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PURI, Jang Bahadur

September 22, 1947 – New Delhi, India
September 28, 2016 – Calgary, Alberta

“The river that flows in you also flows in me.”
– Kabir (the Mystic Saint, circa 1400)

It is with great sadness and heartbreak that the family of Jang Bahadur Puri announces his passing which occurred in the early morning of September 28, 2016. Jang passed away six days after turning the age of 69, while being surrounded by his loving family, after a heroic and long hard fought battle with diabetes and a multitude of other related illnesses.

Jang was born on September 22, 1947 in New Delhi, India where he spent most of his young life. Upon meeting the love of his life Jennifer Baker, Jang followed her to London, England in January of 1975, where they married in May of that year. A few years later, Jang and Jennifer joyfully welcomed their first son Kabir, in London.

After working in England for several years, Jang immigrated with his family to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada to work for the Government of Alberta. While still in Edmonton, Jang’s second son Omar was born, followed by his daughter Anouska. Never one to miss out on an adventure, Jang moved his family to Calgary in 1988 in order to pursue a new business opportunity. Calgary was Jang’s home for the remainder of his life.

Jang is survived by his ever loving wife, Jennifer Puri of 41 years and his loving children Kabir Puri (married to Karen McKay), Omar Puri, and Anouska Paul (married to Dakota Paul). Jang loved and adored his daughter-in-law Karen and son-in-law Dakota as his own children. He was immensely proud of his wife and all five of his children; and was also the proud grandfather of Willa Evangeline Sunayna Puri, daughter of Kabir and Karen.

Jang is also survived by his beloved brother Tarun Puri (married to Anjali Puri), nieces, nephews, and numerous cousins in India and around the world. Tarun is now the last surviving member from the original Puri family, with whom Jang maintained a very close bond until his death, despite living thousands of miles apart. This was evident by the frequent calls over the years between the two brothers, often into the early hours of the morning. While Jang was very proud to be a Canadian (he achieved his citizenship in March 2005), a part of him always remained in India. One of the greatest gifts Jang received in his final years was the visit to Canada made by Tarun in September 2014 for Anouska and Dakota’s wedding.

Jang was predeceased by his parents Sham Lal Puri and Kaushaliya Puri of New Delhi, India, and by his sister Manju Puri and niece Priya Puri. The deaths of Jang’s sister and niece were heartbreaking for him and he has now been reunited with them forever. Jang had a deep love and respect for his parents, passing on many of the lessons he learned from them to his own children. Jang also had a tremendous amount of respect and love for Jennifer’s family, the Bakers and the Berrys; and long standing family friends the Dewings and Babwahs whom he met in London.

Jang was an accountant by profession and worked for several accounting practices during his long working life and career. At the core of his spirit, he was an entrepreneur, which shone through the many businesses and investments he and his wife created. While this required great strength and determination, it allowed Jang and Jennifer to give their children a life and advantages any child would be grateful to have. Jang deeply loved his family and the company of close friends, for them the door was always open and the glass was always full, values that his family will always honour. The close friendships Jang forged during his early days in London, Edmonton, and Calgary remained with him until the end of his life.

With the exception of his final years, Jang travelled extensively during his life, with Jennifer and the children close by his side. Having lived on three continents and seeing much of Asia, Europe, and North America made Jang a worldly man, giving him a strong understanding and appreciation for other cultures, attitudes, cuisines, and tastes. Jang taught his children to try anything at least once, to be accepting of people from all walks of life, and most importantly to be confident in who they were and comfortable in their own skin, as he was.

Jang was a large and powerful man for most of his life, whose heart was as big as his physical stature. He was a risk taker and loved to negotiate a good deal. Jang was bold and fearless in the pursuit of anything he wanted, especially when it came to the wellbeing of his family. He was a charming, charismatic, commanding, and one-of-a-kind character who made an indelible impression on all those who knew him, whether it was for a brief moment or over many years. When Jang stepped into a room, you knew it, for better or worse. He was blessed with a fierce intellect, a talent for computing numbers and business strategy, an elephant’s memory, and a mind that was always churning. It was this strength of mind, stubbornness, and sheer will that allowed Jang to persevere in the face of incredible pain and illness during his later years. While Jang was human and had his share of flaws like the rest of us, including being unapologetically blunt and temperamental at times, he was also wonderfully caring, compassionate, and generous. It was this contrast of qualities that endeared him to so many. Throughout his 69 years, Jang truly lived life to the fullest and took every day as it came, always taking the time to appreciate along the way, his favourite things: a nice bottle of scotch; a good chew of tobacco; a compelling CBC radio program; a spirited debate with his family; a beautiful piece of classical music; a lovely Hindi song to remind him of his East Indian family and heritage; and perhaps most important to him in his final year, a hug and kiss from his beloved granddaughter.

Jang loved each member of his immediate family equally and unconditionally throughout his life. Jennifer was his rock, partner, and best friend; while Kabir and Omar were his proud sons. Jang had a soft spot for Anouska, his little girl, his “princess”, that was undeniable. During his final five years, Jang experienced a new joy, the company of his cherished granddaughter Willa, whom he could never spoil too much, and for whom “nothing was too good”.

Jang had significant medical needs in his later years. As such, Jang’s family wishes to take this opportunity to extend their heartfelt thanks to Jang’s team of caregivers, with a special thank you to Jonathan, Janet, and Noren. A huge thank you also to Jang’s family doctors, the loving and caring Dr. Hazel Fegler (dec. 2010) and Dr. Maria Celis whose empathy, patience, and wound care skills reached far beyond her clinic walls; Dr. Scott for his ongoing attention to Jang’s overall medical care; Dr. Brent Haverstock who kept him walking longer than we ever thought he would; the Home Care team headed by Bernadette Galloway, and nurses Heather, Rochelle, and Valerie who kept his health care needs on schedule as much as they possibly could; Queenie Shum, Jang’s all-time favourite pharmacist who showed incredible patience and understanding of Jang’s pharmaceutical needs; the staff at Sheldon M. Chumir Hospital for their ongoing attention to Jang’s wound care; and the HTPT clinic at Rockyview Hospital, as well as all those who looked after Jang during his long illness, culminating at the South Health Campus Hospital.

In keeping with Jang’s wishes, a private cremation will take place on Friday, October 7, 2016. Condolences for the Puri family may be posted here and donations can be made directly to the Canadian Diabetes Foundation (http://www.diabetes.ca) in Jang’s name. A Celebration of Life for Jang will be held at a future date, details of which will be announced shortly by the Puri family.

Jang Bahadur translates to “Brave Warrior” and that is how Jang lived his whole life and faced his illness in his later years. The Puri family has no doubt that Jang has been embraced by the arms of God and is thoroughly enjoying walking around and laughing in Heaven, with his loved ones that passed before him. Walking was something Jang was not able but desperately wanted to do in his final years. Jang left this world the same way he lived his life – on his own terms. His legacy will live on in his wife, children, their spouses, and grandchild, because for Jang, nothing meant more than family.

Jang Bahadur Puri is forever loved and suffers no more. His memory lives on.

The below poem has been specifically selected by the Puri family to represent how we feel about Jang now and forever:

Family Chain
We little knew that morning,
God was going to call your name.
In life we loved your dearly,
In death we do the same.

It broke our hearts to lose you,
You did not go alone,
For part of us went with you,
the day God called you home.

You left us beautiful memories,
Your love is still our guide
And though we cannot see you,
You are always by our side.

Our family chain is broken
And nothing seems the same
But as God calls us one by one
The chain will link again.

Author: Ron Tranmer

Relatives and friends are invited to Prayers at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY (Deerfoot South, 12281 – 40th Street S.E.) on Thursday, October 7, 2016 at 3:30 p.m.

In living memory of Jang Puri, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Deerfoot South, 12281 – 40th STREET S.E.. Telephone: 403-203-0525.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Afzal Currimbhoy

    We are so sorry of your loss. Our friend Jang, his memory will always been in our hearts.
    Your friends, Afzal and Verna

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  2. Pam & Ernie Schellenberg

    Our sincere sympathy to you and your Family Jennifer. Our thoughts are with you.

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  3. My deepest sympathy Jen to you & your family. My thoughts are with you.

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  4. My deepest condelences Anouska to you and your family. You are and will be as strong as you have always been with the guidance and love from your father.

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  5. We are so sorry to hear of your family’s loss. We did not know Jang personally but Omar is a good friend of our sons, and if the measure of a man is in his children, Jang was indeed a wonderful man and will be greatly missed.
    Katy and Don Anderson

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  6. Dear Jennifer,
    I just found out from Geri that your husband had passed away. I wanted to send my sincere condolences on your loss. Knowing what a strong person you are, and the close family that surrounds you, I know you will carry on and move ahead.
    All the best for the New Year!
    Sincerely,
    Karen Narvey

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  7. I befriended Omar when I was 14 and weighed 75 lbs. The first time I met Jang I whispered to Omar ” your dad is 7′ tall and 300 lbs.!” I was seriously intimidated but somehow at the same time felt safe and welcomed. In the years that followed I always looked forward to our encounters. Jang was a remarkable man and that left a powerful impression on me!

    Aaron Nickel

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  8. Well Dad, it has been almost a year since you left us, and only now have I been able to summon up the courage to write this.

    You were the best man I ever knew, the greatest father a son could ask for. You will always be in my heart; the lessons you taught me will guide me for the rest of my life. I am you, you are me.

    Not a day goes by that I don’t think about you and miss you. The pain is now starting to turn into amazing memories that I will cherish forever. I miss you so much and would do anything to feel the grasp of your hand or the timbre of your voice. But I also know you are now in a place without sorrow and pain. And this makes me happy.

    Farewell (for now) my father, my hero, my best friend. I look forward to the day we are reunited, beyond this world, beyond time and space.

    Your ever loving son,
    Kabir

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  9. After Jang’s demise, I feel like an orphan. God bless his him where ever he is. RIP bro.

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