With heavy hearts, but immense gratitude for his life and legacy, we inform you that our beloved Dr. Chennupati Raghavendra Rao passed away on Wednesday, July 28, 2021.
He was a dedicated husband, father, brother, uncle, friend, and community servant.
Dr. Rao began his journey in Patamata, a small town within the city of Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh in India on July 2, 1946. Born to Chennupati Rajarao and Rajamma, he was the second of three children (the late Vasumati Devi and Sarojini Devi). Despite distance, he remained close to his parents, sisters, and their families.
Dr. Rao built his life on three pillars: spirituality, education, and community service. He embodied these values from a young age and they defined him throughout his life.
He was a lifelong devotee of Lord Venkateswara and a scholar of the Bhagavad Gita. His deep spirituality instilled him with discipline and integrity that he brought to every aspect of his life.
Armed with undergraduate and graduate degrees from Andhra University, a little money in his pocket, and big aspirations, Dr. Rao landed in New York City in 1970. He laid a strong foundation for his career and life in a new country with an MS in Business Management from City University of New York, followed by a PhD from Texas A&M University. He started his career at Bell Labs in Holmdel, NJ. After a successful 22-years in telecommunications spanning from research to sales, he embarked on a new challenge, transitioning to corporate finance and investment management at Fidelity and TD Ameritrade.
He brought the same level of dedication to his community, serving as an officer and board member of several organizations, including the Telugu Association of North Texas, the Telugu Association of North America, the Indian American Friendship Council, and the Akkineni Foundation of America. He was passionate in particular about promoting Indian culture, Hinduism, and preserving Telugu literary traditions. In his spare time, he enjoyed mentoring and educating the next generation. One of his personal highlights came in 2014 when he helped establish a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi in North Texas.
He is survived by his beloved wife of over 50 years, Rajyalakshmi, his loving daughter Padma, his sister Sarojini Devi, and countless other family members, friends, colleagues, and community members whose lives he touched and provided inspiration to.
Dr. Rao was an ardent supporter of STEM education for underserved communities. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Coding by: Kids in his honor.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, August 5th at 1 PM and can also be viewed via live stream. Due to the current COVID restrictions, we humbly request anyone attending the services to wear marks and maintain social distancing while paying tribute.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dr. Chennupati Raghavendra Rao, please visit our floral store.
Coding by: Kids