Cover photo for Sufone Lee Young-楊李素芬's Obituary

Sufone Lee Young-楊李素芬

November 5, 1924 — January 31, 2024


*** 中文請向下邊捲動(隨英文之後)/ For Chinese text, please scroll down (following English text below) *** 

Sufone Lee Young, who lived with her second oldest son, Samson, and his spouse Jacqueline in Orléans, passed away peacefully at home at 99 years of age surrounded by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, after struggling for four months with severe lower back pain.

Sufone was born according to the lunar calendar on the 3th day of the 11th month of 1924 to her birth father Mr. Bi and birth mother Ms. Song and was adopted by her parents Mr. Lee and Ms. Xincai Zhang in Xieng Teng, Cambodia. Although she only had about four years of studies in the private Chinese Guang Zhong school, she spoke six languages and was known to make wise decisions based on her sound judgment and sharp intelligence.

In 1946, she married Wei-That Young in Xieng Teng, Cambodia. Sufone and Wei-That went on to have seven children, son Jie-Li, daughters Julie (Gui-Zhu), Jintana (Gui-Zhen) and Amy (Gui-Yü) who were all born in Xieng Teng, followed by Ahmui (Gui-Mei), sons Samson (Jie-Nian) and Kham (Jie-Qiang) in Paksé, Laos. She later looked after a grandson Stephen (Dong-Sheng) and due to her special care and close relationship with her grandson, he always regarded her more like a mother than a grandmother.

She and her husband along with their four children, Julie, Amy, Samson, Kham and her grandson, had to flee Laos to avoid persecution and lived in the Lao Refugee Camp in Ubon, Thailand, for two-and-a-half years before her family of seven would be sponsored by Bells Corners United Church and immigrated to Canada in 1980, settling in the country’s capital city of Ottawa.

During her lifetime, Sufone was active in raising her children not only as a caring and attentive mother, but she also cared about their moral and character development. She emphasized the value of being respectful to elders and kind to youngsters and the importance to love and help each other. She also took care of her grandchildren and their children (great-grandchildren) while they worked until she reached the age of 81.

In 2005, at the tender age of 80 years old, she decided to move in with her son Samson who serves in the Canadian Forces and his spouse Jacqueline who live in Ottawa because she felt she had not helped him as much as some of her other children. She cooked for them and took care of their dogs from 2005 to 2021, well into her 90s. When she was not taking care of the cooking, she would read the bible and watch Chinese movies with folk songs so she could sing along with them. Sufone read the bible at least three times from cover to cover. She also read Chinese newspapers because she loved to know and keep abreast of international affairs.

Sufone had a very active social life, meeting up with a couple friends to play card games, and loved to travel. She travelled from Ottawa to the Maritimes and, in 2012, did a 19-day road trip at the age of 88 across Western Canada with her son. During a trip to Disney World in Florida, she erroneously lined up thinking it was a service line for seniors and ended up riding a roller coaster. She made our family laugh so hard recounting this unexpected adventure of hers and describing it as the scariest experience of her life. While visiting the Statue of Liberty in New York, she was the only one among her peers of a senior tourist group who was brave enough to climb the narrow and curving staircase from the torso of the statue all the way to the torch.

Sufone was a very proud Canadian who wanted to discover everything her adopted country had to offer. She was open to visiting new places, trying different ethnic foods and participating in outdoor activities. By her family’s count using the alphabet, she had tried more than twenty different kinds of foods, from Afghan to Vietnamese, though Chinese, Vietnamese and Greek were her favourites. She would drink beer occasionally and discovered a love for bloody caesars. When she was in her 80s, she went sliding down a snow-covered hill in a sled with her granddaughters Donna and Eleanor and even walked across a suspension bridge in the trees at Omega Park in Montebello. She also rode on the back of her son’s motorcycle in her 90s (see a short video below).

Sufone was a member of two churches, the Toronto Chinese Grace Baptist Church and the Ottawa Chinese Alliance Church and liked to attend their services regularly depending which city she was in on the weekends. Many of her friendships were forged in those churches. She also attended many military functions with her son and every Remembrance Day ceremony held in Ottawa or Orléans for more than 18 years, even when temperatures dipped as low as -20C. She was often seen walking alone or with her son in their neighbourhood. She was known as the neighbourhood grandma because of the warm smile and friendly wave she gave to everyone she met.

To her family, it seemed as though Sufone would live forever as she had always taken excellent care of her own health. She ate healthy foods, walked everywhere and after every meal daily, and loved life in general. She will always be fondly remembered and sorely missed by her children: Julie (Kwok-Kwong), Amy, Samson (Jacqueline), Kham (Honda); her grandchildren: Stephen (Karen), Cheany (Chi-Yong), Cheayan (Phat), Chea Seng (Vanny), Alongkorn (Chayapa), Yaowaluck (deceased)(Tawatchai), Yaowaret (Saknarin), Donna (Dickens), Eleanor (Chris), Jayson, Amanda; and great-grandchildren: Vincent, Mason, Supada, Jidapa, Pacharapol, Sokunthea, Soksambath, Monypich, Monyvisal, Monyvichet, Somanita, Panupong, Kittamet, Daria, Damian, Adalind, plus many other grandchildren and great-grandchildren overseas.

She was predeceased by her parents and siblings, her daughter Gui-Mei, her husband of more than 50 years Wei-That, her daughter Gui-Zhen (Chalom), her eldest son Jie-Li (Shun-Mei also deceased) and her grandchildren Pongsak and Kittisak.

The Celebration of Life of Sufone will be held on Saturday, 2 March 2024, from 0900hr to 1100hr, followed by her burial next to her husband, at the Elgin Mills Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Centres located at 1591 Elgin Mills Road East, Richmond Hill, Ontario, L4S 1M9, 905-737-1720.

The family will forever be grateful to Dr. Adam McLaughlin, who had treated her AMD (age-related macular degeneration), audiologist Barbara Sudekyo of HearingLife, her family doctor Dr. Llewellyn Pearce and his staff, Dr. Daniel Vincent, Dr. Arielle Brickman, nurse Nicole Davey, the Montfort Hospital, the Ottawa Hospital (General Campus and Riverside Campus), Home and Community Support Services of Ottawa and all of the paramedics and health care workers who provided excellent care to Sufone during and at the end of her life. Last, but not least, the family would also like to thank Basic Funerals and Cremation Choices for their excellent service and support.

In lieu of flowers, the family would like to request that donations be made to a palliative and end-of-life care hospice of your choice in Ontario.


與她的二兒子楊捷年和她的二媳婦嘉克琳(Jacqueline) 在奧爾良市 (Orléans) 住在一塊兒的楊李素芬,她在與嚴重背部疼痛病情中抗爭了四個月後,終於在孩子們、孫子們和曾孫們圍繞中和陪伴下在家中安詳地去世,享年 99 歲。

李素芬生於1924年農曆11月初三於高棉(今日的柬埔寨)上丁市。生父姓畢,生母姓宋,後來被養父李姓和養母張心蔡收養 。儘管她在中文之光中學學校讀了只有大約四的年書,她不但會說六種語言,並且她還擁有敏銳的判斷力和智慧而能夠對事務做出明智的選擇。

1946年,她在柬埔寨的上丁市楊偉達結婚。 李素芬和楊偉達一共生育有七個孩子,長子楊捷利、大女兒楊貴珠、二女楊貴珍和三女楊貴玉均出生於上丁市。後期在遷居到寮國百細市後再生四女楊貴美 、二兒子楊捷年和最小兒子楊捷強。後來她因照顧了自己的孫子楊冬生,因此她與此孫子有一個特殊的親密關係,她的孫子一直總是把她視為母親而不是祖母。

她和她的丈夫以及他們的四個孩子們:楊貴珠、楊貴玉、楊捷年、楊捷強和她的孫子楊冬生,為了避免被迫害不得不逃離寮國。之後在泰國烏汶寮人難民營裡呆了兩年半。她一家七口才終於在 Bells Corners 聯合教會的資助下於1980年秋移民到加拿大,定居在首都渥太華。

李素芬生前都一直積極教養孩子,她不僅是一位充滿愛心與細心的母親,也關心孩子們的道德和品格發展。她尤其特別強調孩子們必尊老愛幼、兄弟姐妹之間互助愛護,互相幫助的重要性。她還在孩子們在上班與工作期間照顧孫子們及其他們的子女們(曾孫兒女們)。此舉一直維持到她 81 歲高齡。

2005年,已經是 80 歲高齡的她,決定搬去與在加拿大軍隊服役的二兒子楊捷年和媳婦嘉克琳在渥太華市的家住在一起,因為她覺得自己一向來沒有像照顧其他孩子們那樣地幫助他。從 2005 年到 2021 年,她為他們做飯,照顧他們的狗兒們等等。此舉一直維持到她 90 多歲。當她休息不做飯的時候,她會看看和讀聖經,看有她喜愛的國語黃梅調電影,並且跟著電影中的歌一起唱。李素芬將聖經從頭到尾至少讀過了三遍。她也閱讀中國報紙,因為她喜歡知道和了解有關國際一切的時事與情況。

李素芬的社交生活也非常活躍,有時和一兩個老朋友們聚會打打 "四色 (車馬炮) 牌",並且也特別喜歡旅遊。她從渥太華前往加拿大的濱海各省遊覽。在2012 年夏,當時已有88 歲高齡的她與二兒子駕駛車開始了一次為期 19 天的特別長途旅行,橫跨與穿越到加拿大西部。在一次去美國的佛羅裡達州迪士尼世界的旅行中,因為不懂英語,她誤以為是一條老年人服務的車子而和其他人們一起排隊,因而在懵懵懂懂中上坐了過山車。她後來講述了她這次沒有意料中的魯莽冒險,並將其描述為她一生中最可怕的一次經歷,讓我們全家聽話前仰後翻的笑得很開心。她在紐約參觀自由女神像時,她是高齡旅遊團同行中唯一一個有勇氣爬上了從雕像軀幹中接到神像手臂裡狹窄和彎曲的樓梯上獨自一個人一直爬到神像手持火炬之處。

李素芬是一位非常自豪的加拿大人,她想知道與體驗她的祖國所能提供的一切。她樂於參觀新的地方,嘗試不同的民族食物並參與戶外活動。根據她家人用字母統計,她嘗試過二十多種不同的食物,從A字母的阿富汗國菜餚到V字母的越南菜。但她到底還是最喜歡的是中國菜、越南菜和希臘菜。她偶爾會也喝啤酒,並發現了對血腥凱撒(bloody caesars)雞尾酒的熱愛。當她80多歲的時候,她和孫女劉美華和劉佳萍一起乘坐雪橇從白雪覆蓋的小山上滑下來,甚至還在蒙特貝羅(Montebello)鎮附近之歐米茄公園(Omega Park)樹上的吊橋行走過呢。 在95歲高齡的她,還敢嘗試和二兒子一起坐駕駛的摩托車 (请看下面一段短视频)。

李素芬是多倫多華人浸信會懷恩堂教會和渥太華華人宣道會這兩個教會的成員,她每個星期日都會定期在此兩個教堂中參加做禮拜,這取決於她當時的週末在哪個城市。她的許多朋友中的友誼情懷都是在這兩個教堂裡建起來的。她除了常常一起參與她二兒子的許多軍事活動節目,還在 18 年多以來都沒有間斷過在渥太華市或奧爾良市一年一度舉行加拿大國殤紀念日活動儀式,即使氣溫低至攝氏 -20C 也是如此堅持參與。在她居住的一條街道,鄰居們經常看到她獨自一人或與她的二兒子陪同下在附近散步。因為她對路上遇到的每一個人都露出溫暖的微笑和友好的揮手而她被大家稱她為鄰居的婆婆的雅號名銜。

對她的家人來說,李素芬似乎會永遠活著,因為她一向來都非常照顧自己的健康。在她的飲食起居中她會適量吃健康食品,每天每餐後都會去散步,因她熱愛生命,熱愛生活。她的兒女們:楊貴珠(女婿劉國光)、楊貴玉、楊捷年(媳婦嘉克琳)、楊捷強(本田);她的孫兒女們:楊冬生(孫媳婦羅玉燕)、楊雪美(孫女婿李志勇)、楊致仁(孫媳婦 Phat)、楊致誠 (孫媳婦陳小慧)、Alongkorn(孫媳婦 Chayapa)、Yaowaluck(已故)(孫女婿Tawatchai)、Yaowaret(孫女婿Saknarin)、劉美華(孫女婿王邦成)、劉佳萍 (孫女婿鍾其望)、楊致培、楊雪蕙;以及曾孫兒女們:楊子榮、楊子明、Supada、Jidapa、Pacharapol、李佩姍、李恆杰、楊家樂、楊家安、楊家祥、楊嘉欣、Panupong、Kittamet、王淑雲、王友維、鍾溪玲,以及許多其他海外孫子和曾孫。李素芬將會永遠活在她兒女們,孫兒女們,與曾孫兒女們的心中。她的兒女們,孫兒女們和曾孫兒女們將會永遠的懷念和懷念她。


李素芬的追思慶典將於 2024 年3 月2 日星期六早上0900 點至1100 點舉行,隨後她的骨灰將被安葬在她已故的丈夫楊偉達墳墓中毗鄰。墳場地址如下:Elgin Mills Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Centres located at 1591 Elgin Mills Road East, Richmond Hill, Ontario, L4S 1M9, 電話:905-737-1720.

楊家全體成員將永遠感激治療她的 AMD(老年性黃斑部病變)的 眼科 Adam McLaughlin 醫生、HearingLife 的助聽器專家 Barbara 女士、她的家庭醫生 Llewellyn Pearce 及其工作人員、Daniel Vincent 醫生、Arielle Brickman 醫生、Nicole Davey 護士、蒙特福特(Montfort)醫院、渥太華醫院(Ottawa Hospital 總院區和河濱院區)、渥太華家庭和社區支持服務中心以及所有在李素芬生命期間和臨終時為她提供優質護理的護理人員和衛生保健工作者們等等。最後一點是,楊家人也要感謝 Basic Funerals 提供的優質服務和支援。


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