It looks like you are viewing this on a mobile device. Would you like to use the mobile version? No thanks.
It looks like your device can support the full version of the site. Would you like to view that instead? No thanks.
Email to a friend Tweet This Send to Facebook Share on Google+
Chow How Hum
August 29, 1926 - July 14, 2016
Return to the Memorial Getting Started Administration Inbox  
Return to Getting Started  
Return to the Memorial Help Extend the Memorial Order a Keepsake Book  
Obituary Eulogy Guestbook Biography Photos Media Life Stories Family Tree Contribute
<div itemprop="description">Born in Hoiping, Guangdong Province, China, HUM Chow How was the youngest of three brothers and one sister born to farm labourers, Mr. Chin Woy Hum and Mrs. May Lee. His father died before he was born, and his mother worked hard to raise all the children at a time when there was starvation across much of southern China. <br> <br>After six years of schooling, he became a cowherd to help his family. When the Japanese invaded many parts of China during the World War II, the Japanese captured Chow How in the rice fields. His village believed he must have died at the hands of his captors and mourned him. After several weeks, he escaped. Much to the surprise of his fellow villagers, he returned to them. His astonishing return to the village brought much joy at a time of great sadness. <br> <br>For a time afterwards, he trained as an apprentice craftsmen, mastering the art of woodcarving. <br> <br>In 1949, when he was 23 years old, he married YEUNG Sui Oi, who was six years younger, also of Hoiping. Chow How left a year later, alone, to bravely forge his way in Canada, with hopes of bringing his wife over soon, for a better life. A better life in Canada meant owning a home, where he could raise a family. <br> <br>For twelve years, a period of great turmoil in China, he was separated from his wife. During this time, he worked in Montreal and for a brief time in Cornwall, Ontario. He surmounted many difficulties, not the least of which was suffering an illness that almost took his life. Despite these challenges, he ultimately returned to Hong Kong, where his wife met him. Soon after, their first child, a daughter, Lai-King (Lai), was born. <br> <br>Chow How returned first to Montreal, Canada, and Sui Oi followed shortly afterwards with their daughter, Lai. Soon afterwards, two other children followed: Denis (You-Then) and Tony (Jung-Then). After the birth of his second son, he realized his dream of owning his own home. Soon after, his second daughter, Debbie (Bo-King), was born. <br> <br>Patient, and hardworking, Chow How and his wife, Sui Oi, were determined their children would receive the benefit of an excellent education, regardless of their own sacrifices. A loyal and devoted husband, he also assisted his wife’s struggling extended family in China, supporting her decision to work outside the home. <br> <br>He worked six days a week, with one day “off”. His day off, he would regularly go into Chinatown in Montreal, and bring back sweet treats or roasted meats that his children would eagerly await at home. As a young girl, Lai often eagerly accompanied him on these trips. Denis recalls how as a young boy who loved drawing and painting, Chow How made an easel out of wood for his use. Chow How was most at ease with his two youngest children, Tony and Debbie, with whom he would often laugh and joke when they were little. All his children remember the smells of the "live chicken" place in Chinatown, as he would often take one of them with him to buy fresh slaughtered chicken. <br> <br>Although he was never one to boast or directly express affection, Chow How took pride in the success of his children, all of whom became professionals. It was his wife, Sui Oi, who told Lai late in life how the children’s success had brought much “face” to their father. <br> <br>After having worked as a cook for decades, Chow How retired. He then contributed to the Hum Association, taking pleasure in the camaraderie at the association, where he contributed by keeping their books and records. He enjoyed playing mahjong and participating in the Hum Association events. Later in life, as his strength diminished, his wife, Sui Oi, would accompany him. <br> <br>In retirement, Chow How was delighted to have made two trips with his wife back to their home villages in Hoiping: the first with his son, Denis, and the second with his daughter, Lai, and his second son, Tony. <br> <br>In his later years, he also enjoyed helping his wife with her large garden, and kept the garden going even after his wife could no longer manage it. The garden was for her, and it was a mark of his devotion, that he seeded, planted and watered it, even after she could no longer do so. It was only after Sui Oi went into long-term care at the Chinese Hospital that he decided to leave the family home and live in a Chinese residence nearby his wife. Sui Oi passed away peacefully on November 11, 2013. <br> <br>Chow How faced hardship and challenges with equanimity and patience, and devoted his entire life to his wife and children, and later to his community. In his last years, he told his son-in-law, Christopher, he was happy he had done everything he wished to do, his children were successful, and it was time for him to rest. <br> <br>He took great pride in his many grandchildren: Michael, Emily, Christopher, Ryan, Brandon, Rachel and Sophia. He also enjoyed sharing time with his step-grandchild, Liam. <br> <br>Chow How was hospitalized on June 9, 2016, with what initially seemed like a minor health issue and all expected that he would be discharged into long-term care. He was diagnosed with untreatable leukemia in the last week of his life, and declined rapidly. He died in his sleep, just after midnight, July 14, 2016. He would have turned 90 years old on August 26. <br> <br>He is survived by his four children, HUM Lai-King (lawyer, married to Christopher Cassidy, with step-grandson, Liam Cassidy); HUM Denis (professional engineer, married to Minh, with granddaughters, Rachel and Sophia); HUM Tony (software specialist, married to Thao, with grandchildren, Michael, Emily and Christopher); and HUM Debbie (chartered accountant, married to Jesse Hovland, with grandsons, Ryan and Brandon) – all of whom love and miss him dearly. <br> <br> <br>DONATIONS: <br> <br>Donations in his memory may be made to: Montreal Chinese Hospital ( or the non-profit organization, Hum's Social and Cultural Association (90, de la Gauchetiere West, Montreal, Quebec H2Z 1C1). <br> <br></div>