ForeverMissed
Our hearts are broken.

How can we express in so little words how much of an impact our mom, wife, sister, aunt, grandma and friend had on all our lives? We are so blessed to have had known an incredible human being. She was among the very best. She led her life with kindness and care. She never despaired --the sacrifices she made for family and community and even mere strangers.

She prayed daily for her loved ones to be safe, healthy and happy. Our lives were so happy with her in it. And now we are all praying for you, mom.

Though you led a long life, our time with you was cut all too short. There are still so many things we want to say and do with you, mom. The only solace we have is knowing you are no longer suffering in pain. You are now with your own mom and dad, your sisters and brother. You missed them so much, often mentioning them every day when you were still with us. They must be hugging you so tight right now and not wanting to let go. We too, wish we could hug you and never let go. 

One day we will see you again, Mom. That will be a very good day. Our smile will be just as bright and big as yours. Until that day comes, we will forever be grateful and will not forget what you have taught us. Your memory will always live within us.

Services
SUNDAY, AUGUST 21, 2022
Visitation Hours: 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM 
Buddhist Prayer 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Chapel of Roses
Oak Hill Funeral Home & Memorial Park
300 Curtner Ave
San Jose, CA 95125

MONDAY, AUGUST 22, 2022
Eulogies: 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Buddhist Funeral Service: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Committal Service: 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Chapel of Roses
Oak Hill Funeral Home & Memorial Park
300 Curtner Ave
San Jose, CA 95125
Posted by Sam Nguyen on August 9, 2022
Gd ông bà Nguyễn Đôn Sâm, Indiana, thành kính phân ưu đến ông cùng gia quyến. Phật giáo có câu ” Sống thiện lành, chết bình an”. Xin chúc ông và toàn thể đại gia đình lành mạnh để sớm vượt qua nỗi mất mát quá lớn để giúp cho linh cữu của bà mau sớm về nơi cực lạc.

Chúng tôi rất nhớ và vô cùng thương tiết.


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Posted by Sam Nguyen on August 9, 2022
Gd ông bà Nguyễn Đôn Sâm, Indiana, thành kính phân ưu đến ông cùng gia quyến. Phật giáo có câu ” Sống thiện lành, chết bình an”. Xin chúc ông và toàn thể đại gia đình lành mạnh để sớm vượt qua nỗi mất mát quá lớn để giúp cho linh cữu của bà mau sớm về nơi cực lạc.

Chúng tôi rất nhớ và vô cùng thương tiết.


her Life

Early LIfe

Born on December 2, 1930 in a small village in Northern Viet Nam, she was arranged to marry at the early age of 17. She lost her mother to illness a year later. Her husband joined the military soon after and went away as long as a month at a time. She lived with his mother, his father, his grandmother and siblings and cared for them as if they were her own family. 

In 1948, the Communists invaded Northern Viet Nam and took control of several provinces and cities including her village. One night, she single-handedly led the family on feet to safety where they reunited with her husband waiting at a nearby city. Together, they all migrated south to Saigon, Viet Nam. 

In 1955, she gave birth to their first daughter -- the first of 12 children she would raise. Her husband's income of an Army officer would not be enough to feed 17 people. She struggled many days to help raise her large family, often working 12+ hour days to feed her children and extended family members. She had no more than a high school education but she was a savvy business woman. She had a gift for understanding what people needed not only in her personal life but also in her business dealings. 

In 1975, Communists were making their way to Southern Viet Nam. The prospect of the communists winning this war was imminent. Under Communism, her husband as a military officer of the opposing regime would be imprisoned for years and she would be left to fend for the entire family. The only option would be to, once again, leave everything she had ever known and risk her life, but this time to escape Viet Nam. She learned from an acquaintance there would be a boat that would take civilians to a US Military ship. With her husband, they planned the escape path, while coordinating with close relatives and all their families to ensure they would join, totaling almost 100 people. Together, they would all embark on a journey to a foreign land that would forever change their lives.

A New Life

When they first stepped foot in America, her prayers were answered when she learned of family assistance programs and organizations that could help new immigrants settle in their newly adopted country. This was a welcome relief after having experienced the trauma of escaping 2 wars, losing a child, losing a sister, losing her mother, losing her father-in-law, and losing her husband's grandmother who had become such a strong influence in her life. She had experienced so much loss and financial distress that came with raising a large family.

After having lived in Nashville, Tennessee for 5 years, she knew there were limited opportunities for her children to live close to each other as they got older. She consulted with her husband to consider leaving his job to move out West to California. Then, in the summer of 1980, like sardines in a can, 13 of us squeezed into a van and set out for San Jose, California. California was the land of opportunity and this would be where all her kids would eventually grow up, go to school, get a solid education, lead successful lives and eventually settle down to raise their own children. 

Of her children, 8 live within a 5 mile radius of her house today. One other lives 10 miles away while the remaining 2 are at least in the state of California. One of her greatest wishes was that her children always remain close to her. And that they would each remain close to and love each other. That would make her most proud.

Paying it Forward

In the early 1980s, after she and her family settled in San Jose, CA, she learned of a Buddhist temple, Chùa Đức Viên, that was being run out of a house by a Vietnamese nun. There, she enrolled her younger children in classes so they would not only learn to read and write in Vietnamese but they would also learn about the Buddhist religion. They would also learn to pray, to volunteer, and to give back to their own community. 

She always felt strongly that prayer would guide her family and therefore, she became a regular fixture at Chùa Đức Viên where she would worship over the next 40+ years. She went on retreats with the monks and nuns to help the poor.  Among her retreats was a trip to visit India to help orphans and underprivileged children. She also donated her time and money to help support the temple's expansion efforts. She made so many friends at the temple. She was so grateful for what she was able to contribute to the temple. It provided her so much peace and satisfaction. Today, her picture sits at Chùa Đức Viên temple as they remember one of their longest and most loyal and loved worshippers.
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