80 years together from India to Riderwood

By Almeda Girod

Resident Writer

Thoughts on Valentine’s Day turn to love and commitment. It was 80 years ago that Sadanala John, then a 22-year-old who had just finished Business College, approached the father of 15-year-old Lily asking for her hand in marriage. Sadanala had been invited to Lily’s home in Bangalore, India for dinners. Because of these meals, he not only admired Lily but recognized that she came from a good stable family who were members of his church affiliation and shared a common language. Her father was reluctant, but Sadanala persisted, and the couple was married on December 14, 1938.

He worked for South India Union of Seventh Day Adventist for 36 years with family being transferred to four different locations before returning to Bangalore.

Three of the four children had moved to the United States to pursue education and careers, so the couple followed to Adelphi, MD where Lily earned an LPN degree. Sadanala worked as an accountant for eight years fulfilling the social security requirement before moving to Dayton, Ohio, to join their daughter, Helen, who had established an OB/GYN practice. The parents worked in Helen’s practice as an LPN and an accountant until eight to ten years later when Helen and her parents moved to Maryland, where Helen continued her career with an OB/GYN practice in Olney, allowing the family to be reunited.

Helen and her parents moved to Canterbury Court three years ago. Helen comments on the unity and support within the John family as a younger brother encouraged her to come to the States to complete her medical specialty education allowing for better professional opportunities. The four children, five grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren live locally and help Helen with the care of Sadanala and Lily who are now 102 and 95 years of age.

Helen says that “My parents were strict disciplinarians and insisted on Christian education in our church schools and Spicer College in India.”

Sadanala comments “I feel blessed with a wife of 80 years and our family. I am looking forward to the second coming of Jesus Christ and spending eternity in Heaven with my wonderful family.”

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