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1927 Dalila 2021

Dalila Ana Viegas

September 11, 1927 — August 11, 2021

Dalila Ana Viegas passed away peacefully at home in the early hours of August 11, 2021, exactly a month before her ninety-fourth birthday. She was surrounded by the prayers of her four children and a dear friend and priest in Australia. She took her final breath holding the hand of her daughter, Goretti, who she lived with. Our shared loss at her passing is immeasurable. Dalila was born in Salcete, Goa (Portuguese India), and grew up in Panjim. The first born child of eight, she was the daughter of a wealthy importer of luxury goods. She was strongly connected to her family and spoke of her own mother, Graziela Mendes, as her best friend. Even though her marriage was arranged, she was fortunate to marry the love of her life—her soul mate, Belarmino (Belu) Viegas. The two of them made the courageous move to Karachi, Pakistan to start a new life and raise a family, all the while missing her parents and siblings. When her youngest daughter, Margarette, was in middle school, she joined the working world. She took typing and shorthand classes but wanted more of a challenge than secretarial work offered. Since numbers came easily to her, she took a position as a clerk at Grindlays Bank and spent nearly 20 years there happily catching accounting errors. During this time, with her children still in school, she would make the 20-minute trek home in the searing Pakistani heat (in heels, no less!) just to ensure her children were settled after a day at school. Once her children were grown up, she made another brave move to the US, where, along with her husband, she adjusted to new customs and new scenery. She immediately made friends and, as was her compassionate nature, became a caregiver for a neighbor who was like a surrogate granddaughter to her, and then again to an ailing senior. At the time, she also endeavored to learn to drive, but, after backing into the garage, decided it was not for her and let Belu chauffeur her around. Sharp, spirited, and never one to turn down a challenge, at the age of 75, she decided to take piano lessons for the first time since childhood. She surprised us all with her recitals, and diligent practice. Then followed voice lessons, which tuned her sweet soprano voice in preparation for the church choir. As the oldest choir member, she was revered by the group who harmonized with her at weekly Sunday mass. Dalila will be remembered as a lover of life. She adored dancing with her Belu, her hair always perfectly coiffed. They made a dashing couple on the dance floor and in life, and ventured out to see the world together. From Canada to Goa, Dubai to Portugal, Brazil to Venice, Dalila enjoyed culture to its fullest. After Belu passed away in 2016, ever resilient, she again adjusted to living on her own. She never complained, though she missed him dearly. When she was invited to live in Florida with daughter Goretti, she willingly made the move relishing time spent with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and easily making friends in her new city of Davie, Florida. She gave of herself freely, particularly to those who needed kindness and a welcoming smile the most. Sensitive and loving, she has passed her wisdom and character down through generations. Until her final days, she kept connected to her family on regular Sunday Zoom calls to pray the rosary, blessing everyone present. Into her nineties, Dalila was known for her wit and wisdom, her intelligence and intuition. A wise and compassionate matriarch, fearless protector, active listener, talented musician, voracious reader (with a penchant for Barbara Cartland) and avid watcher of Netflix, she will be dearly missed. St. John Chrysostom: “She whom we love and lose, is no longer where she was before. She is now wherever we are” We are grateful to all those who want to pay respects at this time. Dalila's wish was to be buried beside her Belu in California, and so, given the restrictions of the current situation, the family is focused on arranging that. There will not be a public service or video streaming. If you would like to make a donation, the family requests donations to GOA SUDHAROP, a non-profit organization based in the USA. 100% of your donations go to projects serving low-income and poor people in Goa and there are zero administrative or other fees - 100% of your donation goes to the causes. To make a donation, please visit: https://www.goasudharop.net/donate or you can donate by sending a check made payable to "Goa Sudharop" and mail to: Goa Sudharop, 873 Windsor Hills Circle, San Jose, CA 95123, USA. GOA SUDHAROP was especially close to mum's heart and she and the family supported the organization over the years.
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