Niskayuna, NY – Vijaya Duggal, age 81, of Swarthmore, PA, died on August 27, 2021, surrounded by her children, their spouses and her grandchildren.
She was born in India and attended Lady Irwin high school in New Delhi. Her father's work for the Indian government brought her to the United States after high school. She attended Bennington College, majored in economics, and then went on to receive a PhD from Harvard University in the subject. She was a pioneer in using econometrics to inform policy and in being a woman in a STEM field as she practiced first as an economist at Wharton Economics Forecasting Associates and then as a Professor of Economics at Widener University.
Vijaya married Shakti Duggal and they raised two children, until his premature death in 1981. Vijaya's indomitable energy and resilience enabled her to continue to bring up her kids and provide for them on her own. She enjoyed close supportive relationships with extended family and friends throughout her life.
Vijaya's primary love, other than flowers and mangos, was her role as the family matriarch. She cherished her extended babysitting runs with her grandchildren, reading and "mathing" with them, and enjoying their musical and athletic endeavors. She relished organizing full-family vacations including a memorable trip to India. Vijaya was a welcoming host and surrogate mother to an extended family of relatives from India who have studied and settled in the United States and needed advice and home-cooked meals.
Vijaya was a fighter. Throughout an 18-year battle with oral cancer, which included multiple surgeries, she maintained a positive attitude that inspired everyone who knew her. Her family thanks her surgeon, Dr. Ara Chalian, for the time we have had with her, and Hospice for helping her meet her end-of-life goals.
Vijaya was predeceased by her husband, Shakti, and her brother Ravi Gulhati. She is survived by her brother Shashi Gulhati (Rashmi) of Issaquah, WA, children Anil (Karla) of Niskayuna and Sunita (Greg Poe) of Washington D.C., and her grandchildren Kalyana Duggal, Anjali Poe, Keenan Duggal, and Marisa Poe.
Services will be private at the convenience of the family. The family will have a memorial service for Vijaya in Swarthmore, PA, at a later date.
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