Vel Pillai, 76, of Lake of the Woods Locust Grove, previously of Latham, NY, was born May l0, 1943 in Aluva, Kerala State, India. He died at home from pneumonia November 18, 2019. His education included: BA Economics Union Christian College Aluva; MA in Economics University of Kerala at Trivandrum; and Ph.D. in Economics (Public Finance) from Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University where he was a recipient of a Fulbright-Hayes Scholarship. While at Syracuse, he met Karlye Gill. Vel and Karlye were married in 1977 at Nehru University New Delhi, India. His work experience included: Lecturer SD College Alleppey, Kerala; Economist National Council for Applied Economic Research New Delhi; Assistant Professor of Economics at the State University of New York Albany Graduate School for Public Affairs; and Budget Analyst for the New York State Division of the Budget from where he retired in 2007. He was predeceased by his parents, Nilakanta and Sarojini Pillai and father-in-law Robert Gill. Surviving him are: wife Karlye Pillai; mother-in-law Hazel Huffman Gill; daughter Dair T. Pillai, Esq.; son Lt. Col. (US Army) Chad M. Pillai; daughter-in-law Maribel Pillai and her son Carlos Santana; granddaughter Katelyn A. Pillai; and buddy Sherlock beagle. In retirement, he enjoyed gardening, traveling, driving his Tesla, reading and volunteering at the Orange County VA Animal Shelter, where he enjoyed the company of dogs big and small. The world lost a man of utmost integrity and generosity who cared deeply about the planet and its inhabitants. There will be no funeral nor memorial service following cremation. Interment will be in the family plot in Hope Cemetery Corning, NY. The family wish to thank the Orange County EMS Medical Unit 29 staff and Sheriff's Deputies Neal and Pitts. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Friends of Orange County Animal Shelter 10134 Gordon Avenue Gordonsville, VA 22942 or LOW Fire & Rescue 104 Lakeview Pkwy Locust Grove, VA 22508. Online guestbook available at