Victor Chin-Keung Chan

March 23, 1947November 11, 2020

Victor Chan passed away on Remembrance Day after a three-week battle with Covid-19.

Victor was born March 23, 1947.

He attended Wah Yan College in Hong Kong and completed his PhD at Stanford University. Victor taught Art History at the University of Alberta, retiring Professor Emeritus in 2000.

Victor is survived by an extended family including Julia and Alec Lai in Vancouver, Erica and Brian Lai-Robinson of Washington DC, and his friend and caregiver Marshall Sumka.

Victor was dearly loved and will be missed.

Thanks to the team at Wing Kei Crescent Heights who provided Victor with care for the past four years.

Expressions of sympathy may be forwarded to the family, via the website:

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Jetske Sybesma

November 20, 2020

I have many fond memories of Victor as a kind and thoughtful colleague in the Department of Art and Design at the U of A. I feel inspired by the positive memories of Victor as a wonderful friend and brilliant art historian. No doubt, this is a difficult time for the whole family and particularly for you, Marshal. Take peace in the celebration of his life and your time together.

Gary Kelly

November 20, 2020

Victor and I came to the University of Alberta at about the same time and soon became friends, sharing an interest in the Romantic era, going to conferences together, grumbling about this and that together, enjoying restaurants and Victor's fine cooking together (when I took a Chinese cooking class he showed me how to handle a wok). He was an amazing and sensitive scholar, a beautiful writer, and an original thinker. Generous and forgiving. Sympathetic and wise. One of the greatest people I've known. Deepest sympathy to his family and friends. The winter light's a little dimmer today.

Kimberly Lockert

November 19, 2020

Dr Chan instilled in me, a life long love of art.
Honoured & Blessed to have taken courses with him. Brilliant & A great story teller - I remember so many. My heart grieves for his family & friends.

Sidsel Bradley

November 18, 2020

My deepest condolences to the family. I am so saddened to hear of his passing.

Donna McKinnon

November 18, 2020

I'm very sad to hear this. He was my prof for most of my art history classes in the 80s, and I absolutely loved him, particularly when he was teaching 19th century art history. Hands down one of my favourite instructors. Erudite, funny, gobsmackingly interesting. Stories of his Jesuit education and his life as a collector of art always made it into his lectures. I sat there absolutely enthralled. He was also curator of the most popular exhibit EVER at FAB Gallery (in 1995): "Rubens to Picasso: Four Centuries of Master Drawings". Dr. Chan was a very influential person in my life, and he will be greatly missed. RIP.

Sharon Pianzola

November 18, 2020

Many former students of Dr. Chan, as I was, will remember and appreciate the amazing ability that he had to recite from memory his lectures. He was such an engaging and excellent professor. He also was extremely helpful in offering advise and ideas regarding seminar projects. As many have mentioned, he had an amazing art collection which he would share with students to enhance their understanding of the beauty and value of art. I always appreciated his immense historical knowledge, which he utilized fully in his lectures. I am certain that attending his classes has contributed to my continuing interest in art and art history. My deepest condolences to his friends and family.

Joan Greer

November 18, 2020

How often over the past years have I thought of Victor, who was my MA graduate supervisor, mentor, friend and, later, colleague. I remember him so fondly. There was never a more astute, passionate and inspiring art historian, and he shared a great wealth of knowledge and experience with me. I consider myself fortunate. Victor was also very kind and hospitable to my late husband Rudy and to my parents, who were his neighbours in Edmonton. And when my children were born, I remember how exceptionally patient and gracious Victor was with my little ones. When Victor moved to Calgary I was always happy to know that he had Marshall in his life.
My mother, Judy Greer, joins me in sending heartfelt condolences to Marshall, and to Victor’s niece Erica, and other members of his family.
(Joan Greer, Professor, University of Alberta)

Victor Chan

November 17, 2020

Victor was one of my profs in grad school at the University of Alberta. Victor was one of the very first faculty members I encountered when I arrived in Edmonton. He was erudite, and quite a character! He was totally absorbed by the visual arts and I learned much from him. He had such a keen eye for the beautiful, and was an astute collector as well. I am so sorry to hear of Victor’s death - I had always expected to reconnect with him someday!

My condolences to Marshall and the family. Victor was truly special and one of a kind!

Teresa Chan

November 17, 2020

Victor was my eldest brother in the family. He was gentle and warm. I still remember how he taught me about painting when I was little. But best of all, I remember how he talked to me on my wedding day. I'll treasure the time we shared together in my memory. Rest in peace. May the lord be with him. With all our hearts from my family Charles , Jonathan, Ida and Dorothy.

Patrick Kwan

November 16, 2020

Rest In Peace, Victor. I have fond memories of you as a gentle, friendly classmate in Wah Yan College for many years. Even at a young age, your talents in painting and arts were indeed most impressive. We'll miss you.

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