Surinder Singh, 77, passed away on March 14, 2023 surrounded by love with his wife, Nancy and children, Maya and Xander by his side.
Surinder was born October 31, 1945 to Rabinder Singh and Ajeet Kaur in pre-partition Lahore, India. Surinder graduated from St. Stephen’s College in 1965 with a BA in English Literature with the intention of “setting the world on fire with [his] words.” He went on to earn an MBA in Marketing from the Indian Institute of Management in 1967.
He started his career at Citibank in 1968 after being recruited from business school as an Executive Trainee, kickstarting a 40 year career in Financial Services. He continued to work with Citibank until 1975 when he moved to Chase Manhattan Bank, where he would meet the love of his life, Nancy Turner. Surinder worked with Bankers Trust Company prior to being headhunted by Fidelity Investments, where he would conclude his career as the President of Fidelity India. Surinder had been an instrumental force in establishing Fidelity’s business expansion plans in India and was proud to bring job opportunities to his country of origin by helping to establish this off-shore business.
In October of 1984, Surinder and Nancy pledged to spend their lives together, surrounded by a few dear friends in the picturesque town of Hastings on Hudson, a short distance from their Manhattan home. Their family grew with the birth of their daughter Maya in June of 1985 and then their son Alexander (Xander) in July of 1988.
Over the years Surinder’s career and commitment to family would take them to many places, including his home country of India, Hong Kong, Spain, California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Washington State, Oregon and finally Delaware. With every move Surinder added to his incredible collection of people. Everywhere he went people were drawn to his joyful spirit, intellect and warm energy. His friends will remember him for his talent of causing uproarious laughter at the dinner table, the deep tambour of his baritone singing Elvis songs, and the way he held space for you while you were speaking. Surinder had a special skill for keeping in touch and fostering friendships near and far. All who knew him felt his love and valued his passion for others. He loved Punjabi food; both making it and eating it. And he loved to speak Punjabi with his Aunts Baljeet, Surjeet and Mohini. He reserved his best Punjabi swear words for those he loved the most, his children and grandchildren. Delivered with affection and humor, it was always a private joke that gave him great pleasure.
Those who were fortunate to have been managed and mentored by him in their own careers will remember the way he made work fun with contests and unique team-building experiences and the way he invested in the people that worked with and for him. Surinder understood in a deep and meaningful way that creating a culture where people were allowed to contribute their own special skills and personalities made for a rewarding and fun work environment.
After retiring in 2008 he and Nancy relocated to Washington State so that Nancy could spend time with her parents and siblings. This was a time when Surinder became very familiar with the kitchen and attempted to wrest control from Nancy. He charmed friends who became so important to him in his final years, brothers to the end. He spent time focusing on mentoring young business students through his work as an Executive in Residence at the University of Washington. He enjoyed traveling with Nancy and a few very close friends, around the globe and experiencing the wonder of new places, people and cultures. And of course no retirement plan would have been complete without the enjoyment of fine wine. Surinder’s last job might well have been his favorite as he poured his wines for guests at DeLille Cellars and made them feel welcomed and cared for. In 2019, they moved to the Willamette Valley of Oregon where some of the finest pinot noir wines in the world are grown and where they particularly enjoyed the wines of Winderlea.
To his family, Surinder was more than a husband, father, brother, or uncle. He was the ultimate caregiver. When he saw a need he filled it without question. When it came to the people he loved (and there were many) there was nothing that he would not do to make them feel seen, heard and cared for. He cared for his family with passion, dedication and zero expectation of praise. What he did, he did for others. Surinder’s legacy will be perpetuated by all those who knew him and had the opportunity to receive his love and experience the generosity of his spirit. Remember him with the laughter and love he gave to all that surrounded him.
Surinder was predeceased by his parents Rabinder Singh and Ajeet Kaur, brother Moni Singh and nephew Uday Singh. He is survived by his wife Nancy Singh, his children Maya Singh and Xander Singh, his grandchildren Naveen and Raveena O’Brien, his sister Prabeen Singh and his nieces (whom he loved as his daughters) Nikhat Chahal and Udita Singh. He leaves behind a wealth of friends around the world.
As Surinder’s family and friends are spread far and wide across the globe, no public services are planned. However, if you would care to honor his memory with a donation, the following organizations support causes that were near to his heart.
The Trevor Project (https://give.thetrevorproject.org/)
Mercy Corps (http://www.mercycorp.org)
World Central Kitchen (http://wck.org)
Please share a favorite memory or photo of Surinder with family and friends @ surinder-singh.forevermissed.com
Arrangements by McCrery & Harra Funeral Homes, Wilmington, DE