Dr. Ram Pershad Saini, born July 15, 1942, was called by God to his next cycle of rebirth on the 7th day of the 7th month at the age of 77; seven being a very symbolic representation in Hindu scripture.
Dr. Saini was born in the village of Haripur in Haryana, India. He was a sibling to three brothers and five sisters. He came to the U.S. in 1966 and lived in Turlock, California with his wife since 1973. He has three children, nine grandchildren, and multiple extended relatives that he raised as his own and helped to settle down. He firmly believed in the closeness and unity of family and community. He brought and maintained his immediate and extended family in Turlock, with six Saini family houses within just two square miles of his own home, much like the close-knit village community he lived in with his family in India. His primary joy in life was to continually host get-togethers with family and friends, and weekly, if not daily, family gatherings and meals with his children and grandchildren. He had an immense passion for traveling, cooking, barbecuing, walking, and gardening. Dr. Saini shared his produce with all; he was the kind of man to not only share the fruits of his labor, but bring them to your doorstep himself. His famous greenhouse in his backyard has automated cooling in the summer, heating in the winter, and a full self-watering system. It was part of his traditional house tour he gave to family, friends, government figures, and even Bollywood actors. He also loved photography. He was the first one to jump up and take pictures of every moment he lived and every occasion in which he was invited. His philosophy was that if you did not take pictures of an event, the event did not really happen. He was also a huge San Francisco 49ers fan and met Joe Montana, Steve Young, Charles Haley, and Ronnie Lott. He enjoyed games at Candlestick, Levi, huge Super Bowl parties, and of course comfortably on his couch on Sunday afternoons.
He received his Bachelor of Science in Poultry Science from California Polytechnic State University. He then received his Master of Science and Ph.D. in Health Services Management from Century University. He worked for local companies such as Foster Farms, Valley Fresh Food, Chemland, and Preserve International. He was a member of the Poultry Science Association, American Society of Safety Engineers, Council for Agricultural Scientific Task, Pacific Egg and Poultry Association, and founder of the Poultry Cooperative Society in Punjab, India under USAid. He has published 7 papers for his cutting edge research in poultry health science which has greatly impacted the entire field of agriculture. He also conducted many projects in business development, real estate investing, and was a member of the City of Turlock Advisory Committee on Economic Development.
Alongside his wife, Swarana, Dr. Saini taught his family and community the importance of education and service towards society. He wanted everyone to learn to their maximum potential of their education or trade and share that knowledge and wealth with those less fortunate. With the unending support of his wife in every endeavor, he collaborated to raise millions of dollars or many different causes. Internationally, he raised money for tsunami victims in Indonesia, earthquake victims in India, 20 eye hospitals in India for the goal of 20/20 vision by 2020, and opened a trust fund for families in need in India. He also opened a trust fund for poverty stricken children in India for their college education and built a secondary high school in India for underprivileged students to attend for free. Locally, as a member of the Board of Trustees for the California Poultry Scholarship Foundation, he collaborated to fund money for deserving students to pursue an education in Agriculture. He collaborated on the construction of Centennial Park in Turlock. He was Vice-President and Chairman of the Christmas tree food basket for Lion’s Club. To increase cultural awareness, he was a founding member of the India Cultural Society of the Central valley and he donated funds to construct the Singh Walkway in Turlock. He recently joined the Stanislaus Health Foundation and the UC Merced Foundation Board of Trustees. Last month, he donated his entire federal stimulus check to our local United Samaritans Foundation. He always thought of others before himself, even putting aside his safety during the pandemic to volunteer in food kitchens, deliver groceries to those in need, and assist others with their personal and work needs. The humanitarian efforts listed are merely a fraction of what he has done for his local and global community. He is an absolute hero in our eyes for his sacrifice.
Dr. Saini was deeply involved in politics to advocate for those who needed a voice. He was not a man who just watched a problem unfold; rather, he took global issues to the highest level required to make change. He was a member of the Presidential Task Force with former President’s Ronald Reagan and George Bush. He was a member of the Advisory Committee with former Congressman Tony Coelho. He has met former President’s George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, as well as former Vice-President’s Dick Cheney and Al Gore. He collaborated with multiple Congressmen and received personal invitations to the White House. One of his favorite life moments was merging his passions of poultry and politics the day he cooked an omelet breakfast for former President Jimmy Carter in 1979.
Based on all the above work in his field of agriculture, political advocacy, and community service, Dr. Saini was honored with the Man of the Year Award from Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors, Man of the Year Award from Minority Women’s Network of Stanislaus County, Industry Person of the Year by California Poultry Industry, Agricultural Person of the Year Award from Turlock Chamber of Commerce, Community Service Merit Award from National Football League Fact Program, and proclamations from the California Senate, California State Assembly, and the City of Turlock for all his community service efforts.
Dr. Saini was 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; his eldest daughter Anita, son-in-law Chander, and grandchildren Nisha, Anil, and Shaun; his son Paul and grandchildren Amar and Ryan; and his youngest daughter Sunita, son-in-law Avkash, and grandchildren Navin, Alisha, Sachin, and Anisha. Dr. Saini is also survived by relatives in India and America, including multiple extended nieces and nephews and their spouses and children.
Due to the pandemic restrictions, funeral attendance will be limited to relatives only. Services will be live-streamed for all to witness safely from your homes on Saturday, July 18, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.
Password: doctor (all lowercase)
Should connections issues arise, the same link will give you a full recording of the services later that day. There is no limit to the virtual attendance, so please feel free to share with those who would like to pay their last respects to this incredible man and our hero. Thank you.