Jai Hari Kaur Khalsa was the eldest of three daughters born to John and Norma Lee Priel. As an outgoing child, she made friends easily, and enjoyed playing with her sisters and cousins. She was always a good student and enjoyed drawing, painting and working with clay. She once made a fish spoon, that my grandmother still has, resting on her stove!
Jai Hari’s kindness and friendliness evolved into a very funny personality. In her high school years she was known as the class clown. For one hilarious skit she borrowed her mom’s girdle and spray-painted it with gold paint and then proceeded to prance around the school wearing the golden girdle. From then on she was known as the Golden Girdle Girl. Needless to say, my grandmother did not want her girdle back!
After high school, Jai Hari attended Clark College for two years, working towards a degree in Dental Hygiene. At Clark she found her love of sports, and joined the fencing team. Like everything she put her heart into, she exceeded at fencing and won many matches.
After Clark she went on to finish her four-year degree at Oregon Health Sciences University. While there, she met a gentleman from Switzerland who offered her a job as a Dental Hygienist after graduation. So she headed off for a two-year adventure in Switzerland – What a great first job experience!
Jai Hari moved to Bend, Oregon in the early ‘70s. She had a love for the outdoors and Bend was able to feed that love—with hiking, kayaking, cross-country skiing, biking, and many long walks around the countryside. Over the 40-plus years there, she worked as a dental hygienist and massage therapist, owned and operated a health food store, taught cooking and yoga classes, etc. etc. Finally Jai Hari began her healing work, which she continued when she moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico.
One of Jai Hari’s greatest joys in life was her daughter, Shabd Simran Kaur. She was so proud of her and the woman she had become. Shabd Simran blessed Jai Hari with three beautiful grandchildren, Sohaila, Saajan, and Sundesh. They were the other greatest joys of her final years. She always wanted to know what they were up to and very much enjoyed their visits.
Jai Hari Kaur was a woman of strength, kindness, love, and determination. She exuded positivity that touched everyone who knew her. She was a wonderful daughter, mother, sister, aunt, but her most important role was “Nani”. She was a beautiful human being who was loved very much and will be so missed!