LIVES LIVED: Madam Tharmo Kaur

May 14, 1935 - November 13, 2017

On November 13, 2017, at the age of 82 and surrounded by family, Madam Tharmo Kaur passed away as she lived, with amazing grace.
Born into a devout Sikh family in Punjab, India on May 14, 1935, the baby Tharmo was brought to Malaysia by her mother, Madam Dalip Kaur, who was joining her husband Giani Gurdit Singh.

Tharmo was only two months old when the family moved to Tapah, Malaysia to be re-united with her father, a prominent Sikh priest known affectionately as “Baba Tal”. From a young age, Tharmo was destined to play a key role in her family life. Among her first duties was the sewa (service) of preparing her father’s bath every morning – a tradition handed down through the generations of her family.

As a young girl, Tharmo became a mainstay for her father’s spiritual work. Whether she was greeting congregants who trekked daily to their house for moral and spiritual support, or traveling with her father to the far corners of Malaysia, Tharmo always managed to meet life’s challenges with optimism and an unwavering smile. That sense of grace under pressure was a quality Tharmo demonstrated from an early age, one which undoubtedly was rooted in her deep faith and devotion to the Guru Granth Sahib, the spiritual guide for all Sikhs.

As she grew into a beautiful young girl, Tharmo attracted many suitors but was eventually engaged to a dashing young man, Sewa Singh, the only son of long-time family friend and Malaysian tin-mining legend, Sardar Balwant Singh “Kepala” and Madam Raj Kaur. The families had known each other for over a quarter century. The marriage between Tharmo and Sewa Singh, would turn out to truly be a match made in heaven. The childhood friends became husband and wife and had six children.

After marriage, the young couple, set up home in the tin mining hamlet of Tanjung Tualang on the northern coast of Malaysia. They prospered as Sewa Singh, an engineer, rose to the top of his profession and became a Dredge Master – he was the first Sikh to hold such an esteemed position in Malaysia.

The couple, leaders in their community, gave freely to those less fortunate than them and shared their bounty with anyone who entered their lives. Tharmo would often travel to India to buy batches of hundreds of field hockey sticks which she would distribute to local children via the Sikh Naujawan Sabha, a Malaysian institution her husband had help establish.

Tharmo lived according to the Sikh spiritual principle of ‘Sarbat da Bhala’, sharing with others. Over the years, she and her husband supported many of their neighborhood kids with educational scholarships, sporting ventures and money for their weddings.

When she wasn’t giving through charity, Tharmo helped others by nourishing them. 

Wherever she lived, from Malaysia to Canada, her kitchen was the go-to-place for all her friends and family – children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. In her later years, it was truly a grandmother’s kitchen: a warm, well-lighted place where everyone found a flavourful meal, laughter, and captivating stories.

Tharmo and her husband moved to Toronto in 1989 to provide better opportunities for their children. They settled in Thornhill, and later in 2008 to the community of Rosedale Village in Brampton. From here, the senior couple oversaw the Sewak clan and travelled together to numerous birthdays, weddings, births and family gatherings. They were always particularly keen to celebrate the educational milestones reached by the younger generations of the family.

This busy social schedule continued after the family patriarch and Tharmo’s life-partner, Sewa Singh, passed away on 14 September 2008. She remained resilient and optimistic no matter the challenge.

Till her last breath, family was always first for Madam Tharmo Kaur. Her dedication and unconditional support to family and friends and her laughter and wisdom will be a constant source of inspiration to all of us.

Before she took her last breath, Madam Tharmo Kaur told her children, “Someday when the pages of my life end, I know that you will be among its most beautiful chapters.”

Funeral Service
Time: 2:00pm to 5:00pm
Date: Saturday 18 November 2017
Brampton Crematorium & Visitation Centre
30 Bramwin Court, Brampton Ontario

Bhog Ceremony
Time : 5.30pm to 7:00pm
Date: Saturday 18 November 2017
Sri Guru Nanak Sikh Center
99 Glidden Rd, Brampton, ON L6T 2H8

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