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Satnam Singh still remembered, missed six months after death

By Tim Vandenack - | Sep 9, 2021

TIM VANDENACK, Standard-Examiner

The exterior of Super Grocery in Ogden is pictured Wednesday, March 3, 2021. Satnam Singh, the store owner, was shot and killed on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021, prompting a strong outpouring from customers who recalled his friendly demeanor. Many placed candles, balloons and other items to memorialize him.

OGDEN — He’s gone, but hardly forgotten.

“They talk about it all the time. They miss Sat. Sat was a huge part of the community,” said Tina Chadwick, cashier at Kwick Shop #2, formerly owned and operated by Satnam Singh, who was shot and killed on Feb. 28 inside the locale, then called Super Grocery.

As much as he was loved by many living around the locale, Singh’s family is still broken up as well, still grappling with his death. And with a key court date looming in the matter, they have a message, a positive message that springs from the outlook Singh always seemed to embody — be nice to each other and share.

“Everyone is struggling with their own battles,” the family said in a message to the Standard-Examiner. “This world needs more peace, kindness, faith and support. In Satnam’s words — if God has blessed you with enough, share with others.”

A 15-year-old faces charges of aggravated murder and aggravated robbery, first-degree felonies, and is being held without bail in the matter at the Weber Valley Youth Center in Ogden. A preliminary hearing in the case is set to start on Friday in 2nd District Juvenile Court. Among the issues to be determined is if the teen should be tried as a juvenile or an adult, as sought by the Weber County Attorney’s Office.

Photo supplied

Satnam Singh is pictured in an undated photo with his youngest daughter, who family asked not be named. Singh was shot and killed on Feb. 28, 2021, while tending to this Ogden convenience store, prompting a strong outpouring of support from the public.

Legalities aside, the case is still raw for Singh’s family, which includes his widow and three daughters, all of them living in the Ogden area. Queried by the Standard-Examiner about how they’re managing six months after the incident, they issued a statement offering up their sentiments, a complex mix of grief, sadness and, because of the community support they’ve received, thankfulness. Singh, a naturalized U.S. citizen, came to the United States from his native India in search of a better life for himself and his family.

“There is always going to be void in our hearts. They say time heals everything, we are trying to test it ourselves, we have our days, moments and struggles,” the family said. “The harsh reality is you never get over it.”

His daughters ran the store after their dad’s passing. But with other jobs and responsibilities, they eventually sold the locale at 675 N. Monroe Blvd., said Tina Brown, a family friend. The sign outside still says Super Grocery, but Chadwick said the store was bought by the operators of Kwick Shop at 803 25th St. in Ogden and has been renamed Kwick Shop #2.

“The girls really missed the customers,” said Chadwick, a regular at the convenience store before becoming cashier. “They had to do what was best for their families.”

Photo supplied Satnam Singh is pictured in an undated photo with his youngest daughter, who family asked not be named. Singh was shot and killed on Feb. 28, 2021, while tending to this Ogden convenience store, prompting a strong outpouring of support from the public.

Chadwick suspects the fact that their dad died in the store also weighed on them. A couple of bullet holes from the February incident remain, grim reminders.

Tim Vandenack, Standard-Examiner

Tina Chadwick, cashier at the Ogden convenience store where Satnam Singh was shot and killed last Februrary, poses inside the locale. Locals still lament Singh's passing, she said. She was photographed on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021.

Whatever the case, the family takes solace in the outpouring of affection from neighbors who frequented the store and the strong sentiments many had for Singh. The business draws locals from the northern Ogden neighborhood where it sits.

“He was always friendly,” Chadwick said. You might enter the store in a bad mood, but after experiencing the goodwill of Singh “you’d walk out the door with a smile on your face.”

If customers didn’t have quite enough to cover their purchases, he’d sometimes cut them slack, let them pay off the owed portion later. He’d also offer “free life lessons,” his family said, and his outgoing nature seemed to win over the neighbors.

“I don’t think he even knew how much he impacted his people and community. The outpouring of love, support and prayers from the community has been a blessing for our family. We have so many kids come and give us things in his remembrance and say that they love and miss their best friend,” the family said.

Singh, a member of the Sikh religion, came to the United States from the northern Indian state of Punjab in 1987. Initially, he worked two jobs in California and then moved to Ogden when the opportunity arose to acquire the convenience store.

Singh “worked day and night and every day to make it his own. He spent more than 15 years away from his family so that he could provide his family and kids a better education, life and future,” his family said. In addition to his immediate kin, Singh also sent money to extended family members in India to help them.

Still, it could be tough being so far from India. And only able to communicate with his family via phone and, later, occasional visits, Singh’s customers became a surrogate family of sorts. “He missed India so much he made everyone who came through the door his family,” Brown said.

Ultimately, though, his wife and two oldest daughters immigrated to the United States from India. His youngest daughter was born here and he made his life here, though he still dreamed of returning one day to India.

Now, his surviving family members take things one day at a time, holding on to the memories and trying to move forward. But it’s hard.

“We try to motivate ourselves, to get up every day and keep ourselves busy and think of good memories, spend time with family and, most importantly, pray,” the family said.

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