Woodstock | Phuntsok Dolma Chophel
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Phuntsok Dolma Chophel

13 Apr Phuntsok Dolma Chophel

It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we share the news of the passing away of Mrs. Phuntsok Dolma Chophel.

Dolma has been an integral part of the Woodstock story for more than 43 years. She retired from Woodstock school with her husband in 2017 and was one of the few Woodstock staff members who received a citation from School for her outstanding work and service. 

Joining as a young Assistant Nurse in 1974, she became Nurse-in-Charge of the school’s dispensary in 1989. With her husband, Thupten, and their three children, Tenzin, Nordon and Namdol, Woodstock became the family’s home and the place from which the children graduated.

With a well-earned reputation for warmth, kindness and deep compassion, Dolma has served Woodstock as a loyal and highly respected member of staff through many changes and transitions at the school. At all times completely calm and reassuringly gentle, Dolma has always been a welcoming presence in the Health Centre.  Her friendliness, cheerfulness and approachability have made the Health Centre a place of welcome for generations of Woodstock students – speeding their return to health and creating a wonderfully caring atmosphere for those who are sick or injured.

In 1994, Dolma was recognized by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Mussoorie and by the Principal of Woodstock for her courageous and selfless action following a tragic bus accident in Mussoorie. This typifies her humanity and generosity of spirit.

Her years of service at Woodstock School have been invaluable and this untimely passing away is tragic and one filled with sorrow.

At the time of her retirement, Dolma reflected on her years at Woodstock and said:

“I am thankful to Woodstock for providing me a healthy and happy workplace for all these years. I have been able to live comfortably in these beautiful mountains, and to see children (including my own) learn and grow every day in such an incredibly diverse community.

“I have loved getting to know every student that has come to me, and see them grow into wonderful adults, and then to meet their parents and in many cases, to even meet their own children! “From the very first day, I have loved being a part of this Woodstock family. It is what has kept me coming back and what made me choose to bring my own family to experience this one-of-a-kind place.”

In this moment of grief, we request you to keep her family in your thoughts and prayers. Reach out to the Alumni Office if you wish to pass any messages to her family.

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14 Comments
  • Brian Wilson
    Posted at 19:34h, 13 April Reply

    Yes, your tribute sums up my memories of her very well – an extremely caring and conscientious person who, with her husband, contributed so much to Woodstock and added much to the well-being of staff and students. My thoughts and prayers are with her husband and family – that, at this time of deep loss, they will experience comfort.

  • Roxanne Kamayani Gupta, PhD
    Posted at 19:57h, 13 April Reply

    I am almost beyond words in my grief. Mrs. Chophel was a great Buddhist adept who fully and naturally embodied the teachings of Christ in all her actions without even trying. Although a direct descendent of one of the highest and most respected royal families of Tibet, she humbly dedicated her life to spiritual practice and joyful service to others. She was more than a friend to me. She was a spiritual teacher and example for us all. Om Mani Padme Om

  • Imtiyala jamir
    Posted at 22:38h, 13 April Reply

    Sending lots of love to mrs. Chophel’s family!
    We have lost such a beautiful soul and can feel the pain— can’t imagine what the family must be going through. Will always cherish the times I’ve spent with mrs. Chophel. Such a strong beautiful and funny woman. May her soul rest in eternal peace.

  • Sonam c. Gonsar
    Posted at 14:58h, 14 April Reply

    My dear acha Dola,

    Thank you for making my K-12 educational years at Woodstock possible! Thank you for having led a sincerely compassionate life!

    You’ve left a meaningful lifelong impact on your six younger siblings, nine nephews and nieces, one great nephew, husband, agula, anila, brother in law, and sister-in-laws, and most recently added, son-in-law! We are blessed to have had you in in our family!

    I miss you sorely and will continually strive to live up to the admirable example you set in the much too short time that you were with us!

    Love you always,

    Sonam C. Gonsar
    Class of ‘87

  • Tashi Norbu
    Posted at 18:40h, 14 April Reply

    May her soul Rest In Peace . Our sincerely prayers and condolences to her family members. Om Mani Padme Hum thousand times 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻😥😥😥😥

  • Khando Chazotsang
    Posted at 21:21h, 14 April Reply

    Dear Thubten Chophel la and family.
    The news of the loss of Donla has left us with shock and sadness. Our prayers and condolence to you and your family. We will pray for a good journey for her and for you and family to have the courage and strength to bear this untimely loss.
    If there is something I can do please let me know. Love Khando & family.

  • Eleanor Nicholson,
    Posted at 02:21h, 19 April Reply

    I am so sad to learn of Dolma’s death. Generous, kind, loving and intelligent, she was a star and she will be missed at Woodstock. My condolences to Thupten and to their children.
    Dr. Eleanor Nicholson

  • Lynnell Lewis
    Posted at 07:55h, 23 April Reply

    My heart breaks to hear the news of Dolma’s passing. Words can’t express the gratitude I feel for all the gifts she brought into our lives. In our years of teaching at Woodstock her presence in the health center was comforting; during and after our years at Woodstock she welcomed us into the Tibetan community and paved the way for what eventually became a Tibetan Studies Semester Abroad program in Dharamsala for the students at Earlham College. The extent to which these students have benefited from that program is beyond measure. Her heart was big and she continuously gave of herself. We will miss her dearly. Lynnell Lewis and Forrest Tobey

  • Suryanarayan S
    Posted at 15:10h, 23 April Reply

    Uma and I are deeply saddened by this news. Mr. & Mrs. Chophel were an integral part of the Woodstock community and great colleagues and friends. We hope and pray for the family especially Mr. Chophel as he continues his life’s journey without her.

  • Carol Evans Alter
    Posted at 05:57h, 30 April Reply

    I remember so well when Dolma joined Woodstock in 1974 and was mentored by our school nurse at that time, Patty Stewart. Patty and her husband Henry thought the world of Dolma, as did all of us. What an example she was of graciousness and kindness! There are no words to express the profound grief I feel, nor the even profounder anguish of Thupten, Tenzin, Norden and Namdol. Please know that we surround you at this time with arms of love, sorrow, and gratitude for each one of you. I am so glad she lives on in you! God give you His peace at this time.

  • ཚེ་རིང་བསམ་འགྲུབ་
    Posted at 10:18h, 04 May Reply

    ༄༅།། མཁྱེན་བརྩེ་མཚུངས་མེད་གྲོགས་བཟང་མཆོག་དང་ནང་མི་རྣམས་པར་།
    རང་རེ་དབར་འབྲེལ་བ་མེད་པར་རྒྱུན་རིང་སོང་ནའང་སེམས་ནང་གི་མཛའ་བརྩེ་དེ་མུར་ཡོད་སྟབས་བར་ལམ་ཤིན་དུ་ཡིད་སྐྱོའི་གནས་ཚུལ་མཐོས་ནས་ཧ་ཅང་བློ་ཕམ་བྱུང་།
    གུས་ནང་མི་རྣམས་ནས་སྐུ་ཉིད་དང་སྲས་གསོས་རྣམས་ལ་བཅོས་མིན་ཐུགས་གསོས་ཞུ་རྒྱུ་དང་འདས་པོ་དེ་ཉིད་དལ་བའི་བསྟན་བཟང་མྱུར་སོན་ཡོང་བས་་ལྨོན་འདུན་བཅས་ཕྲན་གྲོགས་མིང་ཚི་བསམ་གྱིས་ཁེ་ནི་དྲ་ནས་

  • George Ruddock
    Posted at 02:37h, 22 May Reply

    I had the great pleasure of long contact with Dolma and her husband and then of the next generation in the classroom. Dolma was delighted to have the opportunity of training as a nurse and it was a profession for which she was well suited. Dolma and her husband were always friendly, welcoming and positive. I lived in Tehri View for part of my first term at Woodstock. The Chopfel family lived in the same apartment for many years – and were always pleased to welcome me “home” when I visited the school.
    I am very sorry to learn of the passing of an old friend.
    I am sorry that I did not see the news earlier, but I wish the family well as they continue to adjust to life without so caring a wife and mother.

  • John Shedden
    Posted at 13:15h, 22 June Reply

    Very sad to learn of Dolma’s death.
    In my short time at Woodstock, she and Thupten were one of the highlights.

  • Sonam Lama
    Posted at 07:04h, 06 August Reply

    I remember when Mrs. Chophel used to take the Tibetan and Bhutanese students to Dehradun for Losar. She used to prepare butter tea and Dresil (sweet rice). I never felt that I was away from my real home. Mrs. Chophel was always so generous and kind. Thank you for everything.
    Stay strong Mr. Chophel.
    My deep condolences to the Chophel Family.

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