Obituary: Lalita Devi Das

HOUSTON: Lalita Devi Das, a remarkable woman whose journey began on April 20, 1937, in Gujaranwala, India, has recently celebrated her 86th birthday. With deep sadness, we share that she peacefully passed away in the loving presence of her family at her home on Saturday, July 8, 2023. Lalita, one of five children, was born to Prakashwati and Tek Chand Khosla, respected rice mill owners from Saharanpur, India.

Lalita’s legacy lives on through her cherished memories. She is survived by her devoted husband, Lachhman, and her two beloved sons, Micky and Tony, along with their loving wives, Andrea and Bernice. Her passing is mourned by her brother, Ram, her sister, Narinder, and her six adoring grandchildren, Thomas, Nicholas, Andrew, Gabrielle, Amy, and Olivia. Recently, Lalita had also embraced the joy of becoming a great grandmother to baby Sam.

In the early years of her life, Lalita’s path crossed with that of a diligent college scholar named Lachhman, thanks to the introduction by her uncle, Harparshad, a well-known figure in the Electrical Board in India. Following the customs of the time, Lalita and Lachhman entered into an arranged marriage on October 10, 1960, without having seen each other before the ceremony. They embarked on a journey together, residing in Ludhiana, Jagraon, and finally settling in Patiala, where Lachhman held various positions with the Electrical Board. During this time, their first child, Micky, was born in India.

Yearning for opportunities and a brighter future for their family, Lachhman made the courageous decision to venture to the United States in August 1964 to pursue higher studies. In his absence, their second son, Tony, was born in New Delhi. Lalita and their children joined Lachhman in December 1965, commencing their immigrant Indian American dream. A playful anecdote that brought smiles to their faces for years occurred when Lalita arrived at the airport in San Francisco, and the immigration personnel asked Lachhman if he was Mr. Devi since her documents referred to her as Mrs. Devi—an inside joke that they cherished.

While adjusting to life in the United States, Lalita initially found it challenging to adapt to what she perceived as manual labor, such as cooking and cleaning, as she had not been accustomed to it in India. However, after acclimating to her new surroundings, Lalita decided to take on night shifts as a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN).A position which allowed her the flexibility to care for her young children and care for her busy husband whose career was blossoming.

The family later relocated to New York in June 1968, where they resided until 1975 when they made Houston, Texas, their new home. In February 1976, Lalita and Lachhman embarked on an entrepreneurial adventure and opened their own business—a Travel Agency named Worldwide Travels in Seabrook. While Lachhman continued his day job, they dedicated themselves to running the travel agency, a labor of love that lasted until 1999. After retiring, Lalita delighted in traveling and hosting “kitty parties” in Clear Lake with her friends. Her culinary skills, especially her mouthwatering gobi pronto, will be dearly missed by her family and friends.

Lalita Devi Das led a life filled with love, resilience, and unwavering determination. Her indomitable spirit, warm presence, and contagious laughter will forever be treasured. As we bid her farewell, let us remember the legacy of strength and grace she leaves behind.