Violet Wong (affectionately known as “Vi”) was born in Nanaimo, BC on December 27, 1923. She passed away peacefully July 8, 2019. She was predeceased by her brothers Wing, George and Richard (Dickie) Lew, and her half-sister, Nin Ho Jang. She is survived by her only child, Edmond Wong and many nieces and nephews who will miss her smiling face.
From her early 20’s Violet realized that she would need to be self-sufficient to survive and succeed in this world. She was a strong-willed, hard-working, feisty, caring and fun-loving woman. In 1954 Violet started up and successfully operated Nicola Cleaners, a dry-cleaning business in Vancouver’s West End. In the early 1960’s she made a life-changing decision that would find her leaving Vancouver to start a life in Northern B.C. with her son and a new partner. They lived and moved many times to various small towns in the developing North. She returned in 1969 to live in Vancouver when she housed many a student boarder, mostly children of her friends in the North and became their surrogate Mom in the city. She moved north again to Prince George in the mid 1980’s to be with her son and his family returning for a final time to settle in Lynn Valley in North Vancouver in 2001. Along the way she made many friends and connected with extended family. Whether she was ice-fishing for rainbow trout in that frozen lake near Puntzi Mountain, working at Northern Dry Cleaners in Fort St. John, playing in a cribbage tournament at the Senior Centre in Prince George, making meals for her many student-boarders, playing mah jong with family and friends in Vancouver or doing alterations/mending for friends at the Silver Harbour Senior Centre in North Vancouver, Violet’s endearing qualities and diverse talents shone through. Her innate ability to make one feel valued, accepted and listened to along with her desire to help and support others was omnipresent.
There was always room for one more at Vi’s dining table. She enjoyed cooking and the company of friends and family. Making connections and sustaining them was very important to her. Vi lived life on her own terms with an indomitable spirit and constant desire to learn. Her vast network of friends and family is testament to who she was and how she lived her life.
Another of Vi’s passions was chasing the horses at Exhibition Park in Vancouver. Many friends and relatives recall the fun and excitement thoroughbred racing brought to Vi. The call of “There They Go” would echo over the loudspeaker and one could see the energy and excitement in those big, wide eyes of hers as she watched the horses burst out of the starting gate. If Vi had a winning day at the track, everyone would benefit by attending the restaurant that she would treat at using her winnings.
Violet never owned a computer or mobile phone. If she wanted to communicate with friends or family she would either call them from her landline phone or write them cards or letters. This deep desire to stay connected with others permeated her existence. She had a knack for remembering birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions and would be sure to send her well wishes to friends and family alike. Her artistic and creative sides are reflected in the many projects she took on throughout her life. From paintings, to re-upholstering furniture, to sewing outfits for various friends and family, to knitting slipper-socks for children, to making the Afghans for gifts; the list goes on. She had tremendous patience and perseverance evidenced by the countless puzzles, word-search challenges and Sudoku’s she enjoyed in her retirement years.
If a picture tells a thousand words, Vi would say a photo does the same. When she purchased her first Kodak box camera back when all photos were black and white, her passion for photography began. Her large collection of photo albums show a story of a life filled with love, joy, connection, inclusion and laughter. Her positive attitude was infectious and was spread by Violet wherever she went.
In the early 2000’s Violet’s journey came full circle when she returned once more to the lower mainland and found a home in North Vancouver, where she remained until her final days. Her pilgrimage through British Columbia was over. She would now focus on reconnecting with family and friends she had left so many years before while working on attracting new friends into her ever-expanding network.
God saw you getting tired
and a cure was not to be
So He put his arms around you
and whispered “come to me”
With tearful eyes I watched you
And saw you pass away
although I loved you dearly
I could not make you stay
A golden heart stopped beating
Hard working hands at rest
God broke our hearts to prove to me
He only takes the best!
We will miss you Violet (Mum)! And as Tina Turner (as did George on numerous occasions) said, she was “simply the best”. RIP
Special gratitude is extended to Dr. Dana Haaf and his staff, the doctors, nurses and other medical staff at Lions Gate Hospital and Evergreen House that tended to mum’s various needs over the past number of years. To the relatives, friends and family that rallied to mum’s side, particularly George, during the latter stages of her struggles, THANK YOU!
A Celebration of Life for Violet will be held on Saturday, August 24, 2019 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Lynn Valley Community Recreation Centre in Cardinal Hall, 3590 Mountain Highway, North Vancouver, B.C. You can write your messages of condolence at the bottom of this notice. In lieu of flowers a donation to Lions Gate Hospital Foundation, the B.C. Heart & Stroke Foundation or a charity of your choice in Violet Wong’s name would be appreciated.