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Vathsala Holla, M.D.

Vathsala S. Holla, M.D., 75, Clarks Summit, died Friday in Geisinger Community Medical Center, Scranton. She was the loving and caring wife of P. Shripathi Holla, M.D., a retired neurosurgeon. The couple had celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on May 27.

Born April 13, 1945, in Mysore in British-occupied India, she was the sixth child and only daughter of the late Bhargavi Bai and the late S. Anand Rau, who was an entomologist and chief scientific officer of United Planters Association of South India. She completed high school at Christ the King Convent in 1961 and her medical studies in Government Mysore Medical College in 1970. After graduating, she challenged family custom and prevailing social norms by marrying for love rather than through an arranged marriage.

After immigrating to the United States, she completed her internship in medicine in Albany, N.Y., in 1973; her residency in pediatrics in University of Connecticut hospitals in 1976; and a fellowship in neonatology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 1979. The couple arrived in Clarks Summit in 1981, and they made the area their home. Vathsala worked as a neonatologist in Community Medical Center for 22 years, caring for thousands of sick and premature babies throughout her career. She was also a skilled vocalist in the Carnatic style of music, and she performed in many concerts both in the United States and India after her retirement from medicine. Throughout her life, she delighted in the play and wonder of children, and she extended her warm and generous spirit, as well as her passion for music, to all she encountered.

She was also incredibly organized and meticulous in each of her endeavors from folding fitted sheets (she made Marie Kondo look downright disheveled) to planning for her hospital stay. She liked to be at least five minutes early for everything. Unfortunately, her death was a little too early for everyone else.

Also surviving are a daughter, Alaka Holla and her husband, Malhar Nabar; a grandson, Mihir Holla Nabar; and a granddaughter, Reva Holla Nabar, all of Bethesda, Md.; a brother, A. Nagaraj Rao of Bangalore, India; cousins, nieces and nephews scattered across the globe; and a large local community of friends.

She was also preceded in death by five brothers, A. Madhava Rao, A. Prahlad Rao, A. Raghavendra Rao, A. Subba Rao and A. Sreeshaw.

Services were held by Mr. Vaithinathan.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, P.O. Box 50, Memphis, TN 38101-9929.

To leave an online condolence, visit the funeral home website.

Dr. Holla's services have been entrusted to the care of Jennings-Calvey Funeral and Cremation Services Inc., 111 Colburn Ave., Clarks Summit, PA 18411.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Vathsala M.D., please visit our flower store.


Dear Holla Family,Prayers are with you all.  Dr. Holla took care of our son born prematurely 32 years ago.  Her expertise and comforting words helped us all get through this challenging time. We will never forget her.  So sorry for your loss of this beautiful woman.

John and Cindy Wilson Sep 13 2020 12:00 AM

Dear Reva, Mihir, Alaka, Malhar and Tata,Our hearts go out to you and we are so sorry for the loss of your Grandmother, Mother,  and Wife.Please accept our sincere and warmest condolences and be sure you are in our thoughts, and in our hearts. Wishing you all peace and comfort during this time of sorrow.WBCCC5 TeachersCarmen, Eva, Genevieve, Fatuti

Carmen, Eva, Genevieve and Fatuti Aug 24 2020 12:00 AM

Dear Alaka, Reva, Mihir and Malhar:We are so very sorry to hear from your loss. Thinking of you in this difficult and sad time. Special hug to the kids.

Roberts Family Aug 22 2020 12:00 AM

Dear Shripathi and Alaka,With my deepest heartfelt sympathy, I share in your loss. I considered V. an excellent physician, but most of all a friend. She will remain in my prayers.  Sincerely, Kenneth Lilik MD

KENNETH LILIK Aug 5 2020 12:00 AM

Dr Holla and family. Sincere sympathy on the loss of Dr V. She truly was an amazing woman.

Debi reese Aug 4 2020 12:00 AM

To the Holla family,  My deepest sympathy and prayers for all of you.  Dr. V. was one of my most favorite members of Curves for Women.  She was a daily exerciser and made lots of friends while there.  She will be missed and both she and Dr. Holla made a wonderful time for me when I had the Bishop and many Indian priests at my house for dinner.  These are very special people!  Again, my sympathy, Ellen Wengen

Ellen Wengen Aug 4 2020 12:00 AM

Dear Dr Holla,my deepest sympathies to you and your family on the loss of Vathsala.It was a pleasure working with her at CMC.It was always comforting knowing she was attending the birth of  my patients knowing the newborns were in excellent hands.God bless you and your family.Sincerely,Hal Davis,MD

H Davis,MD Aug 4 2020 12:00 AM

Dear Dr Holla, So sorry for the loss of your wife. You each deserved a long and healthy retirement after all the years of service you gave to others. We all know life doesn’t work that way. Thinking of you at this time. Thanks again for choosing to bring your talents to Scranton! God bless you and your family. Sincerely Eileen and Mark Occhipinti

Eileen Occhipinti Aug 4 2020 12:00 AM

My deepest condolences to Dr. Holla and family.  She was a ray of sunlight which was much needed in this world.

Saul Rigau and family Aug 4 2020 12:00 AM

So sad to hear this news. She was an amazing women my thoughts and prayers for the family.

Dani Lowe olfano Aug 4 2020 12:00 AM

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