Murali Mohan Rao Jonnalagadda, MD, MPH, DLFAPA, lovingly called Dr. Jonn, of Jacksonville passed away abruptly at the age of 73 at Vidant Medical Center, Greenville on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014 from complications following pneumonia.
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A memorial service will be held at Jones Funeral Home, 303 Chaney Avenue, Jacksonville on Saturday at 2 p.m. Dr. David Fambrough will be officiating.
Dr. Jonn, a third generation physician, born in Nellore, India on June 29, 1941, was the oldest of seven children to Dr. Ramaniah Jonnalagadda and Venkata Subbamma Jonnalagadda. He was at that time the youngest graduate of Guntur Medical College. He married the love of his life Devi Jonnalagadda, soon after he accepted a full scholarship to the All India Institute in Bangalore, India to study Psychiatry. His fellowship was also a full scholarship in Mental Handicap and Child Psychiatry at the Royal College of England. Afterwards he became one of the youngest Senior Registrar at St. Davent's Hospital in Ireland, where he wrote a landmark paper "Drinking Patterns in an Irish County." He holds Board certifications in General Psychiatry and Addiction Psychiatry as well as 12 additional Board certifications including those in Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychopharmacology, Administrative Psychiatry and Quality Assurance. He served medicine nationally as a Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations Physician Senior Surveyor. Throughout his career, Dr. Jonnalagadda proudly served the people of North Carolina first as the Assistant Clinical Director of Cherry Hospital, then as Deputy Director for North Carolina Division of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services for the State of North Carolina under Governor Jim Martin, as Director of Psychiatric Services and Medical Education at Walter B. Jones Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center, Greenville, as Medical Director of New Hanover County Mental Health and then later as Medical Director of Onslow Carteret County Behavioral Health from where he retired from the State of North Carolina in April of 2012. A naturalized citizen of the United States of America, he was very patriotic and served as a Disaster Psychiatrist and was certified in Homeland Security up to Level 4. Immediately after retirement, he found himself compelled to once again serve his country by becoming a Telepsychiatrist for the Department of Veteran Affairs and cared for patients at the Jacksonville VA Outpatient Clinic up until the Friday before his hospitalization
Unknown to Dr. Jonnalagadda, on Aug. 8, 2014 he was selected for the Humanitarian Award for Outstanding Community Service on the behalf of the Old North State Medical Society to be presented by the United States Surgeon General on Nov. 15, 2014. Although he has been given many awards and accolades his greatest reward was simply being with and helping patients and their families and teaching others to do so. A hero to his family, a brilliant scholar, a kind, gentle servant of God, Dr. Jonnalagadda is survived by his wife, Devi Jonnalagadda; daughters, Dr. Amba Jonnalagadda, and Dr. Penche Jonnalagadda and husband, Mr. Stan Cucksee; and grandson, Muralikrishna William Jonnalagadda-Cucksee.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in honor of his beloved grandson Muralikrishna William "MJ" Jonnalagadda-Cucksee, given in memory of Dr. Murali Mohan Rao Jonnalagadda to Arendell Parrott Academy, Attn: Marianne Ervin, PO Box 1297, Kinston, NC 28503 for science education.
Electronic condolences may be left for the family at www.jonesfh.org.
Jones Funeral Home & Crematory
303 Chaney Ave Jacksonville, NC 28540
Published in The Daily Reflector on Aug. 21, 2014