Ting Yip Ng

January 21, 1926 to March 16, 2022

Ting Yip Ng passed away peacefully on Wednesday, March 16th, 2022, at James Bay Care Centre in Victoria, BC.

Born in Yanping, Canton Province, China, she married Woon Wing Ng in 1948 after the end of the Second World War. While her husband worked in Brunei, Ting (affectionately known as ‘Ah Ma’) had their first son, Ken, in 1950 and raised him by herself in China until they moved to Hong Kong in 1957.

In 1963, their second son, William, was born. After 15 years of raising the boys on her own, her husband Woon returned from working abroad in 1965.

In 1975 the family immigrated, following Ken to Victoria, B.C., Canada, where ‘Ah Ma’ was instrumental in helping raise her first set of grandchildren: Ray, Amy and Gary. These three allowed Ting to hone her craft as a loving and caring grandma, to later spread similar joy equally to her next beloved grandchildren, Matthew and Ella.

When Ting arrived in Canada, she did not speak or understand any English. Yet, Ting taught herself to speak basic English phrases and also write her name and signature, even capable of communicating with colleagues. Her shining and positive personality helped her succeed in all her endeavours. Ting also mastered the B.C. Transit bus schedule, able to navigate around Greater Victoria’s complex streets with ease, a testament to her incredible memory and recall skills.

Underneath her calm and petite exterior was a determined woman who took on life’s challenges without hesitation. Adapting to life in Canada was challenging, but ‘Ah Ma’ was never afraid of hard work. Her first job outside the home was at age 54– a dishwasher at the Crest Harborview Inn–until she “retired” at 65.

From here, she would dedicate herself to working tirelessly in the kitchen at her son’s restaurants, including the Country Kitchen, Colonial Cafe and the K&T Cafe. There was no stopping Ting from supporting and loving her sons unconditionally, regardless of the task at hand. She was indeed relentless in her pursuit of showing love to her family.

After helping out daily during the busy lunch rush at the K&T Cafe, ‘Ah Ma’ would take the bus home while making shopping stops along the way at her favourite stores. She loved pouncing on deals–particularly tissue boxes and toilet paper (she definitely was ahead of her time). The Ng household’s garage always had enough toilet paper stockpiled to last many, many years.

Her endurance as a ‘grandma’ was second to none. Arriving at home she would tend to the family’s extensive vegetable garden and flower beds, do housework, then prep and make multiple dishes for dinner, including her famous slow-cooked soups, daily. After dinner she would always find time to tend to her prized veggie gardens, until sunset. Ting was always the last one in the kitchen, cleaning up and ensuring her domain was spotless for the next day.

Ting was determined in tackling issues head-on with confidence and without hesitation. One day, ‘Ah Ma’ accidentally forgot her purse on the #28 Majestic bus after getting off at the top of Kenmore hill at Tyndall. Realizing she had left her purse, she proceeded to sprint down Kenmore (1km away) to cut off the bus at Majestic Drive, shocking both the bus driver and passengers, who had her belongings ready for her.

‘Ah Ma’ was the kindest, most gentle and caring grandmother. She always took the time to listen, comfort, care (and feed endlessly) for those around her, and was never one to judge. Ting defined what it meant to be a good person, always willing to help and show empathy. She spoiled her grandchildren with heartwarming smiles, along with her infectious, positive personality and outlook on life. She never once would ever raise her voice or criticize, and set the bar high as a warm and loving grandmother.

Her ability to recall vivid and descriptive stories from China was second to none, always keen on sharing memories from her childhood and past. Ting would always be one to stop and ‘smell the roses’– never in a rush and would remain calm in all situations. She loved watching late-night Chinese television and would sometimes fall asleep doing so, but would always be the first one up the next morning.

Renowned for her vast cooking skills, her weekend tradition consisted of showering her family with love by spending hours in the kitchen. Ting would make hundreds of perfectly-crimped crystal dumplings with ease, along with vats of deliciously creamy and smooth congee, and angel food cake. She would always make chow mein for good measure, to ensure family and friends had more than enough to eat. Ting’s countless other mouthwatering dishes, especially those from her Cantonese heritage, allowed her family to experience traditional Chinese cuisine. When asked for recipes she said she could only demonstrate them–as they were all from the heart and made with love.

‘Ah Ma’ was incredibly resilient, never one to complain about pain or draw attention to herself. One day she casually mentioned a “slight ache” in her wrist, which had been bothering her. It turned out the wrist was not sprained–but actually broken. She dismissed the pain of a broken wrist as an annoyance–that’s how strong she was. Another time, one of her wrists suffered a severe burn while making spaghetti sauce in a wok; despite the injury, she would continue to work tirelessly in the home for her family. Nothing could stop the determination of Ting, especially when it came to providing for her family.

Window shopping, walking, socializing and gardening were her favourite past times which she continued well into her 90s. Even at this age of her life, ‘Ah Ma’ outdid most people half her age – working in the garden for five hours straight, helping the James Bay Care Centre staff by sweeping and putting away dishes, and able to easily handle 6-plus kilometre-long walks. Strolls around the block could take an hour, as she always enjoyed chatting with shopkeepers and wanted to appreciate every detail on the way. She truly treasured life and lived in the moment, never worrying about the stresses of everyday life.

Predeceased by her husband Woon Wing Ng, ‘Ah Ma’ is survived by her two sons: Ken (Teresa) and William (Colleen); 5 grandchildren: Ray (Teresa), Amy (Edwin), Gary (Taya), Matthew and Ella; and her 5 great-grandchildren: Kaitlin, Lucas, Ashley, Evan and Jessie.

Many thanks to the excellent James Bay Care Centre staff for their wonderful care of Ting.

During her final days she often asked about the grandchildren; therefore in lieu of flowers, please feel free to donate to BC Children’s Hospital by visiting here: http://www.bcchildrens.ca/donate

It was ‘Ah Ma’s’ wish to keep the funeral private and for immediate family only. Thank you to all those who have sent their condolences–your thoughts are much appreciated. Ting will be dearly and sorely missed by her family, friends and communities where she graced with her loving presence.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Deepest condolences for Ah Mah. She was an amazing woman and truly unbelievable in how she went about life. I’ve never once seen her without a smile on her face. Thank you for taking care of me and welcoming me into your home. Rest in Peace Ah Mah.

  2. Our sincere condolences, Ah Ma was amazing, always smiling and chatty – we always had lovely conversations.
    Rest In Peace Ah Ma.

  3. My deepest condolences to the Ng family, who were a huge part of my childhood and blessed me a unique insight to their foods, traditions and culture. I have many fond memories of Ah Mah when we were kids, even the time she had a great laugh trying to get me to eat chicken feet! Thank you for your kindness and may you rest in peace.

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