We regret to announce the passing of Dr. Ida Wenefrida, 64, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana on March 27, 2023. Ida passed away, surrounded by her loved ones, from peritoneal cancer. She was born in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
She was an Associate Professor at the LSU AgCenter and a recipient of the 2022 Kenneth W. Tipton Team Research Award for developing a low-glycemic, high-protein rice. This rice variety is named Frontière and contains 53% more protein than conventional white rice, which could benefit individuals suffering from malnutrition in places where rice is a staple food or those with diabetes due to its low glycemic index.
Ida was the Co-Founder and President of the Indonesian Diaspora Foundation (IDF). IDF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit legally registered in the United States with a mission to help strengthen the global cross-collaboration between Indonesia and the world through its Indonesian diaspora – culturally, socially, economically; and provide humanitarian assistance as necessary. In 2020, she was awarded the Top 20 Global Woman of Excellence by the American Multi-Cultural Ethnic Coalition presented by U.S. Congressman Danny K. Davis.
She received her Bachelor’s degree in agronomy from both the Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB) and the University of Tanjungpura, Indonesia, her Master’s degree in plant pathology from Mississippi State University and her Doctorate in plant health from Louisiana State University. In her spare time, Ida enjoyed cooking, tending to her garden with her husband and catching up with her daughter who lives in Colorado. Ida is preceded in death by her parents, Christophorus Franciscus Iman Kalis and Yulita Natidia Iman Kalis, and her sister Francisca Romana. She is survived by Dr. Herry S. Utomo (husband), Melissa A. F. Utomo (daughter), and her siblings Yan YBI Kalis, Anna Veridia, Rosa Venerini, Dr. Christina, Dr. Maria Christiana, Francisca Romana, Hendry Ade, and Albertus Agung.
The Utomo family wishes to extend our sincere thanks to Dr. Lauren Juneja (Baton Rouge General Hospital), Dr. Jess Anderson (M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas), and the staff at the Crossing at Clarity Hospice.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend Funeral Services at Resthaven Funeral Home, 11817 Jefferson Highway in Baton Rouge on Saturday, April 1, 2023, at 12:00 p.m. A Visitation will be held at the funeral home beginning at 11:00 a.m. Interment will follow at Resthaven Gardens of Memory. Honoring Ida as pallbearers will be Chad Duhon, Elias Arias, Kevin Denais, Kevin Prejean, Will Gossen and Henky Saputra.
For those so desiring and in lieu of flowers, memorials in honor of Dr. Ida Wenefrida may be made to the Indonesian Diaspora Foundation, c/o D. Masfar, IDF Treasurer, 21222 Hickory Forest Way, Germantown, MD 20876 or via their website at Indonesian Diaspora Foundation (idiasporafoundation.org).
Family and friends may sign the online guestbook or leave a personal note to the family at www.resthavenbatonrouge.com