January 26, 1931 - December 3, 2020
It is with deep sadness and much love that we announce the passing of Jim at the age of 89 years.
Jim was born in Canton, China to parents Hung and Fong Ma. Jim married the love of his life, Jean Wong. They spent the next 67 years building a wonderful life together. They raised a beautiful family of eight children, who are the pride of their lives.
As a young man, Jim immigrated to Canada to join his father, where they sought the freedom and opportunity Canada offered. He didn’t speak English, but he had a tremendous work ethic and incredible determination to succeed. Jim settled in central Saskatchewan, where he learned about Canadian life in a rural community and became a hockey enthusiast. He quickly learned the English language and became an incredible chef in his own right.
A few years later, Jim returned to China to marry the love of his life, Jean. He made a promise to her, that he would take care of her for the rest of their lives. The newlyweds made their journey back to Canada and Jim learned how to run a profitable restaurant in a small town in southern Alberta. Here, he and Jean welcomed their first generation Canadian-Chinese born son.
Jim had bigger dreams and he realized his business acumen. Jim ventured to find a bigger community that could offer more for his family and found that special place in Drumheller, Alberta. In this bustling farming community, he and Jean grew their family. Soon after, Jim and Jean celebrated the ownership of their first restaurant, Diana Restaurant, and the birth of their fifth child, Diana. Jim took great pride in serving Chinese-Western cuisine. His versatile cooking skills made his Boston cream pies famous. Legend has it, people would drive from as far away as Saskatchewan to enjoy one of these pies.
For nearly 4 decades, Jim demonstrated his love of cooking and business savvy before he sold his share of the Diana Restaurant to care for Jean when she had a stroke. He vowed to support her and personally ensure the best quality of life possible. His devotion was truly a love story that defined their lives. The couple moved to Calgary to be close to their children and grandchildren. Their home became the cornerstone for many family gatherings.
Well into his eighth decade Jim continued his passion for riding his bike and going on his daily walks. He was truly inspirational to his family and neighbours.
Jim leaves to celebrate and carry on his legacy; his loving wife, Jean, his children Ken (Mila), Perry Mah, Susan Wong (Ken), Rose (Warren), Diana Little (Gordon), Sandra, Tony (Louis), Tina Bachynski (Brian). Grandchildren Nicole Sturm (Michael Lee), Megan Mah (Chris Noel), Danielle Little (Ivan Lefebvre), Michelle Little, Raylene Dunn. Great granddaughter Annelise Lefebvre.
Jim’s family would like to extend their appreciation to the health professionals at Northland Dialysis Clinic and Unit 53 at the Peter Lougheed Health Centre for their care and bravery on the frontlines.
A private family service will be held.
Donations in Jim’s name can be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, hsf.donorportal.ca, or the Kidney Foundation of Canada, kidney.ca