September 5, 1928 – March 14, 2022
Modesto, California – On March 14, 2022, Master Avtar Singh Samra, lovingly known as “Papay” to his family, spent his final moments surrounded by loved ones in Modesto, CA at the age of 93.
Mr. Samra was born in the Indian village of Samrai, Punjab on September 5, 1928, to the late Sardar Sadhu Singh and the late Bibi Gian Kaur. In 1952, he graduated from Lyallpur Khalsa College in Jalandhar where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in teaching. Mr. Samra worked as a math and social studies teacher at the Government High School of Samarai, Jalandhar from 1952 to 1977 where he also coached field hockey. Mr. Samra was an inspiration to his students and deeply respected for the immense impact on the community.
In 1977, Mr. Samra immigrated to the United States with his late wife, Jernail Kaur, and their five children. His passion for knowledge and education continued as he attended Modesto Junior College to gain skills in Accounting and English. Mr. Samra spent the next 16 years as an accounting clerk for the City of Modesto and retired in 1995.
Avtar Samra, a 45 year resident of Modesto, CA, built a legacy of deep bonds within the Sikh community of California as a teacher and mentor to countless first generation migrants from the state of Punjab.
Mr. Samra is survived by his children, Gurkamal Sandhu, Manmohan Sidhu, Kulwant Dhaliwal, Gurbax Sandhu, Sukhbir Samra, 15 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren.
Mr. Samra enjoyed reading, writing, poetry, and watching sports with his grandchildren. He was fluent in Punjabi, Urdu, Sanskrit, and English. He was passionate about studying Sikhism and spreading the message of Gurbani to his loved ones and to his community. He was a respected member of the Sikh Temple of Modesto/Ceres. The community recognizes Avtar’s leadership and contribution as he leaves an everlasting legacy.
Master Avtar Singh Samra will be remembered as a peaceful, intelligent, and joyous individual with a grand heart and a gentle soul. Mr. Samra can be described as the quietest person in the room, yet his presence had the most impact. He made every decision with love and put everyone else’s thoughts and needs before his own. He left a meaningful impression on anyone that he met – whether it be a neighbor, a friend, or someone he had met only once.
Papay you will be missed dearly by your friends, family, and the community you shaped. We will continue to teach our children your values and carry on your legacy.
A funeral will be held at Allen Mortuary on Sunday, March 20, 2022 starting at 12:00pm.
A livestream of the service can be viewed by following the link: viewlogies.net