In Pelham, Community Comes Together Around Loss

A total of 73 upper school students and teachers traveled to Pelham, NH on Wednesday, Jan. 13 to attend the funeral service of Egide Houndelga, the husband of math teacher Rupa Houndelga who passed away after a four year battle with ALS.

“Rupa has been an extraordinary support to her husband and his family over the years while also raising their sons and working full time at Brimmer,” Head of School Judith Guild wrote to faculty and staff. “I am sure you join me today with a heavy heart for Rupa and her sons as we have all seen how the tragic nature of Egide’s illness has caused such a challenging journey for both him and his family.”

Filling up three buses, teachers and students arrived at St. Patrick’s Church in Pelham by 10:45am. “The bus ride was pretty silent,” said Simon Acevedo ’16, who attended the funeral. “It made it clear that we are all mourning together.”

Greenline opened the service, performing a song in honor of Edige. A neighbor who had grown close to the Houndelga family, as well as a longtime coworker of Egide, shared memories of him.

“The show of support for Mrs. Houndelga speaks a great deal to the nature and depth of the Brimmer and May School community,” said Upper School Head Joe Iuliano. “Our School is comprised of a compassionate and thoughtful group of students and adults whose devotion to and concern for Mrs. Houndelga is notably beautiful and humane.”

To conclude the service, the pastor invited everyone to come up to stage and perform the holy sacraments. From the back of the church, students filed in line.

“People are upset that this happened to such a good person,” says Upper School Senate President Nate Friedman ’16. “You can see there is just so much on everyone’s mind.”

“The community’s support reinforced why I have chosen to work here for two decades,” says Dean of Students Paul Murray. “The warmth and generosity of spirit were evident in the school’s resolve to stop everything we were doing and be there for a community member in need. That week represented everything that is inspiring about this school, and I want to thank everyone who made it possible.”

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