Dr. Shanti David

Dr. Shanti Ruby David (James ) MD

Friday, August 14th, 1953 - Friday, August 7th, 2020
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On August 7, 2020, God called Dr. Shanti David, M.D., of Ellicott City, MD, to her home in heaven. Shanti, whose name means “peace,” was a beloved wife, mother and pediatrician in Baltimore. After courageously and fiercely battling uterine cancer until the age of 66 (just one week shy of her birthday), she now rests in peace and power. Her memory and legacy will be carried forward by her husband Vincent and daughters Sharon (John McKiel) and Mary, who were all by her side as she passed. Born and raised in Tamil Nadu, India, Shanti always had an adventurous spirit and a desire to try something new, which lead her to Maryland, where she raised her family. She was brilliant, funny and loved by all who knew her. She had a penchant for proving she could accomplish anything she put her mind to, including securing a coveted seat at the prestigious Christian Medical College, one of the top medical schools in Southeast Asia. Her “can-do” mentality shaped her life, leading her to advocate wholeheartedly for what she believed in and even to be called as a medical expert to testify at the U.S. House of Representatives shortly after immigrating to the U.S.
Upon moving to America in 1986, Shanti completed her residency at Howard University in Washington, D.C., further deepening her heart for social justice and passion to care for the most underserved. Her strong belief in providing high quality medical care for all led her to work in inner city Baltimore. As a pediatrician, she was employed by Sinai Hospital, Bon Secours, Park West Medical Center and several other institutions. She eventually opened her own practice in Baltimore, one that thrived for 18 years and served generations of families. While many of her patients could not even pay her, medicine was not just work to Shanti – it was a calling.
Shanti’s hobbies growing up included reading Robin Hood and Jane Austen novels, writing poetry, and doing “anything that boys can do,” like taking up riding bikes and climbing trees at a time when such activities were largely barred for girls. She also enjoyed rolling down hills and swinging from ornate cabinets filled with china while encouraging her younger sister to do the same, earning her punishments for inevitably shattering the china that fell when she broke said cabinets. A deep lover of animals, Shanti delighted in her pets, which included a favorite rooster named Jackie and a German Shepherd called Bingo, even though she claimed not to know who Bingo was when he insisted on following her to school and entering her third grade classroom.
An active member of Linden Linthicum United Methodist Church, Shanti also was part of the United Methodist Women and the American Academy of Pediatrics. She also belonged to the Christian Medical Doctors Association, where she tried unsuccessfully to lure her daughters to find a husband (they had other priorities). Luckily, her memorable one liners and dating advice live on through a Facebook blog created by her daughter Mary.
Because serving and giving to the poor locally was not enough for Shanti, she founded a nonprofit in India in honor of her parents to help meet the needs of orphans, destitute, and elderly populations in rural villages. Known as the Alexander Mabel James Community Care Center, assistance ranges from providing meals and clothing to medical services and job training.
While she did not have grandchildren, Shanti was “Glam-Ma” to a spoiled shih tzu named Behr, who she relinquished the front seat to whenever her husband drove them both in the car and ardently protected from an alleged gluten allergy. She is survived by her four sisters, Hansa (Kumar), Hema, Sheila and Kokila (the one who she convinced to go cabinet swinging with her).
A closed celebration of life service will be held for Shanti at Linden Linthicum United Methodist Church on Wednesday, August 19 at 9 am and will be streamed via YouTube at Her family would love for you to join them virtually. Flowers can be sent to the church at 12101 Linden Linthicum Lane, Clarksville, MD 21029. Donations, which will be gathered for various memorial funds in Shanti’s honor, can be made via paypal to Details can also be found on the Facebook Event page, Shanti David Celebration of a Life:
Arrangements made by: Burrier-Queen Funeral Home & Crematory, PA online condolences to
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Private A closed celebration of life service will be held for Shanti at Linden Linthicum United Methodist Church on Wednesday, August 19 at 9 am and will be streamed via YouTube at Her family would love for you to join them virtually.


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