Ian Malcolm Goonewardene, MD
Dr. Goonewardene was born in Panadura, Sri Lanka (Ceylon) in 1926. He completed college and medical training at the University of Ceylon and came to the US in 1955. Like most foreign medical graduates, completed residency training for a second time. He served as an intern at St. Vincent’s hospital in Staten Island, NY. This was followed by a residency in Internal Medicine Residency at Frankford Hospital Philadelphia, PA where he would meet his wife, Joan (nee Blood), to whom he would be married for 53 years.
Dr. Goonewardene treated patients in both the office and emergency departments throughout the PA and NJ. He first joined an office practice in Paulsboro, NJ and subsequently opened an office practice out of his home in Gibbstown, NJ, where his wife Joan served as a nurse. Additionally, he was an emergency room physician at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Camden, NJ. Loved by his patients, he was widely known as an excellent diagnostician, and caring provider. His busy schedule was followed by house calls for homebound patients, or those too sick to travel. He retired from active practice at age 75, but volunteered with the Community Health Practice in Camden, NJ where he provided care to the uninsured, until well into his 80’s.
Noted for his compassion, Dr. Goonewardene maintained an active philanthropic spirit his entire life. He supported domestic and international charities, and taught English to immigrants to the US. He was an active member of Amnesty International, and participated in church programs to feed those in need as a longtime member of Grace Bible Church in Mt. Laurel, NJ. He was comfortable with people from all walks of life, and was known for treating all with respect and dignity. He welcomed people into his home, and there was always room for one more at any meal. This generosity of spirit was widely shared by his wife Joan and was passed on to his children, all of whom are involved in lives of service.
He was predeceased by wife Joan Goonewardene (nee Blood), and daughters Darshini and Kelly. He is survived by children Michael, Kumar, Amy and Shanth; daughters-in-law Joanne and Heather; grandchildren Daniel, Avani, Ethan, Jada, Alexander, Laura and Colin. He will be missed by his cousins, nieces and nephews; both in the United States, and throughout the world: Sri Lanka, India, UK, Australia, and Canada.
Dr. Goonewardene’s family will greet friends on Saturday, July 15th, 9:30–11:45 AM at Grace Bible Church, 822 S. Church St., Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054. Services immediately following at Noon. Donations to Roofs for The Roofless may be sent payable to Grace Bible Church at the address above.