ForeverMissed
The family wish to announce that Thiam Tjiong (Evelyn) Kwee passed away peacefully in her sleep on April 15th, 2021.   She, at age 100, has now joined her husband Tjay Wan Kwee and son Bob Kwee in a better place.  She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law Kai and Yee-Nga Kwee, her son Bob’s wife and daughter in law Nguyet Le Minh Kwee, her grandchildren Jeffrey, Melissa, Robert, and Richard.  She was also blessed with four great-grand children, Jamie, Emma, Alec and Brooklyn.  


She will be missed greatly for her warmth, hospitality, her wonderful cooking and skill at bridge. 

Posted by Joy Ting on May 1, 2021
Dear Kai and Yee-Nga,
Our condolences on the passing of your mother. We remember Mrs. Evelyn Kwee well having met her at Jeffrey's and also at Melissa's weddings. We shared only a few words as she was busy being the proud grandmother. Looking through the photo gallery we can see that she was blessed with loving family and friends. She was truly a charming and spirited lady.
Posted by Jeffrey Kwee on April 26, 2021
Eef,thanks so,so much for the more than 60 years of friendship!
So many memories of things we have done together.
The short and long trips and travels we did.
Our foursome with Tjay Wan and Tok brought many happy times with never a disagreement!
Eef, rest in peace.
I'll miss you,     

Glory
Posted by Caroline Indrajana on April 25, 2021
I’ll miss Opi dearly and will always remember and cherish all the good times I spent with her.
Love you Opi,
Titien
Posted by Pau-Chern Seow on April 25, 2021
I remember- one fine day in SG, in the mid-1960s, Kai introduced me to his mother whom I addressed as 'Auntie Kwee', inkeeping with the local tradition of respectfully addressing elders as uncles and aunties. Unbeknownst to me then, Kai's unpretentious introduction of 'This is my mother', was the start of a relationship that spanned over 5 decades, which grew closer as the years passed by. While Auntie Kwee's presence in SG was punctuated by her absence, I had fortunate opportunities to travel and visit her in Medan and Brastagi, Sumatra, and even in Burlington ON. I recall getting the opportunity for my first taste of a Dutch pastry, a product of her baking gift, on one of those trips. During those visits, her warm hospitality and caring kindness left an indelible imprint in my heart. Visiting her in later years in Hyland Pl, N Surrey, I can sense that my relationship with Auntie Kwee, has quietly evolved to approach extended family status. During my visits, the privileges of sheltering under the same roof, breaking bread together over a meal in her home, even handing me the keys to her beloved VW Golf to allow me run errands in YVR, are happy memories that I am thankful for and will fondly remember. I pray that Auntie Kwee's wise words of encouragement and hope that was offered to each of us along the way, will give us strength and peace, as we journey onward with her spirit of love in our hearts. And my prayers for Auntie Kwee's journey to dwell in the house of the Lord, together with Uncle Kwee and Bob.  Pau Chern Seow.

"..He leads me beside still waters; He restores my soul.
..Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,.." Psalm23 2,6.
Posted by rachel becket on April 24, 2021
Kai,
I am deeply sorry to hear about the passing of your mother. My deepest sympathy to you and your family

Rachel Becket
Posted by Keh Yoe Ong on April 24, 2021
I remember Tante Tjiong from the days Keh Sin and I were young. On early Sunday mornings, she would read us spellbinding stories from the Mahabaratha and Ramayana whenever she visited. I discovered a fascination with stories and mythology that I still have to this day. She also cooked some fabulous Indonesian dishes whenever she was in the kitchen. My father was closest to Tante Tjiong. They endured some difficult days together and Tante Tjiong protected my dad from bullies when he was young. She knew more stories of my father than anyone else. My father always spoke of her with love and great affection. Though we will all miss her, may she be reunited with her siblings and past family at the table of plenty in the house of our Lord. Oh, the stories they will tell at the table... Spellbinding...

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Joy Ting on May 1, 2021
Dear Kai and Yee-Nga,
Our condolences on the passing of your mother. We remember Mrs. Evelyn Kwee well having met her at Jeffrey's and also at Melissa's weddings. We shared only a few words as she was busy being the proud grandmother. Looking through the photo gallery we can see that she was blessed with loving family and friends. She was truly a charming and spirited lady.
Posted by Jeffrey Kwee on April 26, 2021
Eef,thanks so,so much for the more than 60 years of friendship!
So many memories of things we have done together.
The short and long trips and travels we did.
Our foursome with Tjay Wan and Tok brought many happy times with never a disagreement!
Eef, rest in peace.
I'll miss you,     

Glory
Posted by Caroline Indrajana on April 25, 2021
I’ll miss Opi dearly and will always remember and cherish all the good times I spent with her.
Love you Opi,
Titien
her Life

Thiam Tjiong Kwee

Also known as:
- Evelyn
- Mrs. Kwee
- Ong Thiam Tjiong Nio
- Bolle
- Kouyong
- Mama
- Tante Eef
- Tante Tjiong
- Iek Tjiong
- Tjiek Tjiong
- Sa Iek
- Ipo Tjiong
- Opi
- Oma
- Oma Canada
- G G

Evelyn was born on the 28 Jan 1921 in Magelang Indonesia to a large well off family.

She attended a Catholic school, was always outdoors, climbing trees and eating fruits from their trees.  Evelyn spent much of her childhood playing in the elevated aqueduct which ran behind her house, riding cut banana stems. She was street smart.

Evelyn finished Dutch high school, and started medical school when the Second World War started.  During the Japanese occupation of Java, school was interrupted.  She still managed to learned some Mandarin.  She met a doctor who cared for the Dutch interned in camps there.  They married in 1945, and began their life in Ngawi together where her first son was born in 1946.

By then, the war had just ended with political turmoil and anarchy settling in the region.  Someone grateful to her husband arranged for the young family to flee the chaos, and to go to Batavia (now Jakarta), on a ship bound for Holland.  There, her husband studied to get his Dutch MD degree, and Evelyn delivered her second son in 1947.

They settled in post war Amsterdam on meagre earnings and food coupons.  They welcomed many relatives and friends from Indonesia to their simple apartment.

In 1949, Indonesia became independent from the Dutch, and the family got passage on the Willem Ruys to return to Indonesia.  The ship stopped in the Medan area, where they liked it so much, they eventually came back and settled in the city a few months later, in 1950.  After that, he started a humble medical practice in a small building's  garage, while Evelyn looked after the children and had a few chickens.

As the practice grew, Evelyn started to help her husband to take care of many consulates from all over the world.  Her fluency in Dutch, German, English, French, Indonesian, and Javanese was instrumental.  She formed a close bond with the consular women, and was active in their Women’s International Club.  Later on, she became a member of the South East Asian Club.  In addition, Evelyn formed a close relationship with the doctors’ wives.  She organized fashion shows, beauty pageants, and helped in music festivals.

In 1956, she enrolled in the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of North Sumatra. She also built greenhouses, and stared growing orchids.  Eventually, Evelyn had four greenhouse full of blooming orchids.  Furthermore, she tried hybridization of different orchid varieties.

Two years later, there was a rebellion in Sumatra while the family was vacationing in Singapore.   This resulted in Evelyn staying with the boys in Singapore for an extended period of time.  As the situation improved, she returned to Medan, and left the boys in Singapore to. complete their studies.

In Medan, Evelyn started playing bridge, and excelled at it.  She began to play competitively, progressing to National level,  and eventually to International level.  She subsequently represented Indonesia at the South East Asian Games, participating in the parade with all the athletes.

In addition to her skills in bridge, Evelyn was a loving person, and took in medical students while treating them as her own.  She became a second mother to many, teaching them modern dances including the twist and cha cha, amongst other things.

In the early 70s, the boys settled in Canada.  In the late 70s, Evelyn and her husband decided to retire there.  They moved to Burlington, Ontario, buying a house on Coleman Court.  There, they again made many good Indonesian and Singaporean friends in various social groups. 

Evelyn and her husband moved to North Delta in 1983, buying a house on Hyland Place, where she stayed for 38 years.  The two guest rooms in that house welcomed many friends and family.  They also enjoyed travelling, mostly to visit friends and relatives all over the world.  They took multiple road trips with their Ford van all over the US and Canada, again focusing on visiting friends and relatives.  Often they traveled with her cousin and his wife.

After her husband passed away in 1998, Evelyn continued to drive her car until she reached 90 years old.  She continued to host numerous visitors each year from all over the world, even in her later stages of dementia.

Evelyn is someone who developed close relationships with many people, young and old.  Her ability to make others feel special and loved will be fondly remembered.  

- Kai and Jeff Kwee

Recent stories