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Hardial Singh Hunji

1916 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Hardial Singh Hunji Obituary

Hardial Singh Hunji passed away peacefully on January 2, 2017, surrounded by family members, just short of his 101st birthday.

He was born on February 2, 1916, to the proud parents of Gurdas Singh and Dhanti Devi. Hardial's father first came to the United States in 1910 from the Village of Moggowal, District Hoshiarpur, Punjab, India. Hardial followed in 1948, representing the first generation of Indian immigrants to the Yuba-Sutter area. He was joined by his mother Dhanti, his wife Kushlia, and daughters Ablasha and Amer in 1952. A third daughter, Prem, was born in Yuba City. Hardial was very proud that his late wife Kushlia went to college in her 50's, learned English and became a well-respected real estate broker.

The Hunji family history is one of courage, vision and hope. Hardial came to the United States penniless. At that time immigrants were not allowed to own land. He worked from dawn to dusk. Through long hours of hard work and sacrifice, he was eventually able to purchase property. Hardial became a successful peach, walnut and prune farmer.

He was a leader in the East Indian community, contributing selflessly to many charitable organizations here and abroad.

A Sikh Indian, among his most poignant contributions was donating $1.8 million in land and cash in 1995 to build the Sri Narayan Temple. He honored the love for his late wife whose dream was to build a local Hindu temple where all are welcome to worship. Serving as its President and carrying forward her legacy was one of his greatest pleasures and satisfactions of life.

He was also a generous contributor to the Bogue Road Guru Nanak Sikh Temple. Among his donations abroad included giving property and cash to the Gurdwara in Moggowal, feeding the poor, and helping those hit by natural disasters.

Among his contributions to the local American community, he celebrated his 99th birthday by giving presents to others. He donated substantial sums to the Salvation Army for the homeless and Rideout Foundation for what will be known as the Hunji Café in the hospital's new expansion.

Everyone knew Daddy. He was a wonderful man cheerfully greeting everyone. He was a kind, generous, and humble man who lived a simple long life. He cared deeply about his family and his community. Daddy will be sorely missed.

He is survived by his three daughters, Ablasha Hunji Thomas, Amer Hunji Holmes, Prem Hunji (and Richard) Turner, and grandchildren Tracy and Chris Holmes.

Services will be held Sunday, January 8, 2017 at Ullrey Memorial Chapel at 11:00 am, followed by Bhog at Guru Nanak Sikh Temple on Bogue Rd, Yuba City. A Celebration of Life and Rasam Kirya will be held January 14, 2017, 12:00 noon at Sri Narayan Hindu Temple on Franklin Rd, Yuba City.

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Published in Appeal Democrat from Jan. 6 to Jan. 8, 2017
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