Cover photo for Murugan Kollengode's Obituary
1944 Murugan 2024

Murugan Kollengode

July 4, 1944 — June 11, 2024

Madison

Murugan Kollengode, 79, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Tuesday, June 11. He was born on July 4, 1944, in Vattekkad, Kerala, India, to Velayudha Tharakan and Chinnammu Amma. 

Murugan was a brilliant mathematician and communicator who understood 8 languages and had a “steel trap” for a memory. He earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Kerala, India and later earned his Master’s Degree from the Military College of Telecommunications Engineering in Mhow, India. After enlisting in the Indian Army in 1968, he courageously and proudly served his country for 14 years as a combat veteran with multiple tours of duty. After combat he finished his career as the Officer in Charge of Training in Panaji, Goa, where he was in charge of over 6000 Indian Army troops being trained from recruit stage all the way through to various skilled trade positions. He was honorably discharged from the Indian Army Corps of Signals in March of 1982 at the rank of Major.

After his military service was completed, he immigrated to the United States and settled in Madison, WI, to be with the love of his life, Suman Joshi, who he married in January of 1981. He then went to work for the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin and became an Advanced Engineer in the telecommunications division. Among many highlights of his civilian career, the crowning achievement was his key role in facilitating the conversions of the major telecommunications companies from analog to digital.

Murugan was a generous and beloved husband, father, and grandfather who loved his family and helped countless other people in need out of the goodness of his heart with no desire for credit or recognition. In his retirement he was an avid walker who loved to combine exercise with bargain-hunting while traversing the aisles of Costco seeking deals to purchase and give away to his friends and loved ones.

He is survived in India by his brother Jayakrishnan and numerous cousins, and in the United States by his wife Suman; his cousin Bindu Raman; his daughter Reena Vyas; his daughter Jyothi Murugan and her husband Shibu Panicker; his daughter Meena and her husband John Dalebroux; and his beloved granddaughter Rekha Drevlow. He will be dearly missed by his family members and many friends across the globe.

A private family cremation service will be held on Friday, June 21, 2024.

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