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1929 Lahiila-Lai 2021

Lahiila-Lai Maharriyum

July 15, 1929 — December 8, 2021

Lahiila-lai Maharriyum passed away peacefully in her home in Gorham on December 8, 2021, at the age of 92. She will always be remembered by her family as a loving sister, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. By the people of Gorham, where she spent the last 4 years of her life, she may be remembered as the little old lady who would spend any and every sunny afternoon in front of her house, right across from the Town Common.

Lahiila-lai was born in 1929 in Rangoon, Burma, to a Sephardic Jewish family, and grew up in the family home in Calcutta, India, until the age of 18. Educated in a Catholic boarding school in the Himalayas and Domestic Science College in New Delhi, India, she moved with her family to England at the end of World War II. There, she went on to get her teaching certificate, and though she did teach for six years, her real love was the theatre, where she performed in a traveling repertory troupe every summer. Finally, she decided to journey to the United States to pursue an acting career in New York City. She met her future husband Tony Montanaro on board the ship, as he was returning to America from six months study of mime in Paris, and six months performance on Italian television. They fell in love immediately, and married three months later in New York. Her two sons, Jovin and Raman, were born shortly after.

After helping to found Ananda Ashram in New York State in the early 1960’s, her interest in theatre began to be replaced by a love for yoga and meditation, which she kept for the rest of her life. Her marriage to Tony ended in 1965, and she got re-married to Thaemas Maharriyum, to whom she was married for the next 30 years. She lived at their home in Kingston, New York until failing health brought her to live in New Hampshire four years ago, with the family of her son Raman Montanaro.

Lahiila-lai loved spending time in the sun, playing cards, reading, and celebrating birthdays with cheesecake and songs. She took great interest in the lives of all seven of her grandchildren, and even got to spend several months with her first great-grandchild before passing away in December.

She is survived by three older sisters, Dawn, Beth and Donnee, her ex-husband Thaemas, her two sons Jovin and Raman, seven grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. Her remains are interred in Evans Cemetery in Gorham. The family is very grateful for all the expressions of love and sympathy they have received, and pray that all will remember her with love and joy.

Bryant Funeral Homes, Berlin and Gorham, NH assisted the family with the arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lahiila-Lai Maharriyum, please visit our flower store.

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