Helen Wong

Obituary of Helen Wong

October 15, 1924 - Winnipeg, Manitoba
October 5, 2021 - Calgary, Alberta

Helen Wong (née Foo) passed away peacefully at the Chinook Care Centre in Calgary, Alberta on Tuesday, October 5, 2021, just 10 days before her 97 birthday. 

Helen was born in Winnipeg on October 15, 1924, oldest daughter of Charlie and Frances Foo. She was raised and educated in the Norwood area and following graduation from the Manitoba Commercial College worked at the Winnipeg General Hospital and the Chinese Consulate. Helen married Westley George Wong in Winnipeg on December 27, 1945, and the young couple took up residence in Brandon where Westley joined the faculty of Brandon College Physics Department in the fall of 1946. Helen was the perfect mate for Westley and together they raised four children over the course of their 58-year marriage. While Dad taught the science that governed life, it was Mom who taught her children how to live life. Her initiative to build a cottage on the lake in Killarney in 1959 provides family memories and enjoyment that continue to this day. Mom had a wide variety of interests and talents. Her potter’s wheel and kiln produced a plethora of beautiful pieces that grace many friends’ and relatives’ homes. She loved to search for artifacts in farmers’ fields and amassed a large collection of arrowheads, pottery shards etc. that she later donated to Brandon University. Well past middle age, Mom took university courses in Biology and Mandarin. Through self-learning she became proficient enough to strike up conversations with strangers, both in Canada and in China, in order to practice her new language skills. It was through her prompting that Mom and Dad joined the Circle 8 square and round dance club where they enjoyed the related travel and camaraderie for 30 years. Mom enjoyed traveling with Dad or with one of her children and apart from seeing Canada from coast-to-coast, she had several trips to Europe, Asia, Australia, the US, Cuba and Mexico. She loved her children and grandchildren and always encouraged them to succeed. Mom was a unique individual and Dad confided that he considered her to be a Readers Digest “My Most Unforgettable Character” candidate, how prophetic.  

Helen is survived by her son Brian (Helena) of Killarney, daughter Nancy McGovern (Terry) of Kamloops, son Alan (Ana) of Calgary, brother Walter (Marion) Phillips and sister Lily Chan of Vancouver, numerous nieces and nephews, eleven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.  She was predeceased by her husband Westley in 2004, son Douglas in 2011, sister Pat, brothers Fred and Harold.

The family wishes to thank the staff at the Chinook Care Centre for the caring treatment that Mom received in her final years.  Cremation has taken place and her ashes will be committed at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Westley G. Wong Scholarship Fund for Physics, c/o Brandon University, 270 - 18th Street, Brandon, MB, R7A 6A9. Condolences, memories and photos can also be shared and viewed here.

In living memory of Helen Wong, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Park Memorial, 5008 Elbow Drive SW, Calgary, AB T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.

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