Nga Thi Le
March 16, 1944 – October 28, 2018
It was a warm and sunny spring day in 1944 when our mother, Ngà Lê, was born into the loving arms of her parents, Mr. Lê Văn Tốt and Mrs. Phan Thị Phép. She was affectionately referred to as “Sáu Dáng” among her seven siblings. Our mother grew up in Long Xuyên near the Mekong Delta, and as fate would have it, met and fell in love with a man that lived across the street. At the age of 22, she married that man, the love of her life, our father, Diệp Trần and had 4 children.
Our family’s blissful lives abruptly came to an end shortly after the fall of Saigon in 1975. This was a period that put our mom through a test of love, devotion, strength, and sacrifice. It was during those turbulent times that the characteristics that eventually defined her was in full force. Almost immediately after the fall of Saigon, our father was arrested and sent far away to labor camp. With lack of hope for a better future, our mom made a decision that would forever change the course of events for our family, escape for freedom or die trying. With knowledge that she might not ever see her kids again, our mom tearfully sent her eldest son and daughter, 12 and 10 years old respectively, to escape in 1980. Both made it to America. Then in 1982, our recently released father, youngest sister, youngest brother, and two even younger cousins, escaped once again by boat and finally reached America. At the age of 38, our mom restarted her life in America with her whole family full of hope. Hope for better lives, however, did not come without sacrifices. She would trudged in snow in her sneakers to get to and from work instead of riding the bus, just to save a dollar or two for the family. She worked for many hours, anywhere, and any day of the week while still providing hot food on the table for us. Her goals, like many immigrant families, were to provide opportunities for her kids to be educated and find success in this new world. To that, our mom succeeded indeed.
After watching all of her children graduate from colleges and start their own lives, she was content and started her retirement early. Our mom witnessed the births and cradled her 10 lovely grandchildren. She traveled the world with our dad. Together, they saw the majesty of colossal icebergs in Alaska, walked the warm white beaches in the Caribbean, gazed upon the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and tasted kimchi in Seoul. When she was not traveling, she was often found in the garden tending to her flowers, fruits, and vegetables.
Our mom was a kind, level-headed, and straightforward woman. She was well loved, admired, and respected among families and friends. It is with warm and loving thoughts of our mom that we will end her brief biography here. After 74 years of shining bright, especially through dark and difficult times, her light dimmed and vanished on October 28, 2018. The memories of our mom, however, will forever shine brightly through her husband, kids, grandkids, and everyone’s lives she has touched. Rest In Peace our dearest Mommy. We love you with all of our hearts!
- Visitation Monday, November 5, 2018
- Prayer Service Monday, November 5, 2018