Mrudula Derr was born in Ahmedebad, India in 1924, during the British Occupation of India. Her family moved to Baroda and lived in the Christian Training Compound, a huge area reserved for Christians, and adjoining the military training area. She went to a missionary school and was raised as a Methodist. She never knew her father, a minister, who died of TB when she was 3 years old. She had two older brothers, Pratapsinh (Manu) and Daryashiel (Dhiru). Both are now deceased.
When she was 17 years old, she became a teacher in a nearby town, but had to quit because she suffered from monthly recurrences of malaria. Moving to Bombay, she met Jayasinh Sisodia, a Hindu who converted to Christianity in order to marry her. They both worked in the Rationing Office in Bombay. She lived for several months in Simla, which was high in the hills, but this was the era of the British withdrawal from India and Partition in 1948-49. The separation of India to create Pakistan created deadly times for people of all faiths, Muslims, Hindus and Christians. She was renting a house from a Muslim family when a Hindu mob came to burn it down. As a Christian she was allowed to leave with barely any food or clothing, and made a perilous journey south to Baroda via train, foot, and oxcart. Her son, Pradeep, was born in1952 in Baroda.
She obtained employment at Spicer Memorial College in Poona with the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Her daughter, Sheila, was born there in 1954. But by 1957 she was ready to do anything to improve the health of her son who suffered from severe asthma. She also wanted to improve her life, and the church was kind enough to send letters of recommendation to the passport office. Mrudula's brother, Dhiru, lent her money to come to America. Her final destination was Lincoln, Nebraska, where she studied accounting and bookkeeping at Union College and also worked in the cafeteria at the local mental hospital.
Unfortunately, the climate of Nebraska was not conducive to her son's health. She was told that a drier climate, such as Boulder, Colorado, would much better. After a short time in Boulder, she moved to Two Buttes, Colorado, where her husband taught school in order to qualify for a teaching certificate. Returning to Boulder, she remained there, working for the University of Colorado, then Ball Brothers, Storage Technology, and Exabyte, doing circuit board repairs and wiring. She moved to Longmont in 1991 in order to be closer to Sheila and Peter (Sheila's husband).
Now retired after a car wreck that required several spinal surgeries, she occupied her time working at Colorful Images, a catalog company. Later she worked as a receptionist at Longmont Medical Center, and volunteered at the local schools as well. She married again in 1996 to Irwin Derr, who passed away in 2003. She remained mentally alert and lived independently until the last two years of her life. She died at the age of 99.