Rita Golikeri Weds Eric Wood


By Jawahar Malhotra

FORT WORTH, TX: Some may call it coincidence while others would say it’s karma. But this couple who had met in this North Texas town just west of Dallas didn’t really believe in anything like that when they were introduced by some mutual friends one Spring evening in 2014. They didn’t really appreciate how the stars had aligned to keep them close together till a fateful day in March 2015 when Rita was matched to her OB Gyn residency program at the John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.

“Till then, we were wondering what would happen if I got selected to another hospital elsewhere in the country,” recalled Rita Golikeri “and how our relationship would evolve.” Eric Wood had a satisfying job at Lockheed Martin, the giant aerospace and defense contractor in Fort Worth, and any move would require him to consider his prospects elsewhere. The couple had already endured 3 months of rotations for Rita in Atlanta and Chicago and had flown to be with each other on weekends. Their big hope was that Rita would find her residency match someplace close by.

Even after that happened, Rita wasn’t sure where things were going between them. “Eric wanted to buy a house and I told him that before we moved in together, I wanted a commitment.” But she wasn’t quite prepared for the way that he arranged that. On the weekend in February 2016 when he had to close on the house, Eric invited the parents from both sides to come to town, then convinced Rita to come back home early on the pretense of having some urgent work to finish. When she got home, she was surprised to find both sets of parents waiting and Eric pulled out the engagement ring!

Eric and Rita were married this past weekend on Saturday, September 2 in the Omni Hotel Fort Worth in a traditional Hindu ceremony attended by a host of family and friends, with Rita’s Aunt officiating as the priest. The sangeet was held the day before in the T&P Station, a popular wedding venue in the city.

Rita Golikeri, 29, was born and brought up in the Houston area. She received her undergraduate degree in Public Health from Tulane University and then her medical degree at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth. She is currently in her third year of residency. Her father Sudhir Golikeri is a semi-retired chemical engineer and her mother Ranjana is a homemaker. Her grandmother Radha Golikeri, 93, is a sprightly and energetic lady who organized graduation programs for high-school seniors for many years in Clear Lake. Rita has two other siblings, Rohit, 30 and Rima, 33.

Eric Wood, 31, has bachelors and masters degrees in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech University and has worked for Lockheed Martin since he graduated. His mother Karen Wood-Batcheller is a nurse practitioner at the Fairfax County Department of Health and his late father, William Wood III (who passed away in 2004) was the US Geographer in the State Department. His mother has since remarried to Alan Batcheller. Eric has an older sister, Jessica, 33.

The newlyweds will leave next weekend for a honeymoon in Cancun and then return to their home in Fort Worth where they got engaged.