Mrs. Achamma Abraham Oommen, also fondly known as Kunjunjamma, passed away peacefully on September 5, 2023, in Nashville,Tennessee. She was born on March 27, 1939 in Kerala, India to parents K.P. Oonnunny (Kadavil) of Niranam and Annamma Oonnunny (Mulamoottil) of Kozhencherry. She was married on August 18, 1968 to Oommen A. Oommen (Nackolackal) of Cheriyanad at St. Thomas Mar Thoma Church in Puliyoor, Chengannur, India. Achamma came to Nashville in September 1974, being one of the first and few Malayalees in the area.
Achamma received her Registered Nursing degree in 1961 from Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, Punjab. Two years later, she received her Registered Certificate of Midwifery in 1963 from Scotland Mission University in Ajmer, Rajasthan. She then settled in Bombay at MGM Hospital where she became the operating room supervisor and charge nurse, and trained nursing students in OR procedures and techniques. As a midwife, Achamma participated in over 150 new-born deliveries, 81 of which without assistance. After working 14 years in this position, Achamma moved to the US in 1974, and right away began working at Vanderbilt University Medical Center as an OR scrub tech, a position she would hold for 35 years until retiring in 2009, for a total of 49 years in service helping patients and her coworkers.
Beyond her professional achievements, Achamma had a vibrant, loving, and humorous personality that touched the lives of those around her. She possessed an extraordinary talent in the kitchen, both when it came to Indian and American food, and delighted everyone with her spicy, delectable meals. For Achamma, food was an expression of love.
Aside from being a wonderful cook, Achamma was also known for her exceptional abilities in crocheting and knitting, often sending her artistic creations to clothe newborns of local family and friends, while making blankets and sweaters to provide warmth for her children and husband. She also showed a great love of gardening and flowers, using home-grown items such as curry leaves, peppers, and tomatoes in her cooking, while adorning her kitchen with fresh cut flowers—usually peonies, roses, and lillies.
Achamma lived a cherished life full of pleasant memories, hopes, and obstacles, and faced it all with love, humor, and fierce determination. Whenever she entered a room, it was brightened by her smiling face and everlasting glow. She worked tirelessly and without concern for her own health to provide for her family, often sleeping only 3 hours per day, while working at night. She loved her children more than anything, never letting a day go by without telling them so, but more importantly, showing them via hugs and kisses whenever she was near to them.
She is survived by her husband Oommen A. Oommen “Pappachayan”; children Mathew “Tobby” Oommen, Elizabeth “Lisa” Oommen, and Abe “Cibby” Oommen; brothers Very Rev. Fr. Abraham Kadavil Corepiscopos, Joy Mathew, and Thomas Kadavil.
Rest in peace, our dear Amma, Ammama, Kunjunjamma, Achamma, Aunty, Ammachi. Your light will never leave us; your warmth, laughter, and unyielding love forever in our hearts and memories.