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Satwant Singh Kaleka Obituary

Image via Flickr Creative Commons / hanspoldoja
Image via Flickr Creative Commons / hanspoldoja
The president of the temple died defending his gift to the next generation.

Satwant Singh Kaleka, 65, managed to find a simple butter knife in the temple and tried to stab the gunman even after being shot twice near the hip or upper leg, his son said Monday.

Amardeep Singh Kaleka said FBI agents hugged him Sunday, shook his hand and said, "Your dad's a hero" for fighting to the death while protecting others.

"Whatever time he spent in that struggle gave the women time to get cover" in the kitchen, Kaleka said. One of the women was his mother, who called police using her cellphone while hiding from the gunman.

Relatives said Kaleka dedicated his life to the members of the Oak Creek temple, of which he was considered the founder. He was also one of the lead investors in the building's construction.

His nephew Jatinder Mangat said Kaleka was always willing to help out with any job.

"He doesn't care what he's wearing, what he's doing, he'll just be there for you," Mangat said. "We used to say 'It's OK, we'll have somebody else do it,' and he'd say, 'No, no, I'll do it,' even if it was a dirty job. He'll do anything."

Another nephew, Gurmit Kaleka, also spoke of his uncle's willingness to serve.

"He was a great guy who always believed in social service. He was always willing to help anyone who came his way," Kaleka said.

DINESH RAMDE,Associated Press

GRETCHEN EHLKE,Associated Press


Copyright © 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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