OBITUARY

Jack On Lee

September 15, 1936December 3, 2012

Jack On Lee was born to Yip See and Gim Foon Lee on September 15, 1936 in Taishan, Guangdong, China. Jack lived through the Japanese Invasion of World War II and the Chinese Revolution of 1949. With his parents, Jack and Kan (cousin) immigrated as twins to Canada. They departed from Hong Kong on November 28, 1950 aboard the SS President Cleveland sailing for 21 days through Yokohama, Tokyo, Honolulu and finally docking in the San Francisco Bay on December 16, 1950. The family spent Christmas in San Francisco Chinatown with their older sister, Tew Moy. On December 27, they left aboard the Great Northern Railway onto Canada and arrived at White Rock, B.C. on December 29 and Vancouver on January 1, 1951. It was a new year, a new life at the “Golden Mountain” and the “Land of Opportunity”.

The family resided in Golden, B.C. and ran the restaurant in the town hotel. Jack’s father was looking for a permanent life for his family. Gim Lee saw an advertisement in a newspaper that there was a restaurant for sale in Weyburn, Saskatchewan. He found Weyburn on the map and went west to purchase the restaurant. He then brought the family to Weyburn in September 1951 and ran the “Club Café” which was located on Souris Avenue.

The Lee family ran the Club Café at the old location for 4 years until Gim Lee bought the 4 Star Café Building in October 1955, which is at the present location. Jack has been an “icon” at the café for more than 57 years.

After arriving to Canada at age14, he attended school for 3 years at Souris and Assiniboia School. At 17, he started working at the Souris Ave. location with his father. The Lee family lived in a small house on 2nd Street until 1959 when the upstairs living quarters were built.

Jack married Wai Fong Chow on September 16, 1959 and had 3 children, Lucy, Jack Jr. and Nancy. After the passing of our mother on July 17, 1989, Jack was lost and lonely until he was introduced to Cui Ling and was married in China on February 15, 1995. Cui Ling and her children, Wan and Xue immigrated to Canada in1996. Jack continued to operate the café with our extended stepfamily to the present. The legacy of Club Café will continue with Cui Ling, Wan, Liping, Xue, Tim and family.

Jack’s proudest and honored moments: •Weyburn Chamber of Commerce “Golden Service Award” in 1999 for high standard of hospitality and customer service •Weybex “Business Hall of Fame” Award in 2004 •Prairies North Reader Choice Award for “Saskatchewan’s Best Chinese Food” in 2011

Jack was a very proud man, loving husband and father, who instill great virtues of life to his family and everyone around him. He was hardworking, generous, and wanted the best for everyone. He loved people especially all his customer who are also his friends. He loved to joke and his laugh will truly be missed.

The biggest joke was: he would retire the day he couldn’t get up. Jack lived up to his word. Last Saturday, he was at the “Club” answering the phone, taking orders, greeting, talking and laughing with his friends. He rested on Sunday, and then peacefully passed away on Monday morning.

Essence of Jack’s life consists of achieving goals, realizing dreams and experiencing life’s greatest moments of family, friends, love, happiness and lots of laughter. Jack was predeceased by his parents, Gim Foon Lee and Yip See Lee; first wife, Wai Fong Lee; sister, Tew Moy Lee and grandson, Kingsley.

Jack is also survived by his loving wife, Cui Ling Huang of Weyburn, SK; children, Lucy Lee of Saskatoon, SK, Jack Lee of Regina, SK and Nancy Lee of Vancouver, BC; step son, Wan Zhang Li (Liping) of Weyburn, SK; step daughter, Xue Yu Li (Tim) of Weyburn, SK; 4 granddaughters and brother, Jack Kong Lee of Moose Jaw, SK as well as numerous nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

A Funeral Service was held Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 2:00 PM from Grace United Church, Weyburn, SK with Reverend M. Barnabas officiating. Interment took place at Hillcrest Cemetery, Weyburn, SK.

In Lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Jack may be made to Weyburn & District Hospital Foundation or to Hospitals of Regina Foundation.

Services

  • Funeral Service Saturday, December 8, 2012
REMEMBERING

Jack On Lee

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Dean Mulhall

March 5, 2013

I'll always fondly remember going to the Club Cafe with my family for the Cheese Burger Deluxe with gravy on the fries and a Pepsi. Jack was always a warm and welcoming presence with an infectious laugh and smile. Thanks to Jack for the wonderful memories. I know so many people will miss him. My deepest condolences to his family.

Wayne Morgan

December 23, 2012

To Cui Ling Huang:
In the 1950s when I was a teenager, the Club (and to be fair, the Dickson) was where we hung out. You and Jack provided us a place to learn how to be people, choose between catsup and catsup with our fries and just what was the best tune of the day on that perfect in-the-booth Wurlitzer (green tuxedos!)

Later one summer I delivered groceries every Saturday for the Co-op . My driver always stopped at 10am to have a ham sandwich at the counter as though he had not had breakfast or least one he liked. I don't remember what I ate if anything but Jack was there, the hospitable host to all of us.

And this is the important thing for many of my generation; the chinese restaurents of western Canada helped to create us as a nation. They helped to create many of us who write here today. On those cold winter nights there was warmth and burgers and fries and friendship at the club cafe.

It is a testament to you and Jack that 50 years later so many of us are compelled to write and say thank you.

mike post

December 22, 2012

Jack was a great man made ya always feel welcome you will be missed peace jack you were truly a good person

Dianne Elder (Driedger)

December 20, 2012

Having lived in Weyburn where I grew up & moved away over 30 years ago. I remember sitting in the back of the Club Cafe, drinking pop and listening to the Juke Box. Also other special meals there with my family. I also went to school with Jack's son Jack (Jr). Thanks for them memories Jack. My family and I will always remember you!

Lisa Lauer (Thibodeau)

December 18, 2012

My condolences Lucy, Jack & Nancy on the loss of your dear father. When I think of weyburn where I grew up all these years later Your dad & the Club Cafe come first to my mind every time. Some of my earliest memories were of finally becoming old enough to be allowed to go into the Club Cafe on my own just 2 doors down from my own fathers shop. I always enjoyed chatting with your father as I'd pick up coffee for my own father. I always thought you were the luckiest kids in the world to get to work with your dad everyday. God Bless

Audrey & Ken Meckling

December 11, 2012

We share in your loss.Our thoughts and prayers are with each of you. I,(Audrey)was fortunate to have had a nice chat with him on Dec. 1st.We trust that you will understand the sympathy that we have for the family.

Lin and Sunny Ma

December 11, 2012

Dear Lucy, Jack and Nancy,
Very sorry for your loss. It was very moving seeing and hearing about the rewarding life of Uncle Jack as recalled in the photo gallery and eulogy. I'm glad I took the effort to join you in celebrating his legacy. Cherish the wonderful memories of the good times you had with your Dad. Please be comforted that your parents are once again reunited in heaven where they'd be watching over you all from here on.

December 10, 2012

Condolences to all the Lee family. Jack was a great guy. Many fond memories of Jack sitting at the till, laughing and joking with customers as they came and went. He was one of a kind and will be greatly missed. Thank you for sharing the many wonderful photos of the passage of his life.
Rod & Cathy Kerr, Nanaimo, BC

Claude-Jean Harel

December 9, 2012

Dear Jack Jr. and Family, my wife Helen Yum and I were terribly saddened to find out about Jack's passing yesterday. As you know, Jack had started to build a special place in our hearts a very long time ago. He didn't even have to work very hard at it, for it came to him naturally -- being the generous and hospitable man that he was. Helen never forgot the welcome Jack extended to her family as a child growing up in Yellow Grass. Helen would find herself in Weyburn on a fairly regular basis and, as you well know, always looked forward to being hosted by Jack at the Club Cafe. Having known Jack only for a few years myself, I can see how a child might find in the Club Cafe a world-class haven, a home away from home, a place where one was sure to find enough comfort in the homemade meals served in-house to sustain one through just about any passage. Hard work, quality food and exceptional customer service have helped the Club Cafe over the years claim the #1 spot on TripAdvisor's list of Top Restaurants in Weyburn. If only TripAdvisor could rate "lives lived" as well... I am sure Jack's would rank near the top all-around! At least, those in the know are just happy they have had a chance to meet someone like Jack who dedicated his life to making a difference for others. His legacy lives on through the many lives he has touched during his own humble journey with us. Many thanks and... Happy trails Jack!

Susana,Nancy,Cory,Dan T7a

December 9, 2012

Our lives are like candles in the wind. His flame will forever light up the lives of so many he had known. Sweet memories,beautiful pictures and all those warm moments will forever give comfort to those left behind. Thinking of you.