Sobha Rani Rao Cherukuri, loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, passed away on December 8, 2016, at the age of 74 after bravely living with Lewy Body Dementia for several years.
Her courage and devotion to family brought her from the small village of Edlapalle, India to America in 1968. Mrs. Cherukuri’s focus was family and community. Turlock was her home for 46 years.
The first to earn a college degree among her family in India, Mrs. Cherukuri earned her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in English Literature from CSU Stanislaus.
She always opened her home to everyone and was famous for her delicious traditional South Indian cooking. Her commitment to sharing cultures led her to several decades of work with Modesto Sister Cities International and the Indian Cultural Society of the Central Valley.
She was known for her passionate writing, often evoking powerful images of traditional Indian and Hindu life overlaid with life in California’s Central Valley. Her poetry, written in both Telugu and English, was published in Penumbra, Telugu Jyothi, Triveni, Sujana Ranjani and the Northern California Women’s Music Festival Poetry Anthology.
She had a great sense of humor and was often seen smiling the broadest when she was holding one of her grandchildren or great grandchildren.
Along with her late husband of 55 years, Dr. U. Rao Cherukuri, she helped many others settle into their lives as new Americans and proudly wore her sari wherever she went.
The matriarch of a loving family, she is survived by her daughters, Padmaja Vejendla and Sailaja Rajappan, her son, Srinivas Cherukuri, their spouses, seven grandchildren, and three great grandchildren. We will miss our Mom, our Grandma, our Ammama, our Gigi, our friend.
Her greatest wish was that we all love each other and eat well.
Mrs. Sobha Rani Rao Cherukuri Memorial
Sunday, December 18, 2016, 12:30pm
Carnegie Arts Center, 250 North Broadway, Turlock
Followed by a traditional South Indian lunch.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to the Lewy Body Dementia Association, www.lbda.org.