Padmashri and author Maria Aurora Couto (86) breathed her last on Friday after a brief illness.
Family sources said the end came around 11.30 am on Friday after battling pneumonia and infection for some days.
Couto was conferred the Padmashri in 2010 and is an accomplished author and academician.
Hailing from Aldona, Couto had for several years made Goa her base after a long teaching career, including at the Delhi University.
The author was best known for her book Goa: A Daughter’s Story. She was also instrumental in starting the D D Kosambi Festival of Ideas and had been involved in with the Goa University.
Couto taught English literature in Delhi’s Lady Shri Ram College (LSR) and Dhempe College in Panaji. She had also been a contributor to periodicals in India and the UK.
She translated A B Braganza Pereira’s Ethnography of Goa, Daman and Diu from Portuguese.
A liberal at home in many worlds, she was a literary critic and translator, as well as a historian whose account of Goa encompassed both the large scale of political and economic events and the intimate details of cultural life at the level of the village and the household.
Several dignitaries, including Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, Opposition Leader Digambar Kamat and literary figures have condoled Couto's passing away.