March 6, 1951 – February 7, 2022
SS Guru Prem Kaur Khalsa was born in Chicago, IL on March 6, 1951, as Nancy Mary Ule. Shegrew up in Southern California, where she graduated from Rolling Hills High School in 1969 and then attended UCLA. From the time she was very small she was not quite of this world, being innately attuned to that of the spirit. She seemed to cope with childhood traumas by finding solace in her inner world.
Guru Prem was uniquely beautiful, quite slender, nearly 6 feet tall (“5 foot 11 and one half” as she would say), and carried a distinct air of mystery. These qualities made her the love of the camera lens; so much so, that in her late teens she was on the verge of a professional modeling career. She was drawn away from that path after attending her first Kundalini Yoga class in January 1971. Almost immediately she dropped out of college, moved into an ashram in West L.A., and then attended her first Summer Solstice Sadhana in Paonia, CO that same year.
At the 1972 Summer Solstice she married a handsome young man and they had one child, Adi Shakti Kaur. She and her husband became ministers of Sikh Dharma and took their Amrit vows. She is the only person I know who, from that day of Amrit Sanchar, faithfully recited the complete Nitnem every single day, until perhaps 1-2 years ago when Alzheimer’s took away her memory of it.
When she and her first husband were divorced, she lost custody of her toddler daughter due largely to her own mother’s testimony that she was an unfit mother. I don’t believe Guru Prem Kaur ever recovered from that double trauma of loss and betrayal.
Throughout multiple marriages, living up and down the West Coast, and finally settling in Espanola about 25 years ago, she maintained a deep love for the Gurus and serving in Gurdwara. She was an avid student of Gurmukhi, Punjabi, and even Hindi, all in efforts to better understand Siri Guru Granth Sahib. She knew more stories from Sikh history than most of us. In the early 2000s she traveled to India with a sole purpose: to meditate within Hari Mandir Sahib. Many students experienced being in the presence of Darbar Sahib and its healing sarovar through “Journey to the Golden Temple” guided meditations offered by Guru Prem Kaur at Summer Solstices and elsewhere.
Numerous now adult children remember with love, being a student in one of her exquisite pre-school programs that she ran in Los Angeles and then later in Espanola. She connected easily and joyfully with small children and found so much fulfillment in this work! This carried over to Sunday Gurdwara services at Hacienda de Guru Ram Das, where you could always spot her tall silhouette at the very front, delightfully leading the little ones in Celestial Communication for many years.
Guru Prem Kaur never had much more than a very basic income, but she felt great wealth in her life and never felt “poor” at all. She lived simply, kept her cozy homes immaculate and organized and, despite all hardships, was always attired in elegant bana, carrying herself with the regal bearing of a daughter of the Guru.
Our beloved sister Guru Prem Kaur left this world at last on February 7, 2022, due to Alzheimer’s Disease. She is survived by her daughter Adi Shakti Kaur and siblings, Carol, Siri Ved Kaur, and Robert. Her ashes are scattered at Kiratpur Sahib and Ram Das Puri, as she remains forever now in the lap of Guru.