OBITUARY

Mia Gale

June 8, 1957April 1, 2021
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Mia Gale, passed away on Thursday, April 1, 2021 in Berwyn, Illinois. Mia was born June 8, 1957 in China to her parents Nancy and Hall Toy. She married Glen Gale on September 9, 1978.

Loving wife of Glen Gale. Beloved sister of Margi (Stan) Miller, Barbara Toy, Lucy (Jeff) Nishihira, Tony (Kathy) Toy and Gary (Wendy) Toy. Dear aunt of Jeremy (Leslie) Miller, Kelly Miller, Katrina Miller, William (Jessica) Toy, Christopher (Monica) Toy and Daniel (Megan) Toy.

Visitation will be held on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Mount Auburn Funeral Home, 4101 S. Oak Park Avenue, Stickney, IL 60402.

Funeral Chapel Service Thursday, April 8, 2021 at Mount Auburn Funeral Home (708) 749-2033. Pastor Cisco Cotto to start the chapel service at 11:00 a.m.

Burial to follow at Mount Auburn Memorial Park, 4101 S. Oak Park Avenue, Stickney, IL 60402 (708) 749-0022.

Due to Covid restrictions only 50 people are allowed in the funeral home. We ask that if you are not immediate family or close friend you allow time for Mia’s family to say there goodbyes. Proper social distancing must be practiced and all guests will be required to wear face masks.

In lieu of flowers, "In Memory of" Memorial donations can be made to Moody Bible Institute by visiting https://www.moodybible.org/ways-to-donate/in-honor/ By mail by check: Moody Bible Institute, Stewardship Office, 820 N. LaSalle Blvd. Chicago, IL 60610 or to donate by phone by calling (800) DL MOODY.

For those who would like to attend the service for Mia digitally the family will be hosting a Zoom meeting. Follow the link https://d219.zoom.us/j/81004696670 and use the Meeting ID: 810 0469 6670.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.MountAuburnFuneralHome.com for the GALE family.

Services

  • Visitation

    Wednesday, April 7, 2021

  • Chapel Funeral Service

    Thursday, April 8, 2021

  • Burial

    Thursday, April 8, 2021

Memories

Mia Gale

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Wendy Kotrba

April 9, 2021

Dear, dear Mia,
I will miss your gentle sense and impish smile. We met at Goudy, then on to Lane Tech for four years of high school orchestra practice. I can still see your good posture as you played flute.
Glen was a wonderful addition to your family. The enormous love you two share is admirable and unique.
Bye, bye, I love you,
Wendy Wharton Kotrba

Jim Anderson

April 9, 2021

I will truly miss Mia's friendly smile and her kind and gracious spirit. She was always a joy to talk with and it will be hard to imagine her department without her. With the passing of my own mother only a few weeks past, I deeply empathize with your loss. I thank you Lord for the hope we have in you, and that in our deep sorrow and grief we can also have assurance and joy knowing her spirit is now with You. She touched so many lives and was a blessing to so many. I feel privileged to have called her my friend.

Rich Bonham

April 8, 2021

Mia and Glen have had a huge impact on my life. All the years of working together in the 80s in our adult Bible class, Mia always was happy to volunteer to help and lead in so many ways. They were such dear friends in taking me through some hard times and even though I’ve been in Europe now for 20 years, we still connect every time we come through Chicago. I enjoyed going through my photo album and seeing Mia’s smiling face at so many gatherings. I am sure she is smiling now being with our dear Savior Jesus. I am so privileged to have known Mia. Our prayers go out to Glen and the whole family.

Ashley Linton

April 7, 2021


I will so miss working with Mia at Moody. She was a part of every step in my journey at Moody from a student worker to a supervisor. Her warmth and kindness brightened my day every time I had the opportunity to see or talk to her. I appreciated that she saw me as an indivivual and engaged with me individually every time that I talked to her. To Mia's family, I pray that Christ will comfort you as you greive the loss of such an incredible woman.

Brad & Judy Stych

April 7, 2021

The comments made by others on this blog bring smiles to our faces because all the nice things that were said about Mia are true! We had 40+ years of friendship with her and developed many happy memories. Her presence in our lives will be greatly missed. Mia’s joy is now completely in the Lord and in that we find our eternal hope.

Kevin Sheldon

April 7, 2021

I knew Mia through our years of working together on our Lane Tech class reunion committee. She could always be counted on to get things done and always provided great insight to the group. I learned over the years (often the hard way) that her mild demeanor was often contrasted by her quick wit especially when she’d occasionally hit me with a real zinger! She was a wonderful lady and I’m so sorry to hear of her passing. I will truly miss her.

YAN CHUEN

April 7, 2021

Mia my favorite cousin I will miss you.

Coming to America from Hong Kong in the 70's I was 4.5 years old. What I remembered was how kind hearted Mia was. The colorful clothes, fabric, polyester fabric bell bottoms, and large butterfly collar shirts. I really enjoyed every minute being with Mia when I was in Chicago. Fast forward to circa 1987 I went to visit after graduated High School. I met up with Mia again and she took me around Chicago to see all the Frank Lloyd Wright houses in the neighborhood. It was a cold day in Chicago when Mia drove me around that day. It was so cold that day, when you breathed your lungs would freeze. We went to Robie House but it was closed that day. I ran out of her car and she took a picture of me sitting in front of the house, and I quickly ran back into the warmth of the car.

I really would have like to say goodbye and speak to her before she passed away, and tell her how fond I was staying with her family when I was a kid.

Albert Chelladurai

April 6, 2021

My heartfelt condolences on the passing away of Mia Gale.
Mia lived out her Christian testimony. Always cheerful to help others in need. May the Lord comfort the grieving family.

Bruce Norquist

April 6, 2021

I am shocked to hear of this and saddened because I will miss Mia's joyful and gentle presence at Moody. Mia always greeted me with a smile and an authentic welcoming spirit. She made Moody feel more like home. She has been an encouragement to everyone who has walked through the door way of HR. I will remember her with great joy and gratitude.

Anne Lee

April 6, 2021

Our deepest condolences to the family on losing such a beautiful soul. My brother, Hugh and I attended Lane Tech HS with Mia in the 70's. When we first met Mia, our first impression was that she was so nice. As time went by, she never changed and her gentle and kind nature was much appreciated.

We had such fun together as members of the Chinese Culture Club. International Day was a day to goof off from class and share our culture with the entire student body, showcasing traditional food, folk dance and martial arts exhibitions. And the best part was socializing with all the clubs that participated. Those were indeed the days. Youthful exuberance and just hanging out having fun. And fun we had in the beautiful city of Chicago.

We will miss you, Mia,
Anne Chin and Hugh Chin

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Biography

Choi Mei Naw (aka. Mia Nora Toy) was born in Wuhan, China to Hall and Nancy Toy, in 1957. We celebrate her birthday on June 8th, but it is debatable according to the Chinese calendar.
Mia’s family, immigrated to the U.S. in 1960 to escape the communist regime in Mainland China. Fortunately, her grandfather, William Toy, opened the door for them in 1922 when he immigrated here.
Mia lived at 4813 N. Winthrop Ave., in Chicago from 1960 – 1978 with her parents and her siblings, Tony, Gary, Margi, Barbara, and Lucy. She became a U.S. citizen at age 12. She attended several Chicago Public Grade schools due to the constant change of school districts. Mia didn’t know English when she entered school, but soon did! Yes, she was a victim of bullying due to her race; however, she handled that by winning a fight with one her bullies. (That’s why I would never pick a fight with her!) Many, in school, became her friend after that incident! Mia excelled academically! Considering she roomed with her 3 sisters on bunk beds and battled the noise of the Aragon Theatre across the street.
After grade school, Mia was given the opportunity to attend Lane Technical High School. An ALL boys high school until 1971. Mia would become the first 4 year graduating class of girls in Lane Tech history! Again, she was bullied because she was a girl, but she made it! Mia made so many good friends there and served on the 40th Lane Tech Class Reunion Planning Committee a few years ago. She served as President of the Chinese Club and was a part of ROTC. Again, she excelled academically and was offered a drafting position at the Railroad Retirement Board, but had to turn it down. Now, I digress…
How did I meet Mia? Good question! Blame her brother, Tony. I worked with him at H.G. Fischer Co., in Franklin Park. We hung out together and he invited me over to his place. He put me in a position where I had to interact with Mia, with whom I’d never met before, and we hit it off! No! Tony was not intending this as a blind date! That was in April, 1975.
Over time, I contacted Mia and we talked a few times. I kept asking her out, but she’d ALWAYS tell me she was working. After a few tries, I asked Tony, is she always working or is she blowing me off? He said, if Mia says she’s working…she’s working! She doesn’t lie! Finally, I found out she was a hostess at Trader Vic’s in the Palmer House and she worked Friday and Saturday evenings. FINALLY! SUCCESS!! She agreed to go out with me! YES! Our first date? I took her to see Benji! After the movie, we ended up at Navy Pier and talked for some time. We became…friends!! To top that off, she invited me to her post prom picnic. (She went to prom with someone else!) YES!…AGAIN!! We started going out and many of our dates started after Midnight, after her shift at Trader Vic’s. Crepes at IHOP! By the way…Mia kissed me first…WHOA!!! I digress…again.
Mia entered school at UIC, in August, 1975. Yes, we were going out on a more normal schedule. BUT! She got reacquainted with an old friend, Quan Lam. This would be a life changer. Quan shared the Gospel with Mia and Mia accepted Christ as her Savior. Wow! She then confronted me. Since I wasn’t a Christian, she could no longer go out with me. She didn’t want to be “unequally yoked.” I thought, what the heck does that mean? Well, she invited me to a Campus Crusade Christmas Concert and I ended up accepting Christ as my Savior at Midnight on January 1, 1976! Did Mia believe me? Of course not! But she sent her spies from Campus Crusade for Christ at Triton College, where I was attending and they confirmed it…ha! On a side note, I was troubled. I had a drinking problem since I was 16 and was hardly ever home. I’ve been dry since the day Christ called me into the Kingdom! Mia? She became very active with Campus Crusade for Christ!
Another life changer. In early 1976, Mia’s mother was diagnosed with Leukemia and my father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Mia and I needed each other! Her mother passed away in late July, 1976, and my father passed away in early August; within two weeks of each other. Her mother is buried here at Mount Auburn. We went through some very bumpy times, but we stayed together. She became the matriarch of her family and I had to support my widowed mother. Also, both of us had to put college on hold. By God’s divine power, I immediately started a job at the U.S. Postal Service and that helped us pay bills. Mia and the family had to pull together as well.
Over time, Mia and I knew God was leading us toward marriage. I proposed and Mia accepted. YES!!! Mia told me I had to talk to her father, so we set up a time to do so. Her father was somewhat limited in English, so…here goes. “Mr. Toy, I would like to ask permission to marry your daughter.” He looked at Mia and, in Cantonese, said, “What did he say?” I’m now off the hook and Mia has to explain it…cool! He asked about my job situation, then said, “Okay!”
That wonderful day came on September 9, 1978. Pastor Peter Fu married us at Northshore Baptist Church. We had a reception at Shanghi Lil’s; both in Chicago. Everything went pretty well that day. Then we got home to our Oak Park apartment. I took off the rented tux and threw it on the floor. Mia said, “Aren’t you going to hang it up?!?!” I simply said, “No, it’s rented.” Oops, wrong answer! Subsequently, Mia has told her friends that on that night she thought she married “A PIG!” I guess we got beyond that!
We lived in Oak Park from 1978 – 2005, 27 years! During that time, Mia worked for Calumet Wholesale Meat and then Calvary Memorial Church. At Calvary, I was better known as, “Mia’s husband!” Mia knew everybody and everybody knew Mia. She was office manager there, and would be barraged with questions on any given Sunday. But, she always kept her Christian witness. In fact, our speaker, Cisco Cotto and his wife Anna, asked us to marriage mentor them. Wow! What an honor! I guess our marriage was an example to someone! She was very active there, including Bible studies, Women’s Groups, wedding coordinating, and so on.
In 2005, after Mia’s father passed away and Mia had major surgery, we decided to move. We moved to Sheridan Rd. in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago. It was really a cool place right on the lake! However, the financial crash starting in 2008 changed everything. We owned property in Maui, Florida, and Wisconsin. Early retirement was on the way! Right? NOPE!!! We lost everything in 2010, including our Sheridan Rd. condo and had to start over. Mia was a blessing through all of this. While I had thoughts of jumping off our 9th floor balcony, Mia was so calming. Yet, I know, I put her through “hell on earth.”
During this time, Mia had a walk-in interview at Moody Bible Institute in December, 2006. She was hired within 2 days! She would be the administrative assistant in Human Resources. Of course, she took on more and more duties there, and she was “a rock!” Of course, she got to know everybody at MBI and everybody at MBI got to know her. (What else is new?) and, a few years ago, she won the “Unsung Hero Award!” Also, during our time in the Edgewater and Roger Park neighborhood in Chicago, Mia got very involved at Agape Chicago Church. She joined a group, No Returns, at the church, assisting refugees coming to this country. Also, she headed up the greeting team for anyone coming to our church service. Her heart was always there to serve God in whatever way He called her.
Mia and I vacationed in California, the Bahamas, Florida, Wisconsin, Vermont, New York, Alaska, and Hawaii. We had fun together! But, Mia’s most memorable trip was to China and having the opportunity to go to the original village of her family. What a joy!
As all of you know, Mia and I never had children. But when asked why, she would say, “I married Glen and that’s enough!”
We ended up in Forest Park in 2017. Why? Don’t know, but her sister and brother-in-law, Stan and Margi agreed we could live in their building. I had no idea that in January, 2021, Mia would need such care and that Loyola would be the hospital of choice; just 5 minutes away! God knew.
Mia passed away on April 1. How ironic. Mia LOVED pulling April Fools jokes on people! She would tape the bottom of her co-workers’ mouse so that they wouldn’t work. She would post “fake job postings” so that her co-workers would panic. At Calvary, she actually got me involved. She had me call one of the balding pastors and I told him I was Sy Sperling from Hair Club for Men, and he was getting a free consultation! My whole office heard the conversation and roared with laughter! That’s Mia for you!
Through Mia, I gained a wonderful family! Her siblings and extended family were always great! All of you will miss her. Everywhere she’s worked, she made great friends! All of them will miss her. At the churches we attended, she served with all her heart and the friends she made there will miss her. But…no one will miss her more than me. She’s been the love of my life for 45 years!
In closing, Mia would love to see all of you again! (Not so sure about me though…ha!) She is in the loving arms of Jesus! For those of you who have put your faith in Jesus as your personal Savior, you’ll spend eternity with her! For those of you who don’t know what that means or want to know what it means, see me! Please remember Mia as that loving, warm, caring, nurturing, strong, and beautiful person she was on this earth. Mia suffered through a nasty disease, but it didn’t change her spirit. One last story. Mia was so weak the day she passed. She constantly tried sitting up in bed and I would rush over to hold her. One time she tried to sit up, she fell back and hit her head against the bar on the bed. She looked at me and said, “Am I injured?” I said, “No, Dear, you’re okay.” Then she looked at me and said, “They told me I had a hard head!” She grimaced a smile and I just held her.
Please know that Mia fought the good fight! She’s now alive and well in Heaven. Now she waits for us to be reunited with her! Here is a quote from Mia from a talk she gave going back 20 years ago that she made at a women’s luncheon. Mia said, “As I finish up, I want to encourage you about your relationship with God. If you don’t have one don’t wait to have one with Him. Is hearing this testimony today a message from Him to you? I am 42 years old. My mother died when she was only 44. My aunts died young, too. I guess cancer runs in my family. But I’m not afraid to die today or tomorrow because I know I will go to Heaven because I have Jesus. Can you say the same?” Thank you.