by Kevin Caruso
Partahi Lumbantoruan, 34, Ph.D. candidate in civil and environmental engineering; from Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia.
Partahi’s family sold many of their possessions in Indonesia in order to pay for his tuition at Virginia Tech. “We tried everything to completely finance his studies in the United States,” said his father. “We only wanted him to succeed in his studies.”
And Partahi did succeed. He received his master’s degree and was on his way to receiving his Ph.D.
Partahi was a gentle and kind man and was always concerned about how other people felt. “He'd ask me how to act so he did not make others uncomfortable,” said his friend Soonkie Nam, “[because] he told me he was not accustomed to traditional American behavior.”
One day, Nam said, another student took Partahi’s desk without asking, but Partahi was not bothered and did not want to upset the other person by asking him to move.
He was a respected and well-liked student that is missed by many.
Partahi’s body was flown back to Indonesia for a public burial.
Partahi Lumbantoruan is one of the greatest angels in Heaven.
We miss him.
We honor him.
We love him.
We will never forget him.