In memoriam: Betty Ho goes to that big kitchen in the sky.

Betty May Ho

Rest in Peace


Betty Ho had a love of life that was big.  It was so big, that when she retired – she kept living large.  Betty went to Simon Fraser University. She volunteered at festivals.  And she made big contributions to her church group, Vancouver Chinese Presbyterian Church.

Last year, she joined the Chinese Canadian Historical Society writing workshop last year, facilitated by Brandy Lien-Worrall.  That was how I met her.

Photo Library - 2831 by you.

Betty Ho stands in front with her red jacket at the informal “Writers Launch” of Eating Stories at the Rhizome Cafe.  left to right: George Jung, Betty Ho, Gordie Mark, Todd Wong, Brandy Lien Worrall, Dan Seto, Harley Wylie, Hayne Wai, Henry Yu. – photo Deb Martin

Betty was in the Saturday workshop, while I was in the Wednesday night
workshop.  But our groups would sometimes mix for special events, such
as the initial orientation, book launches, and parties.  Betty always
brought a zest for life to our events, and she wrote about our workshop
experience in an article for a seniors magazine that she regularly
contributed to.

Photo Library - 2838 by you.

Here is our entire writing group at the official book launch at the Vancouver Museum on Nov. 25th.
Betty is standing in the front centre (wearing light mauve top), right beside our esteemed workshop leader Brandy (who is bald because of ongoing chemotherapy treatment) – photo Deb Martin

Betty also had a love for Chinese Canadian history, arts and culture.  Last year I saw her at the book launch of Jade Rubies, written by my cousin Valerie Wong.  The last time I saw Betty was earlier this year when our writing group had an “Iron Chef” styled cook-off between the two writing groups.  Each group was told to cook with yams.  We could make desserts, main courses, appetizers, salads… anything… as long as it contained yams.

Betty really enjoyed the evening.  Each group was invited to have members go up to the microphone and make “verbal contributions.”  Betty sent her son Arnie as her envoy.  Despite her incredible zest of life, and her openness to share her stories through her writing,  she could still be shy.

Here is the book that Betty Ho contributed to:

Eating Stories: A Chinese Canadian and Aboriginal Potluck

Here is Brandy's blog article about Betty's passing:
RIP Betty

Here is the e-mail message that went out to our writing group:

Hi Everyone,


Sad news.  Betty passed away Sunday August 10.  A service will be held
Friday August 15 at Ocean View Funeral Home at 1 pm.  At Betty's request, please wear attire to reflect her zest for life (do not wear black).


A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, August 16 2pm at the
Vancouver Chinese Presbyterian Church, 6137 Cambie Street.
 In lieu of
flowers, donations can be made “In Memory of Betty Ho” to the BC Cancer Foundation, Suite 600-686 W. Broadway, Vancouver, B.C.  V5Z 1G1 or to P.W.S. & D, c/o of The Chinese Presbyterian Church.

Here is the obituary that appeared in the Vancouver Sun and Vancouver Province.

HO Betty May (Louie)May 22, 1936 – August 10, 2008 After a valiant and
inspirational battle with cancer, we sadly announce the passing of
Betty Ho on Sunday, August 10th, 2008. She died peacefully surrounded
by her loving family and friends, and she is now with her Lord and
Saviour, Jesus Christ. Predeceased by her father, Wah Hoy Louie, Betty
was a loving wife to Arthur, a wonderful mother to Betsy (Daisen)
Gee-Wing and Arnie; and a caring grandmother to Kendall and Deanna. She
is also survived by her mother, Theresa Louie, sisters Holly (Eddie)
Siu, Janny (Dave) Poon, Alinda (Bill) Bowden and brother Nick. She also
leaves to mourn her half sister Oy-King Tai, brother in law Ben
(Micheline) Ho and many nieces and nephews. Born in Vancouver,
Betty graduated from King George High School, and then trained as a Lab
Technician at St. Paul's Hospital. After retiring in 1996 as a
Laboratory Manager at St. Vincent's Hospital, Betty found time for a
new hobby – writing. She enrolled in courses at SFU, pursuing her goal
of completing a Liberal Arts Degree. Her most recent writing
accomplishments include: being a contributing writer for the Senior
Living magazine, as well as having her writing published in the book
“Eating Stories: A Chinese Canadian
& Aboriginal Potluck”. Betty loved travel, photography and music.
For many years Betty combined her love of music and helping others by
volunteering at both the Jazz and Folk Festivals. She was faithful servant at The Vancouver Chinese Presbyterian Church.
She contributed her time in many ways to the church, and was elected as
an Elder in 2000, followed by holding the position Clerk of Session
since 2004. A service will be held Friday, August 15th
Ocean View Funeral Home, 4000 Imperial Street, Burnaby. At Betty's
request, please wear attire to reflect her zest for life (do not wear
black). A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, August 16th
2:00pm at The Vancouver Chinese Presbyterian Church (6137 Cambie Street).
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made “In Memory of Betty Ho” to
The B.C. Cancer Foundation, Suite 600 – 686 W. Broadway, Vancouver,
B.C., Canada V5Z 1G1 or to P.W.S & D, c/o of The Vancouver Chinese
Presbyterian Church.

Published in the Vancouver Sun and/or The Province on 8/13/2008



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