Soo Ying Lem
November 18, 1931 – January 23, 2020
The family of Soo Ying (Joyce) Lem is sad to announce her passing in the early morning of January 23, 2020 in Thunder Bay, Ontario at the age of 88, after suffering from Dementia for the past five years.
Born in Canton, China, Mom immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong in 1960 with her 3 oldest children to rejoin her husband John (Poy Ken), who had immigrated 7 years earlier to start working on a better life for their family. They went on to have 4 more children in Fort William (now Thunder Bay). In 1967, our parents opened their own Chinese restaurant on Simpson Street, the Canton Restaurant, a family business which involved all seven children. Her hard work and dedication to her craft and business earned her much admiration.
Mom focused her life by devoting her time with the family where she would cook traditional Chinese dishes (sometimes too traditional for our liking) and travelling with Dad. They had visited many cities throughout North America visiting old friends from China, parts of Europe and also returned to China several times. Mom also enjoyed gardening in her yard and loved playing Mahjong with friends.
A respected member of the community who placed high values on lifelong friendships and respectful citizenship, Mom moved to Calgary for a brief period of time before settling back in Thunder Bay in her final years.
Mom is survived by her 7 children: Connie (Ernie), Robert (Sue), Kathy, David (Patricia), Murray, Gordie (Leena) and Sid (Lynn). She is also survived by many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.
Mom is predeceased by her husband John, her parents Wan Tang Lee and Cheon Ching Lee and brothers Cheu Shan Lee and Sin Wai Lee.
Our family expresses sincere thanks to the staff at Southbridge Lakehead Manor, especially those on the 6th floor, for caring for Mom during the past 4 plus years.
A private family service has been arranged and she will be laid to rest next to her husband John at Mountain View Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Alzheimer’s Society or a charity of your choice.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Westfort Chapel, 420 West Gore Street at James.