Jai Hari Kaur was the oldest of 3 daughters born to John and Norma Lee Priel. She was a delightful child that was very friendly and made friends very easily. As a child she enjoyed playing with her sisters, friends and cousins. She was always a good student and enjoyed drawing, painting and working with clay. My grandmother still has a fish spoon rest on her stove that was made by Jai Hari Kaur.
After high school, she attended Clark College for 2 years working towards a dental hygienist degree. It was at Clark that she found her love of sports. She had to pick a sport to get some athletic credits, so she 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 4 year dental hygienist degree at Oregon Health Sciences University. While obtaining her degree, she met a gentleman from Switzerland who was studying at the university to become a dentist. He offered Jai Hari Kaur a job in Switzerland as a dental hygienist after graduation.
So, she headed off to her adventure in Switzerland for 2 years where she worked as a dental hygienist. What a great first job experience! Friends and family visited her during this time, including my Mom. After graduating college herself, my Mom rewarded herself with a visit to Switzerland to visit Jai Hari Kaur and they enjoyed many travels around Europe, visiting many countries and always using fake names in each country. My Mom liked to talk about how they were Bertha and Helga in Germany. Many good times were had!
Returning home from Switzerland, she worked for a time as a dental hygienist in the Portland area. Longing for a quieter environment and smaller city, she found a job in Bend, Oregon and moved there in the early 70’s. One of the best moves of her life because it led to a 40+ year wonderful life in Bend. Over the years she worked as a dental hygienist, owned and operated a health foods store, taught cooking classes at the local community college, taught yoga, was a massage therapist and finally began her healing work, which she continued with her move to Santa Fe. Jai Hari had a love for the outdoors and Bend was able to feed that love. She enjoyed many years of hiking, kayaking, cross country skiing, biking, and many long walks around the countryside.
One of her pride and joys was her daughter, Shabd Simran Kaur. She was so proud of her and the woman she had become. Shabd Simran blessed Jai Hari with 3 beautiful grandchildren, Sohaila, Saajan, and Sundesh. They were her pride and joy in the last years. She always wanted to know what they were up to and very much enjoyed their visits.
Jai Hari was a woman of strength, kindness, love, and determination. She exuded positivity that touched everyone that she was with. 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!