Bala Hari Pillai, M.D., of Laurel passed away Aug. 28 in Greenport surrounded by his children. He was 72.
Born in 1946 to Dr. K. V. Balakrishna Pillai and Dr. Kamalakshi B. Pillai in Kuala Kangsar, Perak, Malaysia, he graduated from Loyola College, Chennai, India and Kasturba Medical College, Mysore, India. Dr. Pillai worked in the University Malaya Hospital, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as a houseman for one year, after which he moved to the United States. Following internship at Knickerbocker (later A. C. Logan) Hospital, New York City, and residency at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, also in New York City, he completed a fellowship in pulmonary diseases at Stony Brook University Hospital.
A longtime attending physician at the former Central Suffolk Hospital in Riverhead, Veterans Administration Hospital in Northport and Stony Brook University Hospital, Dr. Pillai was medical director of respiratory care services at Central Suffolk Hospital from 1976 to 1996, and the hospital’s chief of medicine from 1985 to 1987. He served for many years as a department of medicine clinical instructor at Stony Brook University, as a pulmonary consultant at both Southampton and Eastern Long Island Hospitals, and on the board of directors of the American Lung Association of Nassau-Suffolk. Dr. Pillai also served as founding secretary of the Indian Network of Eastern Long Island. He loved spending time on the Great Peconic Bay and was an avid model airplane hobbyist as well as a voracious reader who enjoyed trivia and word games.
Dr. Pillai is survived by his six children: Sidhu, Lt. Col. Bryan (Allison), Brahm (Jessica), Lt. Sean (Marissa), Dr. Meghan (Jonathan McKee), and Sarah (Gwayne Lai); as well as grandchildren Shea, Zayne, Nina, Sean, Quinn and Hudson. He is also survived by his beloved sister, Dr. Sarala Devi Pillai-Johnson (Allen), his younger brother, Dr. Balaravi Pillai (Dr. Mallika), his companion, Catherine Siegfried, and nieces and nephews Kala, Dr. Alka, Balakrishna, Dr. Balakumaran (Dr. Abirami), Dr. Balakavitha, Balakarthik, and Ashok.
Memorial donations in Dr. Pillai’s name may be made to support the many charitable endeavors of the Indian Network of Eastern Long Island, at 36 Osprey Ave., Riverhead, N.Y. 11901. A memorial service took place in Riverhead Aug. 30.
This is a paid notice.