A Vale in Appreciation of Dr Lal Samarasinghe: Cardiologist, Aloysian, Exemplary Human Being

LK Hettiarachchi, A Vale in 2015

Dr. Lalantha Abaya Samarasinghe, M.D., of Saddle River, NJ passed away on Sunday, November 29, 2015 after a fierce struggle with a motor neurological disease. He is survived by his beloved wife, Rayani; his children Rushan, Dinuka, and Melanie; his children-in-law Tina Moyer, Sarah Samarasinghe, and Craig Balderston; and his grandchildren Sarah Moyer, Hailey Samarasinghe, Sawyer and Oliver Samarasinghe, and August and Gordon Balderston.

As a young man in his native Sri Lanka, Lal was moved by his curiosity, his boundless joy, and his desire to live life in all its fullness. After marrying his college sweetheart and graduating at the top of his medical school class several years ahead of schedule, Lal immigrated to the United States and settled in Bergen County, New Jersey. There, he ran a thriving private cardiology practice in Westwood, NJ for 40 years, enjoying a growing roster of loyal patients and numerous national awards commending him for his excellence, including Vitals’ Compassionate Doctor Award and Vitals’ Patients’ Choice Award for five consecutive years. His reputation also earned him an appointment to serve as the medical consultant to the New York Giants football team, a position he lovingly held for 28 years.

Despite an exacting work schedule that, on most days, kept him at the office for 12 hours or more, Lal had boundless energy and an appetite for fine pleasures, and spent every leisure hour enjoying great wine and food, entertaining his friends, or traveling the world. Deeply devoted to his family, he was never happier than when surrounded by his children and grandchildren. Yet, anyone who crossed Lal’s path was treated to the same warmth and generosity. Among the many beneficiaries of his kindness was the Sri Lanka Medical Association of North America, of which Lal served as president and member of the board.

Even as the disease to which he finally succumbed began to ravage his body, Lal’s spirit remained as graceful as ever. He continued to see patients until the very last, and radiated with optimism throughout his ordeal. There will never be another like him. He will be sorely missed. The family will receive their friends at Becker Funeral Home, 219 Kinderkamack Road, Westwood, NJ on Tuesday, December 15, 2015 from 2-4 and 7-9PM.

The family has expressed their wish that gestures of sympathy be made by charitable donations to Johns Hopkins University, C/O Kristin Ruth, 550 North Broadway, Suite 731, Baltimore, MD, 21205, with a note indicating the donation is in memory of Dr. Lalantha Samarasinghe for the benefit of neuromuscular disease research. Donations can also be made online using this secure link: https://secure.jhu.edu/form/neuro.


Published in The Record/Herald News on Dec.


DR LALANTHA SAMARASINGHE Cardiologist … Died on. 29th November 2015 in USA

An Aloysian during 1950s/1960s; Cricketer, House Captain (Murphy), A Pleasant Gentleman. He was a teacher at SAC for a short period.

During his school days Samarasinghe family lived at Pettigalawatte, Galle. Lalantha had a younger brother Damien (died at young age).

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A Grieving Note from Michael Roberts. 29 August 2022

I was Captain of Murphy House when Lal played Cricket for Murphy Under 16 as an exemplary captain and sound cricketer.  My failing memory recalls that we got in touch when I was teaching at Peradeniya University in the 1960s; but our paths never crossed.

I was not aware of the academic virtuousity that Hetti has highlighted; but am not surprised. As for his humanity and amicable disposition, those qualities do not surprise me. I note here that his younger brother Damian had polio; but played cricket with determination and grit for Murphy House, on occasions in squads captained by Lal. St Aloysius and Galle can be proud of these two sons of the south.

Tears emerge as I recall them …. and those days on the Galle Esplanade.

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