Jack On Lee was born to Yip See and Gim Foon Lee on September 15, 1936 in Taishan, Guangdong, China. Jack lived through the Japanese Invasion of World War II and the Chinese Revolution of 1949. With his parents, Jack and Kan (cousin) immigrated as twins to Canada. They departed from Hong Kong on November 28, 1950 aboard the SS President Cleveland sailing for 21 days through Yokohama, Tokyo, Honolulu and finally docking in the San Francisco Bay on December 16, 1950. The family spent Christmas in San Francisco Chinatown with their older sister, Tew Moy. On December 27, they left aboard the Great Northern Railway onto Canada and arrived at White Rock, B.C. on December 29 and Vancouver on January 1, 1951. It was a new year, a new life at the "Golden Mountain" and the "Land of Opportunity".
The family resided in Golden, B.C. and ran the restaurant in the town hotel. Jack's father was looking for a permanent life for his family. Gim Lee saw an advertisement in a newspaper that there was a restaurant for sale in Weyburn, Saskatchewan. He found Weyburn on the map and went west to purchase the restaurant. He then brought the family to Weyburn in September 1951 and ran the "Club Café" which was located on Souris Avenue.
The Lee family ran the Club Café at the old location for 4 years until Gim Lee bought the 4 Star Café Building in October 1955, which is at the present location. Jack has been an "icon" at the café for more than 57 years.
After arriving to Canada at age14, he attended school for 3 years at Souris and Assiniboia School. At 17, he started working at the Souris Ave. location with his father. The Lee family lived in a small house on 2nd Street until 1959 when the upstairs living quarters were built.
Jack married Wai Fong Chow on September 16, 1959 and had 3 children, Lucy, Jack Jr. and Nancy. After the passing of our mother on July 17, 1989, Jack was lost and lonely until he was introduced to Cui Ling and was married in China on February 15, 1995. Cui Ling and her children, Wan and Xue immigrated to Canada in1996. Jack continued to operate the café with our extended stepfamily to the present. The legacy of Club Café will continue with Cui Ling, Wan, Liping, Xue, Tim and family.
Jack's proudest and honored moments:
•Weyburn Chamber of Commerce "Golden Service Award" in 1999 for high standard of hospitality and customer service
•Weybex "Business Hall of Fame" Award in 2004
•Prairies North Reader Choice Award for
"Saskatchewan's Best Chinese Food" in 2011
Jack was a very proud man, loving husband and father, who instill great virtues of life to his family and everyone around him. He was hardworking, generous, and wanted the best for everyone. He loved people especially all his customer who are also his friends. He loved to joke and his laugh will truly be missed.
The biggest joke was: he would retire the day he couldn't get up. Jack lived up to his word. Last Saturday, he was at the "Club" answering the phone, taking orders, greeting, talking and laughing with his friends. He rested on Sunday, and then peacefully passed away on Monday morning.
Essence of Jack's life consists of achieving goals, realizing dreams and experiencing life's greatest moments of family, friends, love, happiness and lots of laughter.
Jack was predeceased by his parents, Gim Foon Lee and Yip See Lee; first wife, Wai Fong Lee; sister, Tew Moy Lee and grandson, Kingsley.
Jack is also survived by his loving wife, Cui Ling Huang of Weyburn, SK; children, Lucy Lee of Saskatoon, SK, Jack Lee of Regina, SK and Nancy Lee of Vancouver, BC; step son, Wan Zhang Li (Liping) of Weyburn, SK; step daughter, Xue Yu Li (Tim) of Weyburn, SK; 4 granddaughters and brother, Jack Kong Lee of Moose Jaw, SK as well as numerous nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
A Funeral Service was held Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 2:00 PM from Grace United Church, Weyburn, SK with Reverend M. Barnabas officiating. Interment took place at Hillcrest Cemetery, Weyburn, SK.
In Lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Jack may be made to Weyburn & District Hospital Foundation or to Hospitals of Regina Foundation.