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Rosario with her family
Rosario with her mother, stepfather, and four of five siblings in L.A.

Purn died of a heart attack in 1942, right after Armistice Day. Rosario moved with her children back to downtown Los Angeles, close to her mother and sisters. She worked as a seamstress for a while, although Purn Singh's estate continued to support her and her children. In 1944, she married Bhag Singh and went with him to Fresno, where they snapped up acres of vineyards at a bargain price with an Armenian-American farmer fronting for them. It was a distress sale by a Japanese family leaving for Manzanar. Gloria stayed in L.A. and went to a Catholic boarding school, but the boys went north and got their first taste of farming.

Hector remembers moving back to Imperial in the summer of 1949. When the "white" public school refused the boys admission, Bhag Singh went and argued until the Principal gave in. It is this kind of tenacity that turned the Saikhon operation into a multi-million dollar agribusiness over the next two decades.

Purn with two of his children
Purn with two of his children

Mario joined the U.S. Army, served in Texas, married Dora, a Texan, and returned to take charge of the Saikhon family operations. His tenure was not without controversy. On the one hand, he built a reputation as an innovator, a hard worker and philanthropist. On the other, his relationship with the United Farm Workers was marred by bitter, often violent, labor disputes. At the end of his life, he ran afoul of the IRS as well. The family business is now in the hands of his son, Jeff. He and Dora also have three daughters.

Gloria returned to Brawley along with her brothers, her mother, and stepfather. She married Johnny, son of Phoman and Silveria Singh. They have their own farming operation and live in Brawley along with their children and grandchildren.

Hector also farmed in Central and Southern California, but has now retired. He has been married twice, the second time to Norma, daughter of Consuelo and Mota Singh, and has two sons.

Rosario at her first communion
Rosario at her first communion

Rosario remembered the arrival of the first wives from Punjab after the immigration laws changed. She drove them around, took them to the doctor when necessary, and helped them settle into their new lifestyle. Bachan Kaur, one of those wives, remembers with gratitude, the support she received from the "Mexican wives." However, there would be no more "Mexican wives" in her family.

Rosario passed away in 1999. A few years earlier, her granddaughter Carol arranged for her to have an audience with the Pope in the Vatican. It was a high point of her life.

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