Mr. Desmond Ko

26 October , 194918 May , 2019
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Desmond Ko, found eternal peace on May 18, 2019, after a courageous 4-year battle with cancer. He was the strongest, most stubborn, kind-hearted, giving, honest, and dependable family man. Desmond lived life emphatically, and in his 69 years of life has accomplished more than most people do in twice that time. He will be remembered as a loving husband, exceptional father, son, brother, uncle, friend, mentor, coach, athlete, cook and so much more.

Desmond Ko was born in Kowloon, Hong Kong on October 26th, 1949. He grew up in New Territories with his parents, 4 brothers and 2 sisters. In February 1968 when Desmond was 18, he and his family immigrated to Vancouver, Canada. In Vancouver, he went to Vancouver Community College and graduated as a Mechanical Draftsman.

In July of 1976, Desmond met his wife Anita and he was instantly mesmerized. They got married on January 22, 1977 and soon after had two children: Kelli in 1978 and Tiffany in 1982. Desmond loved his family very much and would devote his life to them.

Desmond loved spending time with his family and friends. Whether it was summers at Cultus Lake where they had barbeques under the willow tree, to ski trips in Whistler, to planning annual end of summer barbeques at our home for Anita. Desmond’s love for sports (fishing, skiing, tennis, golf) and activities has won him many trophies and awards as he takes on every task as if he were going to win the world Championship.

While Desmond’s life was short, his impact was significant and will be remembered by all. He was driven and curious; he was engaging and fun; he lived purposefully and loved unconditionally. He lit up every room he walked into with his laugh and smile, and touched the lives of everyone he encountered with his honest and wise words.

Desmond leaves behind family and an immense amount of friends that adored him. His spirit lives on in his wife, Anita Ko, and two daughters, Kelliane Ko and Tiffany Ko, Mother-in-law; Kwok Cheng Mo-Tak, siblings; Sue Yen and husband Henry Yen, Colby Ko and wife Alice Ko, Raymond Ko and wife Sue Ko, Janet Yen and husband David Yen, Larry Ko and wife Melinda Margineanu, sister-in-law Ruby Lau and husband Jeff Lau, sister-in-law, April Kwok, brother-in-law Patrick Kwok and wife Kayo Kwok, nieces and nephews; and so many good friends near and far. They are all calmed by the knowledge that he is no longer in pain or suffering, that he is watching over us all and within our hearts.

The family invites all who were lucky enough to know Desmond, to honor his life at Forrest Lawn Funeral Home on May 31st at 1pm. Celebration of life luncheon will be held at Gingeri Chinese Cuisine in Richmond.

During this time of grievance, in lieu of flowers and gifts, we are proud to set up a fund page to benefit THE SALVATION ARMY RICHMOND ROTARY HOSPICE in hopes to help purchase two new hospice beds. Desmond's last 20 days were spent in this peaceful establishment where the utmost care was provided and would like to leave a legacy as Demond would want. Donations can be made at:

The Desi Classic - A Charity Golf tournament in loving memory of Desmond will be held in 2020.


  • Visitation Thursday, 30 May , 2019
  • Funeral Service Friday, 31 May , 2019


Mr. Desmond Ko

have a memory or condolence to add?

Lynda Nielsen

16 July 2019

I worked with Desi at Safeway for many years! He was always fun to work with and I always admired his passion for anything he decided to do! loved his stories!
Rest in Peace!

Wheeler Lin

2 June 2019

Desmond, our aquarium hobby brought us together. I will miss sharing this passion with you. I am grateful for your friendship. Rest in peace dear friend.

Vincent Khoo

1 June 2019

Hi Desmond!
This is your more than 30 years closest friend, neighbour, drinking partner, golf partner & student, events organiser partner, building maintenance & renovation client, ski student, tennis partner, travel partner and lots of things we did together. Vincent Khoo
Me and Thomas Skinner sure miss you a lot for what you did for us all these years. You are part of our company staff and we sure miss you Party Animal! You are the Best & Perfection!

Francis Yau

31 May 2019

RIP Desmond. You were always number one. I have always treasured our time playing tennis together.

Susanna & Makky Lee

31 May 2019

Many thanks to Desmond for providing us with your most Valuable Friendships over the years! Your Endless Love, Caring, Sincerity, Generosity, Dedication, Sharing, Charms, Passionate, Vitality & You Smile will be Missed Forever 🙏💖

Deanna Enciso

30 May 2019

Uncle/Mr. Ko,

All of the many memories I have of you are all joyful, full of laughter, and centered around meals with family and friends. Even the last time I saw you, stuck in a hospital room, you were still cracking jokes and making sure my daughters were fed! One of the many ways you showed love and care was through food, and I’m so glad to have been lucky enough to have been on the receiving end :)

One of my funniest memories of you is that there would come a point every time I saw you when you would start speaking Cantonese to me and I would reply with, “Uncle, I’m not Chinese- I don’t speak Cantonese...” and you would carry on. Kelli would shake her head and I would laugh, and we would continue our conversation... You in Cantonese and me hoping I was picking up on most of your cues. I’m pretty sure most of the time we were talking about food anyway.

We’ll miss you and all of your antics. Take care up there, Uncle. We’ll try to make you proud down here.

Tricia Chen

30 May 2019

I have a couple fond memories of Mr Ko that will be engrained in my life forever. I moved away in year 2000 to Asia and only came back to Vancouver once every few years. I was back for Christmas in 2008 and the Ko's had a Christmas gathering at their house. I was touched by the graciousness of the Ko's having us over at a time that is meant for family. Halfway through the party, Mr Ko stood up and started dancing like no one was watching which brought a HUGE smile to my face. That was when I knew that Kelli had one of the coolest dads ever. He made us laugh and had so much joy in his persona.

Soon after I moved back to Vancouver in 2013, Mr Ko started making XO sauce, dumplings, and Chinese New Year cake (Nian Gao) for his friends and family. I was always quick to place an order because I knew it was definitely going to be delicious. Kelli was away once when I went over to their house to pick up the order. He spent 30 minutes with me showing me his kitchen and where all the yumminess was made. He had this twinkle in his eyes that exerted so much kindness. I left their house that day again thinking, Kelli has one of the best dads in the world. I still have a jar of XO sauce in my fridge that I will savour over time.

Mr Ko ~ I pray that you are in heaven looking down at your family and loved ones. You are their protector and always will be.

Ruth/ Ralph Huber

29 May 2019

Desmond was such a wonderful person, very cheerful and always with a lovely warm smiles for all these years, since we met more than 30 years ago ! We always love his Famous BBQ Pork and more ,,,,,
Desmond was a very brave and strong to the end, definitely he will be missed by all of us!
Conveying our love and wishing for you and your family Peace and good health during this hard time !!

Elke and William Wong

29 May 2019

In my memory of Desmond, he was absolutely a giver. When I started learning how to ski years back , he took me to Grouse Mountain to show me how it all worked. When I started learning to play golf, he showed me some valuable skills to play it better.

We wish him all the best whatever he is doing and wherever he is going.

Sincerely friends,
Elke and William

David A

28 May 2019

Desmond was an instant mentor and friend. Upon dating his daughter Desmond welcomed me into the family with open arms, laughs and golf lessons. His family is one of my all-time faves.
His love for family and friends was always on display. I smile thinking of all those impressive Ko BBQs.
Desmond had his own way to do things... sometimes at the expense of hurting your feelings, but it was always for the greater good. He didn't do anything halfway. If he's going to do something, he's going to do it the best. Stubborn or determined? I say both. My golf game certainly thanks him for his tireless efforts.

I've remained his friend over the years and will never forget the moments we have shared together. I look forward to passing on his lessons learned to help others like they did for me.

Desmond, you're a beauty!