Jaya Rayudu Vrudhula
March 22, 1943 – February 3, 2019
Jaya Lakshmi Nookala was born in Madras (now Chennai), India on March 22, 1943 to Subbalakshmi Iyer and Suryanarayana Murthy Nookala. Based in the Mylapore section of the city at the heart of Luz Corner, hers was a big and lively family with six sisters and three brothers. At the age of 16, Jaya married her dashing young suitor Rayudu (Ray) Vrudhula, who flew in from Bombay (now Mumbai) to meet her for the first time. The two began their married life in Bombay, a bustling, modern metropolis, and a source of many fond memories they shared with their children. Rayudu would find in Jaya his lifelong best friend and the love of his life; a deeply caring mother for their children; an artist of the Indian kitchen; and perhaps not quite apparent when he first met the shy Madrassi, a strong-willed, fiercely loyal but independent-minded woman.
Rayudu was a dreamer, and he set his sights on the United States, entering University of California Business School (UCLA) in 1963, and leaving his newborn son Sanjay and Jaya at her family’s home in Madras. In 1965, Jaya and Sanjay joined Rayudu in Los Angeles; their daughter Kalpana was born in 1966. The family moved to Newark, New Jersey just in sight of New York City for the start of Rayudu’s career, and the two welcomed their youngest son Rajiv in 1968. Rayudu and Jaya found themselves next in Vestal, New York; Austin, Texas; and Fremont, California before resettling in Austin in 1994. Rayudu retired from IBM after 30 years of service, and Jaya also retired from Dell. In addition to balancing their family and professional lives, both Rayudu and Jaya were very active in the Indian community through their leadership and service to the Federation of Indo-American Associations, the Telugu Association of North America, the Telugu Cultural Association of Austin Bay Area Telugu Association, for which Jaya served a term as president.
Throughout her life, Jaya stayed close to her children and six grandchildren: a proud, loving mother and grandmother, who would do anything for them. A day never passed in her life that she did not talk to at least one of her children.
Jaya was a kind, generous, loving person, with an infectious laugh, and a wonderful sense of humor. Always carrying herself elegantly, she adored the arts, music and fine saris, and was eager to share and teach her children and grandchildren about their Indian heritage, though she unequivocally welcomed into the family new members regardless of their background. She welcomed many people into her heart aside from her immediate family and valued the bonds of friendship at the level of family. She could always find an encouraging word for those in need, or distress, or just looking for the path that was right for them in their lives. In all ways, Jaya was a beautiful woman throughout her life.
Our mother brought a bright, intense light of joy, love and beauty into this world, and our lives are all a bit darker with her loss. We welcome you to join us in honoring her in her passing, but above all, in celebrating her life. We love Jaya dearly and we would be grateful for you to share a memory of her with us or together. She will live in our hearts forever.
In loving memory,
Sanjay, Kalpana & Rajiv
- Amercian Cancer Society
- Funeral Service Thursday, February 7, 2019