Leela Jagannath, 77, of Tampa, Florida, passed away on Tuesday, October 29, 2019.
Leela (née: Leelavathi Ramaswamaiah) was born on October, 16, 1942 in Mysore, India - the youngest of nine children. After graduating from Maharani’s Science College for Women at the University of Mysore, with a BSc in Mathematics, in 1961, she and Saligram Jagannath were married in Bangalore, in 1962. Leela immigrated to Flushing, Queens, New York City with her two sons, Kumar and Diwakar, soon after Sal had arrived, in October, 1971.
After the tragic loss of their first son, Kumar, in July 1974, Leela and the family moved from New York City to Hartford, Connecticut, where their third son, Ram, was born, and they lived until 1985. At that time, the family moved to Lincoln, Rhode Island. Leela worked in the Benefits Department at Fleet Bank in Providence for many years. She was brilliant and a star at work, but her main focus for going back to work was to provide for Diwakar’s and Ram’s college educations. She and Sal moved to Tampa in 2005, after their retirement, to a gracious, welcoming Indian community that she wholly embraced and cherished (in addition to the warm Tampa weather, which reminded her of the climate she grew up with in southern India).
Leela was passionate about serving others in this world. She will always be remembered for her selflessness and love of people - she was the quintessential “people person.” She was truly everyone’s mother - her generosity and selflessness extend to each human she ever interacted with, be it a stranger on the street or with her friends and family. The combination of that empathetic and loving personality, with her deep Hindu faith and spirituality, made her truly one of a kind in this world.
Leela was taken too soon from all of us, but she lived a full and amazing life. She will be missed dearly. We will never forget her magnetic smile and her favorite phrase: “Good Job!” She will forever be in our hearts.
Leela is survived by her husband, Saligram, sons, Diwakar and Ram, brother, Nagaraj, sister, Lalitha, daughters-in-law Karen Colangelo and Courtney (Walsh) Jagannath, and granddaughters Luna and Mila Jagannath.
A religious ceremony and cremation will be held at Florida Mortuary in Tampa, Florida from 9:30 am to 12:00 pm on Friday, November 1, 2019. A celebration of her life will be subsequently held in Tampa on November 13, 2019.
To send flowers to the family of Leela Jagannath, please visit Tribute Store