October 1933 – July 2020
Ming Kee Mah was born October 10, 1933 in the Taishan (Toisan) area of China, the youngest of four children. Despite the events in China at the time, it was probably still a hard decision for the then seventeen year old to make, but in 1950 Ming Kee, his mother, and his older brother boarded the steam liner President Gordon and came to Canada to join his father who had already settled there. Working odd jobs and saving money for a decade, he returned to China in 1960 for one week – as a Canadian citizen – to marry Anne Lai Kuen.
The pair would move to Westlock, Alberta, where their first child, Debi, was born in 1962. Finding employment with the CNR in 1964, the four (Kee, Anne, Debi, and Kee’s mother) headed west and settled in Prince Rupert, BC. Their second child, Don, was born in 1966. Two years later, they added their third, Rick. In 1974, Ming Kee (better known as Kee) and his wife bought Macey’s Restaurant in Prince Rupert, and established it as the town’s iconic coffee shop for the next twenty-four years. During that time in Prince Rupert, Kee was a regular supporter of the Chinese Freemasons, an organization that promoted, supported, and shared Chinese culture and identity within the local community.
Upon retirement in 1998, the couple relocated to Vancouver, BC, to be closer to their children and devoted much of their time to their grand-children. An unbreakable connection to what he called “the beautiful coastal town” meant Kee visited Prince Rupert in 2015 at 81 years of age and in ailing health, to pay his last respects to his parents. In 2020, he and his wife celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary. Ming Kee was among an early wave of Chinese immigrants from the Toisan, and he – like his wife Anne – epitomized hard-work and being all that one can be in the country he would spend the rest of his life in.
Ming Kee is predeceased by brothers, his sister, his mother, Woo Song Yuen, and his father, Ching Hay Mah, both of whom are buried in Prince Rupert. He is also two months
predeceased by his beautiful, dear, kind wife of sixty years, Anne Lai Kuen Mah. He is survived by his children, a son-in-law Mike, a daughter-in-law Bernadette, and his grandchildren: Brandon, Christian, Bodhi, Rian, and Eli.
A private family service is being held on August 1, 2020, at Forest Lawn Funeral Home in Burnaby, BC, where he will be laid to rest in the Estates courtyard next to his wife, Anne.
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