Mrs. Mitzi Tun Maung
January 20, 1933 – November 8, 2010
Mitzi was born on January 20, 1933, in Rangoon, Burma, to Justice U Kyaw Zan U and DaKhin U. The first of three children, she spent her early childhood years at the family home in Sittwe, Burma. She was a very happy, active and mischievous girl. During the Japanese occupation of WWII the family first evacuated to MyoHaung (Mrauk U) and thereafter to several neighbouring villages. After the war the family returned to Sittwe and Mitzi was sent to Darjeeling, India, with her brother to attend school as a boarder. She attended Loreto Convent, a premier girl’s school in India where she spent 3 years and thereafter transferred to St. john’s Convent in Rangoon. She later returned to Sittwe from where she matriculated. She then attended the Rangoon University where she obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1955. While attending University she had to stay with her Grand Aunt who looked after her as her own daughter and she forged an inseparable friendship with her Aunt once removed Iris, who is of her own age. After being pursued relentlessly, a mutual love and attraction developed and after a few chaperoned dates she married Reggie on April 7, 1956, in Yangon, Myanmar. Their first child TZ was born just a year and a week after their wedding. In the early years, the family lived with Reggie’s parents at University Avenue in Yangon, Myanmar. Their second son Kyone was born 3 years later in 1960. Later, the family moved in with Mitzi’s parents at Windermere Park. She then started working as a teacher at the international School in Yangon. While accompanying TZ to his school, she was offered a teacher’s position at the St. Augustine’s High School. While substituting as High Schoolteacher, the school was nationalized and she became a High School teacher, an occupation she kept for 10 years. The family then bought a house of their own in Nichols Avenue and moved in there in 1972. Then she was handpicked to be in charge of the English curriculum for Myanmar at the Ministry of Education. She continued in that position till the family immigrate to Canada in 1988. She then had to take the Diploma in Education degree. She then unexpectedly got pregnant and joyously welcomed her daughter Mimi in 1975. She then continued her studies and obtained her Master’s degree in English while the young daughter was looked after by Reggie and the two boys. She welcomed her first grandchild in 1984 and second in 1986. The family then immigrated to Canada in 1988. They bought their second home in Burnaby, BC. Those were some of her happiest years. Mitzi then got a franchise and opened a lingerie shop, the Petticoat Box, at Metrotown Center in Burnaby. She kept the shop for a few years and later sold it. Then she became an official Burmese Language Interpreter, a job that she kept till she passed away. She enjoyed a feeling of accomplishment in this position as she was able to help and advice. The various refugees and others who needed help that came to the Canadian shores. During this period, she together with Reggie and a few dedicated Burmese people found the first Burmese Buddhist Monastery and Society in Vancouver. Their wish was that their descendants should be able to practice Buddhism away from their home country and their wish was fulfilled when one of their grandsons became a koyin at the monastery on more than one occasion. She and Reggie continued to dedicate their time and money to the continued progress of the monastery ; they also arranged meditation retreats where they participated themselves. She also served a term as Executive Secretary to the Manawmaya Theravada Buddhist Society. She always cared for everyone she met and strived to find ways to help others. She gave all that she could to be strong for family, her relatives and friends. She would carry out any task that she undertook to the very end. It was a tragic time when she was diagnosed with Lung cancer in November, 2009, but against all odds she always wished, prayed and hoped for a miracle till the very end. Mitzi is survived by her beloved husband Reggie, 2 sons, a daughter, 2 daughters-in-law, a son-in-law and 4 grandchildren.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Mrs. Mitzi Tun Maung
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