The friends of US-based psychiatrist Umamaheswara Kalapatapu and his wife Sitha-Gita Rajyalakshmi, killed in a private plane crash in Ohio last week, remembered the late couple here today as "people full of life."
Sixty three-year-old Umamaheswara and his wife Sitha- Gita, 61, living in the US since mid-1970s after they obtained their medical degrees from Guntur Medical College, recalled their friends.
The Kalpatapus hailed from Machilipatnam in Krishna district.
Umamaheswara was an alumnus of Guntur Medical College (class of 1972) while Sitha-Gita came from a musicians' family.
Soon after obtaining their medical degrees, the couple had migrated to the US in mid-1970s and settled there ever since, said Umamaheswara's cousin K S M Rao.
"We were childhood friends in Hindu High School in Machilipatnam. He was a very down-to-earth friend," recalled Umamaheswara's friend Tumuluri Satyanarayana Sastry.
Another friend V Chowdary Jampala wrote on Facebook that the couple was passionate about flying and music.
"Remember the times he used to sing 'Jane kahaan gaye woh din' (a popular old Hindi song) in the students' lounge near the men's dining hall during our early years in the medical college ... And, she (Sitha-Gita) came from a musicians' family and was a top grade AIR artist," Jampala said.
Their last rites will be performed in the US only as their family is settled there.
The private plane piloted by Umamaheswara is believed to have crashed sometime between 10.36 AM and 12.30 PM on Saturday, July 8, according to a media release from the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
Searchers found the wreckage Saturday afternoon.
The Kalapatapus were psychiatrists and owned Raj Clinics, with offices in Logansport, Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Lafayette and Kokomo in the US.
Umamaheswara was a talented photographer while his wife was a gifted musician.
Umamaheswara had received multiple state, national and international awards and recognitions for his photography and had been a certified professional photographer by the Professional Photographers of America since 2005, according to Pharos-Tribune archives.