Kwai Lan Tam, 1916 – 2012

Mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, Kwai Lan Tam passed away peacefully surrounded by family on April 24th 2012 at the venerable age of 96.

She was very much loved by her children and their partners : Gallan (Lynda), Stella, Denise (John), Elicia (Ian) and Tam (Ted); grandchildren and their partners: Carolyn (Cliff), Jeffery (Nicole), Jeananne (Scott), Jaclyn, Joyce (Rob), Jason (Amber) and Jonathan ; as well as wonderful great grandchildren Ella, Cohen and Bruno.

Born 1916 in Hong Kong, she immigrated with her husband Chung Lok in 1977 to join their children in Canada where they made Toronto’s Kensington Market their home.

With a deep love for learning, she did everything she could to make sure her children were educated under the most difficult circumstances in Hong Kong. (Her granddaughter, Carolyn Ji Jong Goossen, a writer with New America Media, interviewed her for the article : Celebrating Lunar New Year and Long Life.)

After moving to Toronto, as a loving grandmother she helped raise her grandchildren. Kwai Lan was also a long time active participant and volunteer with the St Stephen’s Community House Senior program and a keen student of ESL and Tai Chi classes.




I have been greatly honoured to have her as my Mother-in-Law.




UPDATE : The memorial was beautiful. It felt like a real celebration of her life.








Below are some of the comments from the visitation page :


Medi and Manny Herrera (Friend)
Entered 04/29/2012 from USA
Dearest Elicia and Ian,

Our thoughts are with you and your family.

Love and prayers from the Herreras always.


Ashley McFarlane (Other)
Entered 04/29/2012 from Toronto
Dear Tam and Family,

I would like to offer my condolences during this time. I never met your mother, but I’m sure I met her through you. She has raised a marvellous women and mentor to me. My thoughts and wishes are with go out to you and yours.

Miu Lin (Friend)
Entered 04/28/2012 from Toronto
Dear Tam’s family,
I had the honor to know Auntie Tam when I arrived in Toronto 18 years ago.  Her forceful and clear voice as well as her sharp mind always impressed me.  My mom Sally admired Auntie Tam’s intelligence and reading abilities and said, “I wish I could read newspaper like her!” Auntie Tam had possessed wisdom in reading people’s mind and their heart and would not be shy in sharing her opinions.  I believe her wealth of wisdom, assertiveness and strong will had inspired excellence and dedication to everyone around her.  She lived an enjoyable long life and successfully brought up a big family with great grandchildren.  What a great blessing! You will be missed Auntie Tam!


Wendy Leung (Friend)
Entered 04/27/2012
I knew Tam for 5 years. she is our day program participant. Her cheerful smiles, her active participation and involvement in our program, her stories about raising up her children, her strong view on “knowledge is the king” and more … all are very impressive and inspirating. at her later stage, i truthly understand why she is so proud of her children.


Carol Wolkove (Friend)
Entered 04/27/2012
Dear Gallan Lynda and family

May her memory be for a blessing, (as we say in Hebrew).

I send you my condolences on your loss.



Rose & Louis Ma (Friend)
Entered 04/26/2012 from Charlotte, NC USA
Dear Tammy and Tam family,

We’re sadden to hear that Ah-yee is gone.  Her sweet smile and kind voice will remain in our heart for ever.  It is comforting to know that she left in peace and was surrounded by love ones.

Our deepest condolences to you all.

Rose & Louis


Jenny Poon (Other)
Entered 04/26/2012 from Toronto
Tam is an active Adult Day Service member & positive life attitude will be missed.  With deepest sympathy to Tam’s Family.          Jenny Poon


Suyin Sancho (Friend)
Entered 04/26/2012 from New York City
Dearest Elicia,

I was so sorry to hear from Medi about your mother’s passing.  I know you were devoted to her.  You and your family are in the Sancho sisters’ thoughts and prayers.

With deepest sympathy,



David Cheng (Other)
Entered 04/26/2012 from Toronto, ON.
Her smile….. will be missed. Tam will be in my memory forever.
David Cheng, Senior Services Worker at St. Stephen’s


Irene Tsang (Friend)
Entered 04/26/2012 from Toronto
Tam will be missed by our staff and seniors at St. Stephen’s Community House.  She was known to us as “Scholar Tam” because she was always knowledgeable about the news and sharing her views of life and politics.   Our warmest thoughts are with the family.


Maria Serrano (Friend)
Entered 04/26/2012 from Toronto
May your memories bring you comfort at this difficult time.  My thoughts are with the family.
Maria Serrano


Anshula (Friend)
Entered 04/26/2012
Dear Tam, I am thinking of you knowing how much you loved your mother, and how much you will miss her now. My thoughts and prayers are with your mum, yourself and your family. Please take care.
With Best Regards,


Maria Sancho (Friend)
Entered 04/26/2012
Dear Elicia,
With sympathy and love, in behalf of the Sancho family (Medi, Suyin, Rubi, Nen), I would like you to know that you are very much in our thoughts and prayers.

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