On a beautiful sunny afternoon, Tom Lai Mak, of The Pas, Manitoba, passed away peacefully at the age of 87 years. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Fern; sons John (Donna) and Ken; daughters Lily (David) and Nancy; grandsons Ben (Kloe) and Josh (Rebecca) along with great grandson Oliver; and older sister Chui Kam.
Tom was born in Kwangtung, China and at 16 years old, immigrated to Yorkton, Saskatchewan. Along with his brother Henry, both attended Grade 1! Over the next few years, both skipped several grades to high school.
In the early 1950’s, Tom came to The Pas to work at the Occidental Café and eventually became its owner. Tom and Fern were married in Hong Kong in January of 1956. Soon, the children started arriving and they moved to the building Tom built on the corner of Edwards and Third. This was home and remains so to present day. He later built a ‘dental clinic’ where the cafe stood and a laundromat across the street. He owned several properties throughout The Pas over the years.
When Tom was not busy selling, buying or managing, he was active with Toast Masters, the Lion’s Club and then the Elks. One of his proudest moments was when he was elected the Exalted Ruler for the Elks by his peers.
Tom attempted retirement but that did not last. Even though several heart issues slowed him down, Tom always worked. Whether as a cook, a restauranteur, selling hardware, or furniture and appliances, Tom spent many hours a day at business. In many ways, this is what defined Tom Mak.
The family would like to thank the dedicated doctors, nurses and staff at St. Anthony’s Hospital for providing care and comfort for Tom. Also, to the considerate support of staff at Primary Health. We want to thank Linda and Denies for being there for Fern on Sunday.
In keeping with family wishes, cremation will take place and a memorial service to celebrate Tom’s life will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba, 6 Donald Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3L 0K6, would be appreciated by Tom’s family.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Tom Mak, please visit our floral store.
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba
6 Donald Street, Winnipeg MB R3L 0K6