Sheela Shridhar Joshi (nee: Sheela Shankar Bagool) was born on December 10th, 1936 in Mumbai, India and passed away at 83 years young at the Harmony House in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Sheela traveled the world with her family from India to Africa, back to India, and then to Brooklyn, New York on July 26th, 1972. She would then move to Fayetteville, North Carolina, followed by Houston, Texas, and then to Manassas, Virginia before settling back into Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Sheela is survived by her husband: Shridhar Jagannath Joshi, daughters: Seema Joshi and Neema Nene, son: Atul Joshi, sons-in-law: Shirish Devasthali and Shirish Nene, younger brother: Anil Bagool his wife Anita Bagool, nephews and their families: Manoj and Vaishali (children Pooja and Varun Bagool) and Rahul and Prajakta Bagool, brother and sister in law: Vidhyahar Joshi "Bhai Kaka" and Vidhya Joshi, niece: Hema Upasani and Prasanna, Sonali (daughter), nephews: Milind + Hilda + Pranav (his wife and son) and Dhananjay Joshi, grandchildren: Manisha Devasthali, Rakhee Devasthali and Sijal Nasralla (husband), Chhaya Nene, Caythar Nene, and Chanthen Nene. She is preceded in death by her parents: Shankar and Kamala Bagool.
Kindness. Gentle. Compassionate. Those are three words used across the board to describe Sheela Shridhar Joshi (nee Sheela Shankar Bagool). Sheela was born on December 10th, 1936 in Mumbai, India to Shankar and Kamala Bagool. Her parents chose the name ‘Sheela’ which means good character and it would be a name she would live up to throughout her life whether it was when she lived in Mumbai, India, Ethiopia, Africa, Brooklyn, New York, Houston, Texas, Manassas, Virginia, or Fayetteville, North Carolina.
On December 28th, 1956, she married Shridhar Jagannath Joshi in Mumbai, India. They were married for 63 years! A year later, on December 28th, 1957, at the age of 21, she had her first child Seema. On May 28th, 1959, their second daughter Neelima was born. On November 6th, 1967, Sheela gave birth to her last child, a son Atul.
Sheela was a big sister to Anil Bagool and fondly and frequently asked about her little brother despite any geographical distances. Anil Bagool never stopped asking about his beloved Sheela Tai.
But you don’t have memories of Sheela Joshi without memories of her strength and her flair for cooking and love of food.
Sheela’s three children Seema, Neema, and Atul Joshi saw their mother as a woman who tried her best to be a good wife and mother. Seema frequently states that her mother was a ‘pillar of hidden strength’, Neema fondly remembers her mother as ‘my mom was compassionate and cooking was her life. She made the best phulke and sudharus.’, and Atul says’ My mom was always willing to help anybody/anyone/anything.’ Each of her children reinforce that she stood by her husband no matter what and did her best to be a good wife to him.
Shridhar Joshi loved his wife. He didn’t know how to say it. He didn’t say it. But he knew it when she was away. If there was a time they were separated, they both missed each other. In the last few years, he would keep a record book of her daily insulin injections and make sure he gave it to her. They were a pair until the day she passed. Sheela accomplished her goal of being a good wife.
To Sheila’s grandchildren, Manisha, Rakhee, Chhaya, Caythar, and Chanthen, they will all remember her for her love of Kit-Kats (both devouring them and sharing), chocolate, Sunny D (which she called orange juice), hugs, and giving them cookies despite parents’ protestations of eating healthy food. They also remember how she called them Dealy instead of Dearie, her nightgown frocks, rubber bands for hair ties, love of birds, and when she needed a moment away from her diabetes, saying she was ‘taking Mondays off.’ Which meant she could eat whatever she wanted and not count her sugar levels.
To her extended family, Sheela was a kind woman who showered the kids with toys and clothes and filled their days with laughter. To the adults she would do what she had to for her family and would leave a lasting impression on them.
To know Sheela Joshi meant you knew a kind woman. She was sweet and loving and did her best to be a good wife and mother. Those memories of kindness are the ones that will live on with her family and friends in their hearts.
Sheela is survived by her husband: Shridhar Jagannath Joshi, daughters: Seema Joshi and Neema Nene, son: Atul Joshi, sons-in-law: Shirish Devasthali and Shirish Nene, younger brother: Anil Bagool his wife Anita Bagool, nephews and their families: Manoj and Vaishali (children Pooja and Varun Bagool) and Rahul and Prajakta Bagool, brother and sister in law: Vidyadhar and Vidhya Joshi, niece: Hema Upasani and Prasanna , Sonali (daughter), nephews: Milind + Hilda + Pranav (his wife and son) and Dhananjay Joshi, Dhananjay (Sheela’s sister in law’s brother’s son + wife and kids) + Anjali + Anuja and Ameya Kelkar, grandchildren: Manisha Devasthali, Rakhee Devasthali and Sijal Nasralla (husband), Chhaya Nene, Caythar Nene, and Chanthen Nene. She is preceded in death by her parents: Shankar and Kamala Bagool.
The family has shared their favorite memories of Sheela below:
“My mother was a “Pillar of Hidden Strength” behind our father and her children. She was raised to 'stand by her man’ no matter what, which was her commitment to her marriage. She chose to find ‘Peace’ in every circumstance of her life. She loved her children along with others' children. It was she who taught us how to ‘Love children’. Once I asked her, “Why do you Love us so much?” She said: ‘You will know when you have your own children!’ What a profound answer! My mother was a gentle, kind and loving person. Kindness was her ‘Religion’ which included birds and animals. Life offered her many, many challenges but she faced them bravely.
Our mother passed away with very little pain and suffering while sitting on her favorite sofa. An hour after she had passed away and an hour before her body was taken to the funeral home, I, Seema her elder daughter, sat by her bedside holding her right hand and saying special ‘Mantra’ for her departed Soul (which exited from her mouth) that her Soul is FREE OF SUFFERINGS of the body; and that It will soon receive a new body to begin a new life elsewhere. Through her hand and the Mantra, I sent her Soul my Love and Special Divine Energy to receive a higher level of birth where any pain and suffering will be minimized. I was very elated to realize that her ‘Pain and Suffering’ on this earth had terminated and yet sad, to know that I will never be able to hug her or hold her on a physical level. However, I shall always have a special place in my heart. I thank Lord Krishna for allowing me to spend several special and precious moments with her just taking a walk, shopping, eating lunches together, talking, brushing her hair, bathing and dressing her, lovingly feeding her, putting her shoes on, filing her toe & finger nails and painting them. That ‘Bond of Love’ was very special and which I shall miss very much. I hand her Soul in the care of Lord Krishna for a smooth transition to her next life and yet retain her Loving Presence in my Heart, always,” - Seema Devasthali (Sheela’s eldest daughter)
“What I remember about Aai is two things: she was compassionate and cooking was her life. She made the best pulke and sudharus (lemon juice+water+sugar all boiled for a while). In her world of being Dada’s wife, she did her best to be a good wife for him first and then a good mother to us. She regretted not being well educated and wanted to make sure that we would be college educated and earn our own living and not be dependent on anyone and to make our own way in this world but of course get married and present her with grandchildren while we were young. I took her seriously and did just that and I'm grateful for her love and the life I have now,” - Neema Nene (Sheela’s second daughter)
“My mom was always willing to help anybody/anyone/anything. She had so much kindness in her heart that no matter what my dad said to her, she always told him that she loved him and that no one could ever replace him.” -Atul Joshi (Sheela’s son)
“Because of my favorite Sheela Tai’s sad passing away, we, the Bagool family and all of us are very hurt and sad. Sheela Tai and her pure soul (atma) will find peace and that is all that I ask of God. We will give her a heartfelt and devoted farewell,” -Anil Bagool (Sheela’s younger brother)
“We the Nenes, first met the Joshis in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, sometime in 1968 or so. The Joshis were posted in a remote location and Sheela Tai was eager to find a better environment for her family. She was willing to trade all her gold bangles and jewelry for a transfer so her family could have the best. I still remember her saying it. I loved her frankness, simplicity and readiness to sacrifice what she could for her family,” - Asha Nene (Daughter Neema’s Mother-in-Law)
“Aji. I smiled saying that, because it meant we were going to make the five hour drive to see someone I remember fondly. I remember being in Houston as a child feeding the dog next door (much to the neighbor’s annoyance of why their dog was getting fat) Aji’s roti, I remember sneaking into her stash of Kit-Kats in Houston, Manassas, and Fayetteville, I remember her kisses and her laughter when I told her she looked beautiful. I remember her getting smaller and smaller till we could lift her and I remember her insisting she feed us all the yummy snacks a Grandma should spoil her grandkids with. I remember her always sending us away with food. I remember her Sabudhana, her poli, her Shrimp lonche, and eating fresh poli. I remember Aai telling me I wouldn’t leave Aji alone for a minute as a kid, even to go to the bathroom. She stuck her big toe out so I could hold it and know she was close. I remember Aji with fondness. And I’m sad and heartbroken for so many reasons. I will always love my Grandmother and thank her for bringing her kids into this world and being there for my Grandfather. I love you Aji, you’re still beautiful,” -Chhaya Nene (Sheela’s granddaughter)
"Aji once told me she took Mondays off from diabetes and ate whatever she wanted. She never checked her levels and then got back to it on Tuesday. I like to remember Aji with all the fun and funny little moments," -Manisha (Sheela's granddaughter)
"Aji was a quiet/kind woman. I really got to know her one weekend when it was just us. I remember she was alive and bright and wanted to do things. I saw who she was. And that's who I'll remember," -Rakhee (Sheela's granddaughter)
“Kit-Kats and hugs are my memories of my Aji,” -Chanthen Nene (Sheela’s grandson)
“I remember Aji getting me ready in the morning to go to school and her famous microwaved bagels that she would give me for breakfast. I hope that she is enjoying herself and is at peace with God,” -Caythar Nene (Sheela’s grandson)
“I remember my mother-in-law as a gentle, self-conscious soul. If words sometimes stumped her in expressing the sweetness she felt towards her grandchildren, she never let this hold her back from expressing it in other ways. The bags of KIt-Kats, Oreos, and other goodies we always came away loaded with, after a visit with her, are a fond testament to that,” -Shirish Nene (Sheela’s son-in-law)
“I came to know Sheela Tai because of Seema & Neema. We met only a few times but her caring and affectionate nature made a lasting impression on me. Being a Maushi to her grandkids, I feel proud of Chhaya, Manisha and Rakhee that they arranged this gathering to pay respect to their "Aajji". Being an essential employee in the current situation, I won't be able to attend the funeral services but I offer my sincere condolences to Dada, Seema, Neema, and Atul. May her soul rest in peace,” - Anjali & Dhananjay Kelkar (Sheela’s sister-in-law’s brother’s son and wife)
"This is really sad to hear passing away of my Kaku, Sou. Sheela Shreedhar Joshi. I, in all my life time had met her 6 to 7 times, each time for few days, during her visits to us in India.
Things which struck me the most about her were, she was very kind hearted, enjoyed meeting people, very cheerful and compassionate. She took great joy in giving and was fond of kids, which was quiet refreshing about her. She would always think about others before herself, a rare quality.
In these testing times I, pray to god to give her family members both in USA and India and her Husband, my Kaka, Shri Shridhar J. Joshi, the strength to bear the loss.
Seema Tai, Neema Tai, Atul and their family, I am with you in this time of sorrow…
Kaku, you will always remain in our hearts forever, Rest in peace." - Dhananjay Joshi (Sheela's nephew)
“I have met them hardly 3 or 4 times but I still have clear memories of time spent with both of them. Aaji used to always get us toys and clothes, most of them I still have and shall always treasure it. I have had so many memories of her, we played and laughed together whenever they were here. We grew up and later realized they won't be able travel due to their age and long flights. But I always followed your posts on Instagram and Facebook overwhelmed to see you all whenever you uploaded the photos and passed them onto mom and my Aaji. I understand that this is a tough time for all of us, especially Neema Maushi and Seema Maushi. May God give all of us immense strength. And this phase shall pass too but her fond memories shall always last and be treasured,” -Sonali Upasani (Sheela’s grandniece)
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you donate to your favorite charity and be kind to one another.
Sheela will be cremated at the Sullivan's Highland Funeral Service & Crematory, in Fayetteville, North Carolina and will return back to her home in India as her ashes will be spread at a later date.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date to be announced. Sheela Joshi was a kind woman who will be greatly missed. Her family takes comfort in knowing that she is free and at peace.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.sullivanshighland.com