This is the story of Jarnail Singh Rakkar aka Jelly: a kind, empathetic, hard-working man born on March 14, 1950 in Punjab, India. It is with a heavy heart that we announce his peaceful passing at home on the early morning of June 29, 2021 after a courageous 18-month battle with cancer. He bravely immigrated to the U.S. from Punjab in the 1970s with just $5 to his name and a single goal: to earn $10,000 and return to India. Instead, over the course of his life he became a successful business owner who worked tirelessly to provide a comfortable lifestyle for his family and decided to reside here in the States.
We are so proud to be able to say that he was a very generous and helpful soul. He helped many new immigrants from India settle in America, allowing them to stay in his own home for months at a time. He did not allow any visitors to leave without enjoying a drink and meal first. He taught his kids and all who listened to live loyally, work honestly, respect everyone, and always show hospitality. His benevolence and generosity will live through us.
Jelly was known in the state of Punjab for his deep voice, boyish good looks and mostly as a renowned Kabaddi player, having won multiple championship shields. Even after immigrating he went on to coach his nephew and was honored at Kabaddi tournaments time and time again. As time passed and age sat in, he would get more and more recognized by his distinct voice, laugh, and huge smile.
In his latter years, Jelly enjoyed cooking, jogging, following Punjab’s politics and spending time with family and his best friend Duffee, the family dog. As he transitioned into retirement he was excited about finally having enough time to start growing his own vegetables. Being diagnosed with cancer at the same time the Coronavirus brought on the quarantine prevented family and friends from visiting; not being able to see his loved ones took its toll on him. The silver lining in this is that he was able to concentrate on his health and treatment, far exceed his doctors expectations.
Jelly’s last moments were full of peace and quiet. He stared out of his bedroom window at the moon and stars as he went to sleep for the last time.
He is survived by his loving wife, Satwinder Kaur; siblings Avtar Kaur, Jagtar Singh, Kulwant Kaur, Karnail Singh, and Manjit Kaur; daughters Jaspreet (Charan) and Balwinder (Hesham) and son Manjot (Poonam); grandchildren Ashleen, Amrin, Jaiden, Maya, and Amira; and his beloved dog, Duffee. He is preceded in death by his parents Thakar Singh and Charan Kaur; elder brother Sohan Singh; and son Amanjot “Prince”.
Services will be Saturday, 7/3 2-4pm
North Sacramento Funeral Home
725 El Camino Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95815
Following the service will be a Sehaj Paath Bhog 4–5:30pm
1541 Jessie Ave
Sacramento, CA 95838
To send flowers to Jarnail's family, please visit our floral store.