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Wisconsin Gurdwara Opens, Memorial Service Today

By Anju Kaur, SikhNN staff writer, Washington Bureau
Posted: Friday, August 10, 2012 | 12:12 pm


Photo Source: Palatine Sangat

Paramjit Kaur Saini, 41

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Photo Source: Palatine Sangat

Prakash Singh, 39

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Photo Source: Palatine Sangat

Suveg Singh Kattra, 84

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Photo Source: Palatine Sangat

Satwant Singh Kaleka, 65

>> Launch Gallery

Many public officials are expected to speak at the memorial services for the Wisconsin gurdwara victims, which began this morning at 9:00 Central time.

Services are being held at the Oak Creek High School, 240 East Puetz Road. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will address the community at approximately 11:00 Central time. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Rainbow Coalition’s Rev. Jesse Jackson are also expected to speak at the event.

Six people died at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creak when Jade Michael Page, a white supremacist, open fired on sangat members. Three are still recovering at a local hospital, including Lieutenant Bryan Murphy, the officer that first engaged the gunman and was shot nine times. Page was shot and wounded by another police officer but he killed himself with a gun to his head, the FBI said.

The following is a brief biography of the victims from a Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund news release.

Paramjit Kaur Saini was the only woman killed in Sunday’s shooting at the Sikh Gurdwara in Wisconsin. She was born on April 25, 1971. Paramjit Kaur usually came to pray and do seva every Thursday and Sunday. She is survived by her two sons, 20-year old Kamaljit Singh Saini and 18-year old Harpreet Singh Saini.

Ranjit Singh, brother of Sita Singh, moved the United States in 1997. He was an active member of his community, committed himself to seva and played tabla during divan. He is survived by his wife and children who currently reside in India. One of his sons, Gurvinder Singh, was seven months old when he left his home in Delhi, India. Sixteen years later, his son was hoping to see him return to Delhi this November. Ranjit Singh worked various jobs on weekdays, sending what money he could home to his wife and family, hoping to secure a more stable future for his family.

Sita Singh, was born on Nov. 15, 1970. He was dedicated to all duties of the temple, such as landscaping the property. He led morning services every day at around 5 a.m. He lived in the temple where his brother had once served as a longtime priest. He is survived by his wife and four children.

Prakash Singh was born on Nov. 1, 1972, and was from New Delhi, India. He was known by his friends and family for being a very caring and hard-working man. He came to the United States in 2005. A granthee at the Sikh Gurdwara of Wisconsin for about six years, Prakash Singh went to India in June, returning with his wife, 11-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter. He was reunited with his family 45 days ago, after 7 years.

Suveg Singh Kattra was born on July 6, 1928, in Patiala, Punjab, India. He made his living by farming and decided to emigrate to the United States in 2004. He lived with his family and was known to come to the gurdwara early in the morning and stay through the evening. He will be remembered by those around him for his punctuality in everything he did. He is survived by his five children and seven grandchildren, and will be immensely missed at his granddaughter’s wedding in Haryana, India, this December.

Satwant Singh Kaleka died defending the Gurdwara he built, attempting to fend off a gunman who attacked worshippers Sunday, family members said. He was born June 2, 1947, in Kaleki Dugal, Punjab, India. Satwant Singh came to the United States in 1982 with $100 in his pocket and worked tirelessly to give back to others, build a solid foundation and future for his family, as well as build a vibrant Sikh community in the south of the city. He was the go-to man in every situation, many people said. Satwant Singh spearheaded the growth of the congregation, and has been president of the gurdwara since 1996. He leaves behind his wife, two sons and three grandchildren.




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