Nikki Haley Mourns Her Dad, Ajit Singh Randhawa, at Weekend Funeral Following His Death on Father's Day

Haley briefly left the presidential campaign trail in late January when Randhawa, 90, was hospitalized with cancer

<p>AP Photo/Evan Vucci</p> Nikki Haley and father Dr. Ajit Singh Randhawa

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Nikki Haley and father Dr. Ajit Singh Randhawa

Nikki Haley's father, Ajit Singh Randhawa, was honored with a funeral service on Saturday, June 22, after his death on Father's Day at the age of 90.

Haley announced in an emotional social media post on Sunday, June 16, that her father had died, describing him as a "blessing" to everyone in the family.

"This morning I had to say goodbye to the smartest, sweetest, kindest, most decent man I have ever known. My heart is heavy knowing he is gone," she wrote on X. "He taught his kids the importance of faith, hard work, and grace. He was an amazing husband of 64 years, a loving grandfather and great grandfather, and the best father to his four children."

Related: What to Know About Nikki Haley's Parents, Ajit Singh and Raj Kaur Randhawa

Randhawa's funeral was hosted by the Shives Funeral Home in Columbia, S.C., on Saturday morning, according to his obituary in The Post and Courier.

His cause of death has not been revealed, but news that he had been fighting a cancer diagnosis made headlines earlier in the year.

<p>LOGAN CYRUS/AFP via Getty</p> Nikki Haley embraces her father, Ajit Singh Randhawa, during a campaign event to launch her presidential bid on Feb. 15, 2023


Nikki Haley embraces her father, Ajit Singh Randhawa, during a campaign event to launch her presidential bid on Feb. 15, 2023

ABC News' Kelsey Walsh reported in January that Haley briefly left the 2024 campaign trail after Randhawa was hospitalized, but the then-Republican presidential candidate was soon back on the road to meet voters ahead of the New Hampshire primary.

Walsh added that, according to the campaign, her father was "doing okay" at the time.

Related: Nikki Haley Drops Out of Republican Presidential Race, Leaving Only Donald Trump

Haley has spoken openly about the impact that Randhawa — a former biology professor at South Carolina's historically black Voorhees College — made in her life.

In her 2021 memoir Haley wrote that both of her Indian parents, who came to the U.S. via Canada, were subject to racism upon their move to America.

“When it came time for my parents to find a home, no one would rent to them,” Haley wrote, per USA Today. "Word quickly got around that my father worked at the ‘Black school,’ and besides that, he and my mom were obviously foreigners themselves.”

She continued: “When they finally found a house, they had to buy it, not rent it. And they were told there were conditions: They couldn’t entertain Black people in it. They couldn’t have alcohol in it. And they had to sell it back to the man they had bought it from.”

Related: Nikki Haley's 2 Children: What to Know About Rena and Nalin

Elsewhere in the book, Haley describes how her parents were emblematic of the American dream. “It’s difficult to overstate what unusual figures my mom and dad cut in central South Carolina in 1969. There was my mom, tiny and determined, in her traditional sari. And there was my father, tall and proud, in his Sikh turban. From the beginning, their new country showed them both a boundless capacity for acceptance and the ugly residue of a less tolerant time.”

She also spoke about her parents during a speech at the 2020 Republican National Convention, saying: "I am the proud daughter of Indian immigrants. They came to America and settled in a small southern town. My father wore a turban. My mother wore a sari. I was a brown girl in a black and white world."

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