2012. She was dearly loved by those who knew her. She will be missed for her kindnesses and gentle nature. Born in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), India, on July 31, 1946 to Aruna Dutt (mother) and Amal Shah (father), she was the oldest of two children. Educated at La Martiniere Girls School where she completed her secondary education and Cambridge examination "O" levels in Calcutta; at Loreto College, Calcutta, for her undergraduate degree and her Master's in Special Education from Hunter College, CUNY. A number of years after her first Master's, she returned to graduate school for an MSW from Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. For the first 19 years of her life, Swapna lived on the campus of one of the first schools for the blind in Asia, which had been founded by her great-grandfather, L.B. Shah. Her father, Amal, was the principal of the school from 1949 to 1968 and like him she was dedicated to a life educational service, especially for the visually impaired. Her distinguished 40 plus years of professional life included working as a teacher for emotionally disturbed and multi-handicapped groups at the New York Institute in the Bronx, New York; Resource teacher for the visually impaired, Department of Special Ed, Westport, CT; co-developer of model classroom for NY Medical Center Mental Retardation Institute; program designer and member of tri-county ad hoc group for itinerant vision program, Charles County, MD; Itinerant teacher for vision programs in P.G. County, MD, and in the District of Columbia. For 12 years she was with the DC Public Schools providing school-based social services for various disabilities. She had also co-founded a community-based daycare center, Sprout House, and worked as a teacher at the Barbara Chambers Children's Center in northwest DC. Most recently she was actively involved with the Community Development Institute/Head Start program and also in developing a private practice offering social work and counseling services for families. She leaves behind her husband, John Sturdivant, whom she married in 2010. Her previous husband, Bill Caldwell passed away in 2007. Her extended family includes her stepson Brennan Caldwell, her grandchildren, and her nephews, Arnav and Simon, the sons of her only brother, Amit. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 29 at 3 p.m. at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church, 1830 Connecticut Ave., NWA memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 29 at 3 p.m. at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church, 1830 Connecticut Ave., NW

Published in The Washington Post on September 27, 2012

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