For Vidya Wati Reddy
January 12, 1948 – March 10, 2023
One can only hope that they can love as unconditionally as Vidya. To kids in our communities, she’s the mom to invite you in for a warm lunch and have snacks ready for you after school. She had a way of making you feel special, all you have to do is remember a time when she took care of you, checked in with you, cooked you an epic meal from scratch, packed your lunch, shared her quirky and hilarious personality with you, shared her spiritual teachings with you, or welcomed you to her home.
Vidya is one of nine sisters and one brother. She was loved by all people who value great food and sound advice. Her quiet voice and secret humor made everyone love chatting with her. Most quick chats would turn into hour long conversations, so thank God she had her siblings for that.
After building her parents’ farm in Tavua, Fiji and helping to raise her siblings, she immigrated to the East Kootenays in the early 1970s with her husband Govind Reddy and beautiful daughter, Shanti. She tragically lost Shanti when she was just 15 years old. Vidya heroically carried on surviving and raised two more girls, Rita and Jennifer. In the midst of all that, she put her heart into establishing a family business.
In winter, Vidya would drive her baby blue Charger in any road conditions and would shovel house-height snow. In spring and summer, she would tend flowers, fruits and vegetables in her garden which was the size of a small field. She was a talented gardener saving and growing seeds from foods she ate. If she could grow cheesecake and chicken wings she would have grown those too. Everything flourished in neat, tidy rows. Spinach, peas, strawberries, potatoes and more were brought in, cleaned, prepared or preserved for tasty food that we will savor in our memories forever.
Family and friends were blessed by her cooking. As a family, we would arrive home late from a long trip and she would have at least 3 kinds of hot food on the table before the last suitcase was brought inside.
On top of her talents for growing, preparing, and serving food, Vidya had a knack for sewing that began at a young age. Her sisters enjoyed her craft of designing dresses and her daughters covet the timeless pieces she has made and will cherish them for years to come.
Our world is so lucky to have met Vidya and although she struggled in life she never stopped seeking joy and peace through service to family, singing, writing, story-telling, listening to music, speaking truth, traveling, gaming, learning, teaching, cooking, painting, sewing, and calling every family member on the regular to check that they’ve eaten and are doing well.
Vidya was a woman of many words and so her absence will be heard now as silence far and wide. She was a great source of comfort to many. To us, she was a mom, a nani, a friend, a
healer, a mystic, a warm hug, an encouraging word, a cheerleader, a chef, a creative, an entrepreneur, a reminder, a teacher, a leader, a comedian, a goofball, a presence, a rock.
She had the grit to get to work and make things happen, she was not a delegator and would not let anyone mess with her kids. Luckily, Vidya has given us a path for the future through her love and care of her granddaughters, Hazel and Anouk.
As we grieve the loss of this great courageous woman, we can all learn lessons about unconditional love and joy in every moment of life from the one and only, Vidya Wati Reddy. May she rest in power.