Thana Singarajah, 65, of Idaho Falls, passed away Thursday, July 13, 2017, at his home from complications of a chronic illness.
Thana was born and raised in Bentong, Malaysia, to S. Singarajah and N. Maheswary Singarajah, on July 12, 1952. He studied at the Vanto Academy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, followed by Leeds Beckett University in England. While there, he experienced a complete change in his life. During a moment of despair over his life and career choices, he was miraculously delivered from this despair by his declaration of faith in the Risen Savior, Jesus Christ. As a result of this rather sudden transformation, he completely changed the course of his life, abandoning the counting of numbers for the care of people. Heeding the guidance of the Holy Spirit, he moved to the United States and attended Multnomah Bible College in Portland, OR, and upon completion of his studies, he left for the scenic wilds of American Falls, ID, as a Christian Missionary. He commenced post-graduate studies in Pocatello, ID, graduating from Idaho State University in 1984 with a Master’s Degree in Counseling, and in 1988, when he earned his Doctor of Education degree.
Affectionately known to everyone as Dr. Thana, he started his professional career in American Falls in 1983, when he founded Family Care Counseling Center, initially under the auspices of the Bethany Baptist Church, where he also served as the senior pastor. Meanwhile, members of the board of directors of the YMCA made an urgent plea for Dr. Thana to come to Idaho Falls to counsel troubled teens; Idaho Falls was then suffering among the highest rates of teenage suicide in the United States. Through this association, the Family Care Center was reorganized and incorporated as a nonprofit organization. The organization grew to be one of the largest counseling centers in the State of Idaho. Dr. Thana has always had a vision for serving the underappreciated, and thus, also founded the City of Refuge for Men, and later the ARK Transitional housing for men and Ruth’s House Shelter for Women.
After enduring the blessings and challenges of nonprofit work, he founded the Pearl Health Clinic, PLLC, in 2008, where he continued his client-focused efforts, treating persons through the entire life spectrum.
Dr. Thana was never one to sit still. Not even for a few minutes! So, while running the clinic, he founded Pearl Group Homes and Pearl Properties, University Study Abroad, among other things.
Although Dr. Thana was an avid globetrotter, he enjoyed his home in Idaho Falls. He served as Clinical Assistant Professor at Idaho State University where he earned the 2015 Professional Achievement Award from the Division of Health Sciences. He was the recipient of the Idaho State University Brightest Star of Idaho Award by the Governor of Idaho. For his community service, he received the Eastern Idaho United Way Council’s highest award for Community Leadership.
He was a Member of the American Counseling Association, Member of the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology, Ambassador to the National Health Service Corps, Clinical Member of ATSA, and was until his decease, an active member of the Idaho State University Foundation Board. He was active in adolescent counseling and in the Idaho Foster Care system since the mid 80s. He fostered 55 sons through the Health and Welfare system as well as through the judicial system. He adopted four of these children. Dr. Thana also found time to be among the major supporters of the orphanage, Esperanza Viva in Puebla, Mexico and Lighthouse Children Welfare Home Association, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for many years.
Dr. Thana was also a full-time minister for a number of years. As an ordained pastor in the Foursquare Church, he led several congregations. First and foremost, he was the pastor of Bethany Baptist Church, American Falls, from 1982 to 1992. He subsequently served as interim pastor at: Alliance Covenant Church, Idaho Falls, from 1993 to 1994, Eagle Rock Baptist Church, Idaho Falls, from 1994 to 1995, and finally at Alliance Covenant Church, Idaho Falls, from 1995 to 1998. Subsequently, he continued to fill various pulpits and taught at various Christian seminaries around the world throughout his life.
He greatly enjoyed traveling, cooking, entertaining and hosting dinner parties. He also enjoyed gardening, collecting and selling antiques.
Thana was a man whose love for Jesus drove him to love others fiercely, and serve others tirelessly. He strove to see the very best in each person with whom he came in contact. Whether in business or the church, Thana was a man who lived out Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 25:34-36: “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’”
Thana is survived by his: cousin, Rangini S. Kandasamy of Richton Park, IL; son, Daniel Singarajah of Idaho Falls; son, Michael Singarajah of Idaho Falls; son, Brian Singarajah of Idaho Falls; son, Thana Colin Singarajah of Idaho Falls; foster son, Jamie Quinn Howard of Idaho Falls; brother, S. Rajasingam of Johor, Malaysia; sister, S. Puveneswari of Leeds, England; and three grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Services were held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 22, at Watersprings Church, 4250 South 25th East, Idaho Falls, with Pastor Gordon Boyle officiating. The family visited with friends Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Wood Funeral Home East Side, 963 South Ammon Road and Saturday from 10 to 10:45 a.m. prior to services at the church. Burial was in the Rose Hill Cemetery. A community reception was held in Pearl Hall at Pearl Health Clinic, 2705 E. 17th Street, Ammon, ID 83406, 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday afternoon. All were invited to join and celebrate Dr. Thana’s life.
Efforts were made to provide live-streaming of the funeral for his many international friends and family. This stream will later be uploaded to YouTube for those who could not travel to the funeral, or see the service in real-time. More information can be found on the clinic Facebook page, Dr. Thana’s page “Thana’s Journey Home,” and at Wood Funeral Home’s web page.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at Wood Funeral Home at: www.woodfuneralhome.com.
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