In Celebration of

Nam Thi Doan

February 1, 1922 -  December 12, 2018

Peacefully, on Wednesday, December 12, 2018, at the Credit Valley Hospital, Mississauga, at the age of 96. Beloved mother of Thuy (Anh), Huong (Thi), Ngoc, Hung (Hanh), and Dung (Trang). Adored grandma of Phuong (David), Long (Mary), Oanh, Bao, Duy, Mai (Jon), Vinh, Khoi and Quyen; great grandma of Sam (Laura), Lachiy, Christian and Sebastian, great great grandma of Charlie.


Turner & Porter – Neweduk Erin Mills Chapel
1981 Dundas St. W., Mississauga

Sunday, December 16 2018, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM


Sunday, 16 December 2018, 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Monday, 17 December 2018, 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM


Tuesday, 18 December 2018, 9:30 AM


In honor of our beloved Doan Thi Nam, in lieu of flowers or gifts, please support the following charities which our family holds close to our hearts.


Credit Valley Hospital


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Thanh Pham (friend)

Entered December 16, 2018 from Toronto

Chúng em xin chia buồn cùng gia đình anh chị.
Thành tâm cầu nguyện Bác được vãng sanh cực lạc quốc.

Giáng Châu & David Ghent (Friend)

Entered December 16, 2018

Our sincerest condolences on your loss.

Nedyelka Alvarez (Business)

Entered December 17, 2018 from WinMagic

Dear Sylvia and Family
My condolences to you and your loved ones during this very difficult time. I am very sorry for your loss and hope you can find comfort with your family. I've made a donation to Unicef in lieu of flowers.
Nedyelka Alvarez

Hoang phuong (Cháu)

Entered December 18, 2018

Lời thành kính phân ưu!
Con Hoàng Phương xin chia buồn cùng toàn thể gia đình sự mất mắc quá lớn khi bà đã ra đi, cầu mong bà đến nơi an nghỉ cuối cùng được an lành và sớm siêu thoát.
Thành kính
Con Phương

Thanh-Nhan & Kim-Quang Tran (Volunteers at Ontario Golden Age Village for the Elderly)

Entered December 19, 2018 from Toronto

Chân thành chia buồn cùng anh chị về sự ra đi của Bác. Cầu nguyện Bác được sớm an lành nơi cõi Phật.

Quí mến
Quang & Nhàn

Life Stories 

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Sylvia Nguyen-Huu 

Entered December 16, 2018

Đòan Thị Nam
Pháp Danh Nguyên Thạnh
1922 - 2018

Our mother Doan thi Nam was born in 1922 as the eldest daughter of a well to do family with lands in the village of Hai Yen, Hung Yen, North Vietnam. But having lost her mother to illness at an the age of 9, her childhood was difficult, taking care of all the younger siblings as well as the lands. Later, she ran her business in the fabric trading between various cities in North Vietnam.

Fast forward to 1954, when the Geneva Convention was signed, our parents ventured to South Vietnam, led to believe that it would be temporary as the armistice would only last 2 years. Yet it turned out to be the final separation between Communist North Vietnam and the free South, and our mom would not see her father and siblings for the next 21 years.

The highlights of her time in South Vietnam, up to the fall of Saigon in 1975, were 4 children, 3 grandchildren, 3 big houses and a successful children clothing business that provided comfortably for everyone. Though our mom never had the chance to go to school herself, she had taken the greatest pride for always given us the best education we could afford. Along that subject, she had always prided herself being able to convince her father to let her sisters to go to school in the 1920's so that they could have careers of their own. Our mom went on sending her son and even daughters (!) to study in Australia, Germany and Canada.

In April 1975, South Vietnam fell to the Communist North, my mother had to close her clothing business. In the following years, she had spent any savings to buy the passage to freedom for our 3 brothers still stuck at home. Just when the family had nothing left, Sylvia and Thi were able to sponsor our parents and youngest brother to Germany with them. Our parents even had to “donate” our 3-storey house that our mom had proudly custom-built in Saigon before leaving.

When our parents and brother arrived in Germany in August 1979, it was like a 180 degrees switch: now that the parents had nothing and it was the children's turn to take care of them – and we all happily did. Our mom’s next 38 years were a happy string of children’s weddings, births and birthdays of grandchildren, great grand children and even one great great grandson, coupled with trips all over the world with them or to visit them. Our parents were fearless travelers, flying on their own from Germany to Canada and Australia but most of times they went with us, traveling to Paris, Venice, Milan, Rome, Monte Carlo…

In 1989, our whole family immigrated from Germany to Canada. We are now reunited, all together, parents and almost all brothers and sisters. Our parents were happy, seeing all the children and grand children over Easter, Christmas and summer vacations. We are happy to report that my parents came with us everywhere, from Caribbean cruises to Hawaii, from L.A. to New York City, from Ottawa, Montreal to Calgary, from Sydney to Hanoi…. Most importantly they were respected, cared and loved by all including the most devoted daughters in law and son in law, and we kids, seize this opportunity to thank them from the bottom of our hearts.

In her last 21 years, our mom also witnessed the creation and growth of WinMagic. She had always followed our company development with great interest and considered it as a beautiful continuation of our tradition of family business.

In March 2014, at the youthful age of 92, our mom undertook another long, intensely emotional trip back to North Vietnam and visit all her relatives, see the burial places of our ancestors, connect with the younger generations of the family - this was another highlight in her old days that we are so happy for her and us too.

Now our mom is on her final journey. We will miss her dearly but we are happy that her soul is free again, leaving behind her weak and slow body, free to reunite with our father and her sister again in heaven.

Farewell, beloved Mother!

Liza Phuong Byron (Granddaughter)

Entered December 17, 2018 from Sydney, Australia


Up until I was six years old, I knew my grandparents as Cau (dad) and Mo (mom). I addressed them the same way as my aunties and uncles did. My grandmother thought it would be less upsetting for me than explaining to a toddler that they weren’t my mom and dad. My parents were finishing their university’s degrees in Australia, so they sent me back to Vietnam to live with my Dad’s parents.

To this day, I am so grateful that I was raised by my grandparents in Vietnam (sorry Dad!).

I was loved and spoiled like an only grandchild could be, without any of the stricter stuff that my aunts and uncles had to do!

What can I say, I was cute and precocious. Little did I know or appreciate the sacrifices that my grandmother had made for me. She was running a business, raising a family with four teenagers and she also gave me the best early childhood I could ever have!

When I was six, my parents returned to Saigon and I went to live with them, but I still commuted between my place and my grandparents’.

Until I left Vietnam for Australia, my grandmother continued to gift me with her priceless “life lessons”, which ranged from simple know-how’s to shop for the best produces, to preparing a meal (on a budget no less). As well as the importance of responsibility and respect for myself and my family.

She taught me that just because you’re a girl, it doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything the same, if not better than a boy, but remember to do it with grace and dignity. And she wasn’t even a feminist!

Always be kind and mindful of others, work hard and don’t be lazy! Sorry grandma, I’m still working on that! These priceless pearls of advices were metered out at anytime and anyplace, in her lap, during an afternoon siesta, at night time having cuddles and my favourite time: a shopping spree with her, we loved shopping!

I only had her for the first fourteen years of my life, but I am blessed with the solid foundation which she has given me. Who I am today, I owe it all to my grandmother. She will always have a special place in my heart.

Chau Phuong.


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