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TOM, Wai Oi (nee YEE)

April 24, 1925 – Guangdong, China
January 7, 2019 – Calgary, Alberta

Wai Oi passed away peacefully on January 7, 2019 in Calgary, Alberta.

She was predeceased by her loving husband Jin Get Tom. She is survived by two sons, Frank Tam (Josephine) and Tom Hum; daughter Teresa (Frank) Mak; eight grandchildren, Anson Tam (Amanda), Bowen Tam (Kimberly), Calvin Tam, Tanton Hum, Nathan Hum (Linda), Ian Mak, Lillian Mak and Gregory Mak; three great-grandchildren, Pierson Tam, Ellora Tam and Riley Hum; Sister-in-law Mary Yee; two sisters, Rose (Jack) Mah and Faye (Tony) Mah; and numerous nephews and nieces.

She was born and educated in rural Toishan, Guangdong, China where she taught primary school. She lived through the tough years of the Sino-Japanese War and Chinese government transition in 1949. To support her family, she traded used clothing, raised chickens, pigs and tended to rice paddies.

She moved to Hong Kong in 1958 and worked as a knitting contractor to help raise her children. In 1969, Wai Oi moved with her husband and children to Canada and worked at various restaurants in Regina, Saskatchewan. In 2010, she moved to Calgary to be closer to her children.

She always encouraged children to study hard and taught them how to become successful. She was protective of all children and urged them not to get into trouble.

Wai Oi brought the families together on holidays, especially when her Grandchildren started arriving in 1978. She was overjoyed and more than happy to babysit and nurture them while keeping a full-time job. The Grandchildren in return loved her dearly, cherishing her endless energy and love. The Grandchildren spent time with her learning life skills and lessons, eating the best home cooked food and growing up in a safe loving place.

When the Great-Grandchildren started arriving in 2009, she was incredibly excited. She enjoyed their company and loved playing and laughing with them. The Great-Grandchildren always made her smile with happiness even during days when she was not feeling well.

Wai Oi enjoyed gardening to the extreme. She would grow something on every inch of dirt and gave vegetables to everyone. She lived a very simple life by sewing her own clothing and not buying anything extravagant for herself. She loved to cook and often tried new recipes to feed and fatten up her Grandchildren.

Wai Oi was devoted to her faith and community, attending church regularly. There she listened, sang, laughed and learned. Having considered Baptism for years, she fondly participated in the ceremony in September 2018. At Wing Kei, Wai Oi was full of happiness surrounded by her neighbours and the staff who always called her a kind, considerate and humble person.

Wai Oi was an amazing human being, Wife, Mother, Mother-in-law, Grandmother and Great-Grandmother. Her family, friends and especially her Grandchildren and Great-Grandchildren will sorely miss her.

If friends so desire in lieu of flowers, memorial tributes in memory of Wai Oi Tom may be made to the Wing Kei Greenview Supporting Living and Long Term Care, 307 35 Ave NE, Calgary, AB T2E 7Y6, Telephone: (403) 520-0400,

Funeral Services will be held at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY, Chapel of the Bells (2720 Centre Street North, Calgary, AB,) on Tuesday, January 15, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. Graveside Services will be held at Riverside Memorial Cemetery in Regina, SK, on Thursday, January 17, 2019 at 11:00 a.m.

In living memory of Wai Oi Tom, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Chapel of the Bells, 2720 CENTRE STREET NORTH, CALGARY, AB, T2E 2V6, Telephone: 403-243-8200.

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  1. Dearest Popo
    I am so glad to have met you and to have gotten to know you. I want to thank you for welcoming “this outsider” into your life .
    Popo, you are an exceptional person, well loved and loved well, as we heard from various family members today. As for my own experiences, you always gave me a warm smile with sparkling eyes. I remember when you were a resident at Aspen Lodge. My father-in-law was living there as well and I remember seeing you walk around the grounds with your walker and Teresa. You were quite strong then and were determined to keep walking.
    I remember when you moved to the Walden nursing home. I clearly remember the day when you said that you wanted to get baptised. It came completely out of the blue, as Teresa and I were surprised, but we knew that the Lord was looking out for you then. How exciting it was for us when you were approved to relocate to Wing Kei. We knew that the meals would be more delicious and would be Chinese . But the best was yet to come, 5 years later when you would get baptised on Sept 8, 2018. The Lord had granted you your heart’s desire. He did not forget.
    (Btw, Thanks for inviting me to that Teresa!).
    I am thrilled that you are with Jesus now.
    Little did you know, you had a major impact on our lives, and continue to do so.❤️❤️❤️ Because of you, my sister, my mom, my brother-in-law, and my brother-in-law’s mother are now embracing Jesus’ love, teachings and healing on our lives. It’s amazing when we reflect back on God’s plans, unfolding before our eyes.
    Thank you and thank you, Popo for all you do and for being you .
    Popo, I will miss you, but I know we will meet again.
    In the meantime, take care, take it easy.
    Love Nancy

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