PUNE: Sam Okonski, an avid golfer and decorated American Army officer who made Pune his home, died on Sunday morning of old age, his fellow golfers said. He was 89.
Okonski, known as Sufi Sam Osho Okonski, is survived by his niece Sarah.
Okonski, who served the US army for many years before joining the then controversial Rajneesh Commune in Oregon, came to Pune when Rajneesh was deported by the US government and settled in Koregaon Park and worked at the Osho Ashram.
Golf kept him fit and he played the sport mostly for the fun of playing than winning. While Poona Club golf course was his preferred course, Okonski was amiable person, who loved to discuss his day’s round.
When Pune got its second Championship course, the Oxford Golf Resort, located in Lavale, Okonski made it a point to play there occasionally and enjoyed the company of regular golfers.
Okonski, who was a bachelor, applied for Indian passport after having completed mandatory years of living in India after settling in Pune. He held passports of both the countries—India and the United States. He will be cremated at the ashram, where he worked at the Osho International Meditation Resort, on Monday.
As with all the Osho disciples, it will be a celebration of the life he lived.