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Ag, community leader dies at 77
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Dr. Ram Saini prepares to give his acceptance speech at the 2015 Best of Turlock awards ceremony where he was named Agriculture Leader of the Year (Journal file photo).

Turlock philanthropist and agricultural leader Dr. Ram Saini died July 7 at the age of 77.

An expert in poultry science, the devoted family man was known throughout the community for his generosity and desire to increase cultural awareness.

Saini was a member of the California Poultry Federation Board of Directors, Board of Trustees for the California Poultry Scholarship Foundation, a founding member of the India Cultural Society of the Central Valley and Stanislas Health Foundation. He has been honored with Man of the Year or Agricultural Leader of the Year from the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors, Minority Women’s Network of Stanislaus County, California Poultry Industry and Turlock Chamber of Commerce.

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Dr. Saini helps prepare sandwiches for the United Samaritans Foundation lunch program in May of this year. He and his wife donated their federal stimulus checks to the Turlock nonprofit (Photo contributed).

He collaborated on the construction of Centennial Park and was the driving force in the naming of the Singh Walkway in northwest Turlock in 2014.

“Ram was a good friend and will be sorely missed. He was an important leader within Stanislaus County’s Sikh community. Ram was also an important member of the Turlock Chamber of Commerce. (He was) very energetic with a big heart for Turlock. Our city was blessed with Ram,” said former Turlock mayor John Lazar, who worked with Saini on the naming of Singh Walkway.

He continued to seek the betterment of Turlock, and just two months ago he and his wife, Swarana, donated their federal stimulus checks in the amount of $2,400 to the United Samaritans Foundation.

“We feel like there are a lot of people a lot worse off than us and we thought we could help them at this time,” said Saini in May about his donation.

Saini spread his good works across the globe, specifically in his native country of India.

He helped build a high school in India for underprivileged students to attend for free, funded a college trust for the poverty stricken seeking to attend college and sponsored the building of 20 eye hospitals in India for the goal of 20/20 vision by 2020. He also made significant contributions to tsunami victims in Indonesia and earthquake victims in India.

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Dr. Saini expresses his gratitude to Mayor John Lazar and city officials and staff before unveiling the Singh Walkway sign in June 2014 (Journal file photo).

Politics was another interest of Saini’s and over the years, he has been able to meet quite a few U.S. Presidents, including Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. According to his family, one of his favorite life moments was merging his passions of poultry and politics the day he cooked an omelet breakfast for President Jimmy Carter in 1979.

Dr. Saini is preceded in death by his father Punnu Ram Saini and mother Kauri Devi Saini. He is survived by his wife of 64 years Swarana Saini, eldest daughter Anita (Chandler) and her children Nisha, Anil and Shaun; his son Paul and his children Amar and Ryan; and his youngest daughter Sunita (Avkash) and her children Navin, Alisha, Sachin and Anisha. He is also survived by relatives in India and America, including multiple nieces and nephews and their spouses and children.

Due to the coronavirus, the funeral will be attended by immediate family only and live-streamed at 10 a.m. July 18. To view, visit and the password is “doctor” all lowercase.

To read Dr. Saini’s complete obituary, visit