Tom Lem

January 11, 1933April 29, 2020

Tom Lem (Chu Nang Lem) passed away peacefully surrounded by his family at the Intercare Brentwood Care Centre in Calgary on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 at the age of 87 (90 Chinese Years).

Tom was born in Toi Shan, Canton (Guangdong), China on January 11, 1933. He came to Canada in May 1949 at the age of 16 to join his father and mother, Jack and Joy Lem, where they operated Lem’s Café in Granum, Alberta. Tom married his wife Jean in Hong Kong in 1955. They moved to Calgary where he worked various jobs in Chinese restaurants and an insurance company, anything to support his family. In 1965, he became the owner of T.L. Grocery in Forest Lawn which he operated successfully for the next 26 years with his wife and 3 sons. Tom was an avid fisherman and bird hunter (ducks, pheasants) and loved the outdoors. His other favorite pastimes included camping, boating, and attending Calgary Stampeder football games with his sons. After retirement, he and Jean travelled to the USA with friends and made a return trip to China to visit relatives. Most of their retirement was spent lovingly taking care of their grandchildren, even buying a minivan to transport them all in.

Tom will be dearly missed by Jean, his beloved wife of over 65 years; his three sons, Bob (Mary), Dan (Anita), Ed (Ling); and six grandchildren, Rebecca, Sean, Adria, Gillian, Nicholas, and Lina. He was very dedicated to his children and grandchildren and offered every support to them. Tom is also survived by his brother George (Colleen) and many relatives in Vancouver, Canada, and China. He was predeceased by his parents, Jack and Joy Lem.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions there will be a private funeral service for immediate family members only. The funeral will be webcast, please contact the family for further information. Finally, a memorial dinner for Tom will be planned for a later date for all friends and relatives that want to pay their love and respect. The Reverend Dr. John W.S. Kong will be officiating the funeral service, followed by a private internment at Queen’s Park Cemetery.

The family wish to express their deep appreciation for the excellent care provided by Intercare Brentwood Care Centre and Dr. Sarit Sengar, Unit Manager – Lulu, and the entire staff of the Morrison Unit of the Intercare Brentwood Care Centre.


Tom Lem

have a memory or condolence to add?

Christopher Quai

May 16, 2020

Dearest Danny, Anita, Sean, Gillian and Lem family
Our deepest condolences for your loss. We had only met uncle Tom a few times but can always remember his heart warming smile. Our thoughts are with you during this difficult time.
Henry, Kee, Andrew and Christopher

Melissa Long

May 15, 2020

Dear Lem Family - Aunty Jean, Bobby, Danny and Eddy and families. We send you our deepest condolences and sympathies. We will all miss your dad. My parents, Stanley and Gwen Long, wanted to tell you that they are deeply saddened and will cherish the many memories they've had with your parents over the last 65+ years. They live in Ottawa now and not able to visit your mom. Specifically, they said they will always remember the weekly coffee visits at the mall and drives out to the farm. Your dad was always so kind to all of us. My favorite memory of him was when my dad and Uncle Tommy were at the car dealership haggling over a price their two Fifth Avenue cars to beat the price down. My parents are reminiscing today and wishing you all well.

Peggy Hong

May 15, 2020

Dear LEM Family - Aunt Jean, Bob, Danny & Ed and extended families - to you all, our sincerest & deepest sympathies on the passing of Tom.
He will be sorely missed. My family & sibling's fondest memories of him was his infectious smile, his welcoming and warm hearted greetings, and his willingness to share his presence with all, and his tales of where to catch the best fish.
We were blessed to have known him.
A spiritual hug to you all - our prayers for God's loving & merciful arms envelope you.
Peggy, Luis, Charissa & Jonathan,
Bruce & Meeleen
Fred & Theng
and Doris

Joseph Balfour

May 11, 2020

My favorite time bonding with Tom would have to be when one of the Stampeder's star player Nick Lewis came to see him in person. Tom was always a big Stamps fan and Nick was terrific with him. Nick would talk about the team and past games, it was an amazing time. The best part was, this was the same year they won the 2014 Grey Cup.

Elizabeth N

May 6, 2020

I would like to express my condolences to your family. While I can only imagine the pain you're feeling, please know my thoughts and prayers are with you. I hope you will find comfort in the Bible's promise at John 5:28, 29 and Revelation 21:3, 4, that soon Tom will be raised from death. Meanwhile, may you find strength in Jehovah, the God of all comfort.

Burton Pon

May 2, 2020

In loving memory of Tom Lem, Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time. Burton and Leila