Let the memory of Jiamei be with us forever.

This memorial website was created in memory of our beloved mother and wife, Jiamei "Maggie" Dong . We will remember her forever.

Please share stories, anecdotes, photos and videos to help document and celebrate Jiamei's life and feel free to forward the link.

Donations:

Hospice of the Valleyhttps://www.hov.org/donate/donate-now/

Serving families and patients with life-limiting illnesses in Maricopa County since 1977. 

Aimed at making final days comfortable and helping both patient and their family - they were there when we needed them. Per se only patients that stop all treatment -  except pain management -  can enroll in that program (as insurance companies only pay for treatment or hospice - not both) but Jiamei never gave up and continued her treatment to the very end - fighting to beat the cancer and be there for her children. 

Even so that there was no reimbursement from the insurance - the hospice provided us with the equipment and nursing support we needed to bring Jiamei home to stay in her own bedroom and see her own yard. 

Florist:

Arizona Floral Exchange: Tel. (480) 539 9007


 


Posted by Frank Zwecker on July 8, 2019
Thank you to so many of you who attended on or several of the ceremonies for Jiamei. It consoled the family and warmed my heart to see this love and friendship and to realize once more how much Jiamei means to so many people around us. It was important for our children to hear more about their mother and what difference she made not only to them. Thank you Thank you. Below the words that I had the honor to share at the reception: Jiamei, the mother of our two beautiful children, my wife left this world on Sunday, June 23rd in this house with her family and friends who love her. Finally home, after a long stay in the hospital – she had spent the last days at home with her family, with her friends and in our garden right outside here and in her bedroom she had wanted to see again – feel the breeze, see the stars – and she did (thank you to so many her that made it happen). Without much pain she passed in her sleep. Sometimes it seems as though we had always known one another, but in fact we met rather late in life, when we were both working at Dell – in our 30s – Jiamei barely so – me halfway through. Just 14 years ago (July 2, 2005) I stood in front of a group of friends and family like today. It was in South France, it was hot and sunny and it was our wedding day. I was talking about the all things that happened since we met in a drafty Austin parking lot in October three years earlier – the only ones to have stopped to check on a colleague who got into a minor car accident. Which is good because when I tried to chat her up earlier that day over lunch – she thought I was boring. I was lucky – because of the accident (poor Eddie), lucky because in October it starts to get chilly in Austin, lucky because I had a coat in the trunk of my car I got to wrap around her shoulder. Fate gave me a wife that was everything I could have wanted, smart, witty, classy, ambitious, and beautiful like a dream. I know that many people around me probably got very tired of listening me talking about my wife, but she was just somebody I felt so blessed to be with day in and day out. So proud – but for a reason. And while it might make it hard to look into the future – she wouldn’t have it. But rather say go out there take care of the kids and make a difference. Living in a tent with her family at age 5 after a big earthquake, excellent student, passionate dancer, engineer and TV station job, she started work in HR in High Tech for Motorola, a bright star, leaving the team that loved her to do an MBA and the US, and then Dell – first accolades, then health scares then fired, she want back at a lower lever to show it to them all – and she did becoming a star again traveling the world. Her last, her most exciting job Alibaba – finally a Chinese company succeeding on a global stage – making her so proud , so proud to be Chinese. Throughout her illness she always wanted to go back planned and got sick again, planned again, sick again – but it didn’t stop her. Her return to work was always just around the corner. The easy way or quitting was never in the cards with Jiamei. Somebody recently told me, nodding wisely, once somebody critically ill gives up - it will go quickly. Well, for those to know her – you know she didn’t give up, she didn’t know how to. Every day she was in it for the fight to be with Alexander, to be with Sophie. She went to Zander Performance (it took a wheel-chair but she went). Never ever did she complain about it, rage about fate, she dealt with it. She wanted a shower, the nurse said you can’t do it – her response (classic engineer): I know that there is a 95% chance I will fail, but I have to try for the children. And she did – despite it being so painful every second – she sat in her shower chair for 15 minutes – because she felt she had to. Looking at this, how can we, how can I do any less. But as much as everybody talks about what a classy and tough lady Jiamei was, it is the softer side that made her a truly beautiful person. Her care for all and not only our kids, for her friends, her care taker, for the Chinese girls in the immigration prison in Puerto Rico. A dancer with a lifelong passion for it since she started at the Children Palace in Tianjin – with the dream to open a school one day. A girl that missed her mom every day, that wanted to be liked, wanted to work with Children later in life – that wanted to be held. Bobo,…… a hug that’s what she wanted / asked until the very last day .. and she got them and deserved so many of them. Just a few weeks ago, we were in the emergency room one more time. She took my hand, I took hers – I don’t remember. She told me in summer 2002 – just graduated from Purdue – she went on trip across Europe with her friend joy. During one of their many church visits – she prayed for finding the right person in her life and god gave me to her (not exactly a perfect choice but a great project). But in fact god blessed me and I was grateful every day. Jiamei and I were fortunate enough to share many wonderful years together but all the same, I feel as though I would do anything to be able to have more time with her. I loved to joke about her pushing me in a wheel chair at age 90 - Jiamei would have been a youthful 86 – and according to her I would be more interested in the nurse rather than her - but now I pushed you – and it was good taking a walk outside the hospital in their little park, or out into our yard. For two years – she fought the big fight, but not alone – so many here were part of it, part of team Maggie. But there was so much more than just the fight… Just a couple of days ago I found a cartoon on her phone – from the peanuts. Charlie Brown says: One day we will die Snoopy- who responds – Yes but every other day we will live. And that’s what Jiamei did, from the day I met her, and more than ever after she got sick. She started to paint, play the piano, became serious about golf, spent a lot of time with the Tianjin Dance Group – back to her real passion, fashion (as her credit card proves) but more than anything spend time with her friends (so many of them). Carpe Diem – enjoy the day to the fullest. Everybody can be happy if everything is perfect but finding happiness even in the dark parts of life that is what Jiamei taught me. She talked about wanting to leave a legacy – looking at Alexander, at Sophie - looking at all of you – she has. You always said – a mom is the center of the house. And yes, you were and you always will be. I love you with all my heart and as I promised you all these years ago that as my coat covered you the day we met, my love would cover you every day – so I promise you that my love will cover all of those you care about. Every day and without conditions. Jiamei – I miss you so much – but I know that you are in a good place now, without pain, with your mom and with plenty of hugs – and one day I will be there with you.
Posted by Daphne Li on July 6, 2019
Remembering Maggie: Eulogy delivered at her Memorial Service on July 6th When Frank asked me to give a eulogy for Maggie, I hesitated for a few seconds. For us who knew Maggie well, she had high standards and a critical eye. It’s been difficult for me to try to put into words what it means to lose Maggie, our dear friend, loving mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, colleague. There were so many stories. There were so many moments and memories. A month ago, we visited Maggie at the Mayo hospital. When we were leaving the hospital to catch our flight, we hugged Maggie and told her we’d come back to see her again, soon. Maggie took a breath and said to us, “when you get home, you must clean yourself, clean your clothes, clean everything. I’m having too much chemo treatment and it’s poisonous. You must not forget.” Those were the last words Maggie said to us. Even when she was in so much pain, attached to many tubes, she remained caring, loving and thoughtful, worrying about everyone and trying to take care of everything. At that time, Maggie had lost some of her eyesight. Every time there was a nurse shift, she’d ask about the name of the new nurse and repeated to herself making sure she remembered. She asked us to buy some apples, not any kind of apple but Honeycrisp apple, for the nurse taking care of her. Honeycrisp was her favorite apple. And Maggie loved to share her favorite things. She was always generous and giving. Maggie and I met in Austin, Texas while we were both working at Dell. Her ambition and dreams led her to leave behind a successful career in China and come to the US to pursue her MBA. She was driven, intellectually curious, hardworking and always aspired to achieve more. Maggie and I became close friends when we were both pregnant with our daughters – her daughter Sophie and my daughter Ella. As an expecting mom, Maggie was glowing with joy and so looking forward to meeting her precious baby girl. At her baby shower, with Frank by her side, Maggie gave a speech to her friends, in joyful tears. She said she was finally happy, very happy, after going through all the difficult times, ups and downs. She had experienced a lot – she was hired and fired, detained in prison because of her visa status, suspected she had cancer which turned out to be benign. In those dark and hopeless days, Frank came into her life. Maggie never imagined she’d marry a German. Frank was kind, loving, persistent and adored her. They got married. She wasn’t alone anymore. She had a shoulder to lean on. Sophie came to this world, so beautiful and so charming. Then Alexander, her big baby boy, so energetic and so strong. Life was hectic for her and Frank, managing both careers and raising Sophie and Alexander. Despite all the busyness and challenges, those years in Austin were the happiest in Maggie’s life. She had a beautiful family. She had close friends. And we shared so many happy memories. Ladies night out. Making dumplings for Chinese New Year. Playing poker. Sipping margarita at Oasis overlooking lake Travis. Chen’s noodle. Korean House barbecue. Maggie loved to eat, and she never had a problem with her appetite. We thought we would be able to grow old together. We talked about where we’d settle when we retire. “We must live close to each other, so we can take care of each other”, Maggie said. “I’ll open a tea house. Patty, you will showcase your photography there. Linda’s calligraphy collection. I will show my paintings…I’ll be a very good painter by then. Daphne, you play piano or be our chef. And Lauren performs tea ceremony. How wonderful life would be.” Then two years ago, the fight had begun. We saw Maggie fight the fight with courage, willpower and determination. With her positivity and strength, Maggie made us believe that we still had more time with her. Until the very end, she believed she could beat it. We believed her. “I have to win this battle, for my kids”. Maggie adored her two beautiful children. Sophie, Alexander: you were the light of your mom’s life. She was very proud of you. Through it all, Maggie never lost her wit, her spark, her thoughtfulness for her family and friends. In the final days, Maggie returned home from the hospital to be where she so desperately wanted to be. Maggie passed away in her sleep. Wherever she is now, there is no illness and no pain. Last September, Maggie flew to Seattle for a doctor appointment at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. I spent the day with her and we talked about life and purpose. Maggie said to me, “I want to give warmth to the people I love. That’s the purpose of my life.” I think she had accomplished that. Maggie had touched our lives and warmed us in her own loving way. Maggie: We love you and we’ll miss you.
Posted by B Hu on July 5, 2019
生如夏花,逝如秋叶,红红安息,一路走好。
Posted by Heather Reed Dykes on July 5, 2019
The saddest of news! I remember Maggie from my days at Purdue. We were not close, but were both part of the SHRM student chapter (Society for Human Resource Management). I remember Maggie as very smart, capable, and kind. If we would have had a yearbook that listed "Most Likely to..." Maggie surely would have been in there multiple times: * Most Likely to Succeed * Most Likely to Make You Smile * Most Likely to Give You the Shirt off her Back / Her Last Dollar Maggie was selfless.
Posted by Laura Zwecker on July 2, 2019
Dearest Maggie rest in peace, We will miss you very much. Jérôme, Kimberly, Anand and Laura Zwecker
Posted by Darrell Brauner on July 1, 2019
While many of us never had the opportunity to meet Maggie, she was talked about frequently in our conversations. There were no doubts that she was a loving and caring mother, wife, and co-worker. You don't have to know someone to know the impact they had in the lives of others nor to bring thoughts about how precious life really is. Frank, on behalf of your team at Lenovo, our heartfelt sympathy goes out to you and the entire family and hope that you find peace through all of this.
Posted by Xiaozhao Niewenhous on July 1, 2019
"记得当时年纪小 你爱谈天我爱笑 有一回并肩坐在桃树下 风在林梢鸟儿在叫 我们不知怎样睡着了 梦里花落知多少" 那个我可以称作 “Best Friend” 的女孩走了。走的前一天还在想着给我做晚餐。电话里你的声音还是那么的温柔。我这边已是泣不成声。上天如此眷顾我们的情意,让我在你生命的最后的时刻和你一起回到了最初的日子,你的蓝裙白腰带,见到你的第一天。 以为长夜痛哭我的泪已为你流干,但写到这儿又已经双眼模糊。我们的故事需要结束,但是在你未入轮回的四十九日里,我会每夜为你祷念,也会找个不受打扰的静夜,写完那封我十年前那封向你保证要写给你的信。
Posted by Frank Zwecker on June 30, 2019
Yesterday was the 7th day since - Jia Mei's passing - and in the Buddhist tradition the day her spirit will leave her body and on her way to heaven visit her home. So as we prepared the house a little to make it look better - our daughter Sophie left the following note for her: hi Mommy - we really love and miss you but urge you to move on to peace. I really wish I could have spent more time and happy memories with you. Love you - Sophie
Posted by Jim Ma on June 30, 2019
Dear Frank, Just got the terrible news from Steve... What a loss for us in this world, and gain for those in heavenly places. You and your loved ones will be in my prayers.
Posted by Caroline Gu on June 29, 2019
致佳媚 你竟然坚决将故事结尾 你笑容永远那么完美定格 夜空的星星 哪一颗是你 你在我们所不了解的世界里 将过去刻化成石碑 我温习了所有你的照片 你在我们的世界里凋零 而在另一个世界里绽放 纪念永远年轻的Maggie Dong Jiamei
Posted by Sharon Shu on June 29, 2019
I am very sad knowing of Maggie's passing, my thoughts and prayers are with you, your young children and the family to get through this time with peace. Maggie is one of the colleagues and friends I will remember in my life, we were both from the same hometown Tianjin China and then had moved to the US. I've known her since 1994 when we both worked at Motorola Tianjin cellular factory, at the time, she was in HR while I was in Purchasing. I enjoyed those days when we were young, we laughed together and we grew up together with Motorola. Although these memories are from 25 years ago, but they are still seeded in my heart like yesterday ... She always makes people very comfortable to be a friend with. As a girl, a professional, and a mom, her character influenced me a lot. I'm proud of having Maggie as my friend, with her smiles, loves, trusts, helps, confidence, and courage. I'll miss her forever.
Posted by Xiao Fei Chen on June 29, 2019
Jiamei, 从小谷那儿得到消息,震惊。我告诉摩托的小崔,她说多美好的人啊。这也是我想说的。印象中的你开朗,大方,美丽,干练,集所有让人羡慕的于一身。你应该是比我早离开公司。大概是在2004年我去Austin出差。Sarah 带我周末玩,发现你是我们共同的朋友,巧的是又成同事。记得吃饭是坐在一起的,你讲了你的近况。没想到竟是最后一面。原来“彩云易散琉璃脆”是真的。希望有来生,希望来生不再有病痛。
Posted by Spike Long on June 29, 2019
May your heart and soul find peace and comfort.一路走好!
Posted by Edmond E H Ang on June 28, 2019
Firstly, my heartfelt condolences to Maggie's spouse and children. I met Maggie during my tenure at Motorola. At first impression, she struck me as an intelligent and a quick learner. I was fortunate to have worked with her on CSS matters and my first impression was too under-stated. She was not just smart and kind but also very personable and warm. Such a joy to interact with. This trait easily explained the tremendous success she enjoyed in her work career. But I think she would agree with me that her biggest achievement in life was being able to connect with people with genuine empathy and positive emotions. She has left an indelible mark with me in consequence. I was supposed to be her senior but Maggie would always be my role model in how we interact with others as humans and kindred spirit. Rest in peace, Maggie. You have touched our lives with your magical presence.
Posted by Oliver Chen on June 27, 2019
Dear family members and friends of Jiawei, It was a tremendous shock and hard to accept the sad news. My deepest condolences to you all for our loss of her. She has gone through an unbelievable life journey, from Tianjin to America. Vividly I personally can recall her biggest and brightest smiles in office about 24 years ago when we were colleagues in Motorola Tianjin. She was the first person accepted me into the company. Her smiles lighted up many occasions whenever she was there. Deeply sadden to learn she has been bravely battling cancer for long. The overwhelming love, caring, and endless support from all her family members and friends, have kept her in warmest when in the toughest time. May her smile be a tickling star, shining forever, brightest in the sky!
Posted by Choong Pew Lee on June 27, 2019
Dear family members of Jia Mei, I was shocked by the sad news, and it took me several days to understand and recover from the grief. I would like to express my deepest condolences to all of you and I am sure you will go through this with many heart-felt condolences from all your friends and relatives around the world. I met Jia Mei in Tianjin as a colleague and friend in 1994 and I can still vividly remember her being assigned the critical task of implementing pay-for-skill scheme in our cellular phones manufacturing factory. At that time and in that environment, Jia Mei has shown her determination and strength of implementing a people transformation program in a young and inexperience factory workforce. And the most remarkable aspect of the challenge was that Jia Mei herself has no track record in carrying such project! By her own passion, willingness to learn, and gathering support from others, she accomplished a task beyond the punch of her weight. Even though this experience was 25 years ago when I write this tribute today, the thought was like yesterday to me. I would want this legacy of hers to remain with her children and that their mother has always been brave in facing challenges; and she has no hesitation is securing opportunity that would change her life. I am honored to be her friend who witnessed her career in Motorola at Tianjin and Beijing, and gave her the moral support to pursue her dream in Purdue University in 2000. I regret that I have not met Jia Mei since then and we managed to exchange a couple of messages and emails in the last 19 years. I hope the family continue to stay strong. Lastly, farewell my friend, Jia Mei! With deepest condolences, CP Lee
Posted by Frank Zwecker on June 26, 2019
Sunday night – June 23, 2019 - after two years of fighting Cancer – our mom, my wife - Jiamei passed away in her sleep at home surrounded by her family. Being able to spend one more time outside in her yard, looking out a nature, seeing the stars was something she was so looking forward to and was able to take with her. Thank you to so many of you (friends, care giver, family) who helped make it happen.

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