Obituaries: Jagbir Singh Bedi (1946 to 2016) and Indu Bedi (1948 to 2016)

They struggled to survive with their catering skills

Jagbir Singh and Indu Bedi

On December 23 last year, Jagbir Singh Bedi died in Pittsburgh; and just one week after his death, Indu Bedi, his wife and life partner for 45-plus years through the thick and thin of his life, also passed away. Heart problems were the causes for their deaths.

Jagbir Singh was a Partition baby, born in Gujranwala (in Pakistan today). His parents came to India after the Partition. Indu was born in Amritsar, Punjab. Jagbir Singh owned a business in India before they migrated to the US in 1984, landing in Pittsburgh.

In Pittsburgh, Jagbir Singh used his natural entrepreneurial instincts to start businesses in Indian groceries (Home Fair) and restaurants (Vegetarian Delight and Durbar). However, the businesses did not last. The Bedis stoically bore their disappointments, accepting them as part of life. They tried to stand on their own feet by servicing the catering needs of Indians in the Tri-State area.

About ten years ago I once saw him when he was in his early 60s working with his wife in their catering kitchen in Monroeville. They were sweating it out in the mid-August heat in front of a large kadai (wok) deep-frying samosas and making chicken and lamb items for his clients.

Jagbir Singh had a wry sense of humor. Laughingly he once recalled his experience selling his restaurant to Indians who had no experience in the restaurant business. “Do you know they had twelve partners? Can you imagine running a restaurant with twelve partners?” Laughingly he continued: “I am having difficulty running this place with my family!”

The Bedis leave behind two sons and a daughter. Gagan is in India and Sandeep is in Pittsburgh. Their daughter Poonam lives in Houston, TX; Jagbir’s brother Datar Singh and his family and his nephews and nieces live in Pittsburgh.

The Bedis were cremated in Pittsburgh following the Sikh rites.

— By Kollengode S Venkataraman  ♣

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