THE BC Coroners Service confirmed on Wednesday that the man who died after a motor vehicle incident near Penticton on October 31 is Thomas Viji Santosham, 74, of Penticton.
Santosham was the driver and sole occupant of an SUV heading southeast on Farleigh Lake Road East about 12 km west of Penticton shortly after 6:30 a.m. on October 31 when it left the road and rolled into Farleigh Lake.
Shortly after 8 a.m., a neighbour spotted the vehicle in the water and called 911. Santosham was recovered, deceased, from the lake by the RCMP Dive Team later in the day.
The BC Coroners Service and RCMP Traffic Services continue to investigate this death.
An obit in a Penticton newspaper said that Santosham was born in Vellore, South India, on June 14, 1940. He was a loving and devoted husband, father, brother, grandfather and friend. As a child Tom travelled extensively with his diplomatic family. He earned degrees in Naval Architecture and Engineering at Glasgow, Scotland. He continued his studies when he moved to Vancouver in 1964 and completed his Masters and Post Doctorate degrees in Mechanical Engineering. At UBC he also met his wife of 46 years, Penny White. They were married in 1968 in Guyana, South America, where his father was the Indian High Commissioner. Penny and Tom raised their two children, Peter and Ruth in the Kerrisdale area of Vancouver.
For several years he worked for Lockheed International where he led the establishment of operations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He then spent two decades in the Department of International Trade Development with the BC Government and retired as Manager of International Operations.
Shortly after retiring, he was asked to design and teach a course in Global Marketing at the College of the Okanagan. Teaching continued to be a great joy in his life right up until the end.
He was an active, valued member of St. Saviour’s Anglican Church as well as the Order of St. Luke’s and was training to be a Licensed Lay Minister. A service to celebrate his life will be held at St. Saviour’s Anglican Church, Penticton, on Saturday, November 8 at 1 p.m.