Mr. Desmond Ko
26 October , 1949 – 18 May , 2019
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: https://www.gofundme.com/desmond-ko
The Desi Classic - A Charity Golf tournament in loving memory of Desmond will be held in 2020.
- Salvation Army Rotary Hospice
- Visitation Thursday, 30 May , 2019
- Funeral Service Friday, 31 May , 2019
Mr. Desmond Ko
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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!
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.
1 June 2019
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!
LOVE FOR EVER & MISSING YOU!!!!
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 🙏💖
30 May 2019
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.
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.
Elke and William
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!
28 May 2019
Mr Ko, my original "Wing Man".
I was introduced to Mr and Mrs Ko at the infamous Ko Christmas Parties, and soon found out where Kelli and Tiphany got their delectable taste buds from. Mr Ko was a master home chef cooking up elaborate meals that were as delicious as any fine Chinese restaurant. His repertoire ranged from Turduckens to Chicken in Chinese Wine. But my most memorable dish was his chicken wings. At one of his parties, we schemed to get Mr Ko drunk by taking turns to do shots with him. But in the end, all three stooges (Eddie, Alfie and I) were the ones that got drunk under the table, literally. But even in my wasted stupor, I managed to find my way to the kitchen for more of his delicious chicken wings and all I could utter was "Mishter Ko......Schicken Wings..." And the rest was history. Parties at the Ko’s were legendary and where stories were made. You could find me hiding in the closet munching on a plate of food either because of selfish reasons or maybe it was just that type of party. Such were the experiences that you will have at the Ko's - always joyous, unjudgemental, funny, loving and generous.
Mr Ko was more than just Kelli and Tiph's dad to us. We never felt like he was a parent watching over us but more of a friend and a buddy. We always felt comfortable around him, and he made us feel like so. He was a avid golfer, DJ, dancer, cook, oving husband, supportive father and a generous friend.
When I ventured a food project and needed help, he sold me one of his vans that I used for deliveries, and threw in a freezer and any other things that I might need. One year when I wasn’t home in Singapore for Chinese New Year, he had me over for his family reunion dinner. I was deeply touched by the grace, love and generosity that he gave and he never expected anything in return.
Even when I think of Mr Ko now, I remember his big smile and happy voice bellowing, “Chicken Wing! How are you?” May you rest in peace, Mr "Desmond" Ko.
27 May 2019
Desmond is a sportsman with many talents. He is always generous and kind in sharing his expertise in skiing, tennis and golf with friends. I was once encouraged and virtually taken care of by him to go from the Mom’s Trail to Blackcomb at Whistler to experience the thrills of going down the steep runs that I would never dare to do it on my own.
I was privileged and honored to be the best man at his wedding after his yearlong dating with Anita who happened to be classmate and buddy of my girl friend at that time, and my wife now for 41 years.
We went out together countless times until I moved back to Hong Kong for good, but we always made sure we set a high priority to visit one another whenever we were back to Vancouver or they came to Hong Kong.
The profound memories of our being together and the generosity and kindness of Desmond will always be on our minds.
26 May 2019
Always will remember you as the the charismatic good guy, and even though we had a 40+ year absence, the fun times in our 20's with Wayne will always remain with me. So happy we were able to reconnect recently and spend some quality time together while you were in hospice. Gone too soon but your attitude and demeanor was amazing. Hope you are enjoying unlimited Fanny Bay oysters in heaven! Much love till we meet again!
My deepest and heartfelt condolences to Anita, your beloved daughters and your entire family. You will be missed by all!
26 May 2019
You are now in a place of no pain and suffering. Missed you but never forgotten.RIP.
26 May 2019
Diamond is our family friend for over 30 years. He is first introduced by his lovely wife Anita who is a student of my late father.
Diamond is a unique person with chararisma, full of energy, atheletic, kind and very generous to the other people.
I am sure he is now in a better place with no pain and suffering to endure. I am sure the wonderful memory of our beloved Desmond will forever cherished by his family and friends.
25 May 2019
Desmond was a very handsome guy that married my prettiest classmate. They made a great couple. Desmond was a loving and helpful husband and father that gave his whole heart to his family. He had never given up! Desmond: may you Rest In Peace and you will be missed.
25 May 2019
I remember Desmond always brought the huge fans to the dancing class in the school gymnasium to cool us off in hot weather. A tremendous chef and DJ for the dancing parties. He made all the events successful and unforgettable. Demond, you are such a memorable person in my mind. May God be with you in heaven.
24 May 2019
Uncle Desmond was always ready with a smile, lots of laughter, and tons of delicious food when we saw him. We will miss his entertaining stories and the fun that we had with him.
24 May 2019
In the loss of any great soul it is important to celebrate their life and legacy which I am happy to do today in memory of Desmond.
I feel fortunate to have met him in my path through life and he had a great zest for life which was grounded in family, golf, big parties, big speakers and meat. I remember being shown his room of speakers in his house. Never have I met someone to proud of the window shattering power that his floor to ceiling speakers offered to him and his neighbors. Family was also something of huge value and the parties that he hosted were second to none where everyone felt welcomed and definitely went home with the meat sweats. From king sized shrimp to monster steaks you never left a party hungry. An avid and passionate golfer I was lucky enough to share both the golf simulator and the course with him. He also opened me up to a new putter which is still carving strokes off my game today.
Desmond was an amazingly funny, caring and treasured soul who will leave behind a legacy that has touched so many and while my time with him was short, it was enjoyed and more importantly, he is a person I feel fortunate to have met in my time. You will be missed but eternally remembered! And I am sure that I will see out on the golf course shining down on my shots!
24 May 2019
Over the 40 years that I know Demond, he’s my fishing partner, skiing instructor, tennis opponent, golf buddy and we sell Clearball putter at different golf shows together. He’s a true champion in everything that he does because he is so focus and a perfectionist in all the things that he get involved with. Sure miss him lots. RIP.
24 May 2019
There are so many great memories of Mr. Ko. From the big feasting parties at his house to the special wonton deliveries right to our doorstep! Not only did Mr. Ko feed his friends and family with AMAZING eats, people liked being around him for his big personality. There was a jovial way about him that made people feel welcomed, and happy around him. He was definitely the life of the party. It is this quality about him that has attracted not only his own friends and family but also the friends of his daughters, Kelli and Tiffany, including myself. I don't think Kel and Tiff had a single close friend who did not know and love Mr. Ko.
Mr. Ko, you will be sorely missed by all who knew you. I hope you are looking down and smiling knowing how many lives you have touched in a big and positive way.