John Soo

June 4, 1924 ~ May 21, 2021 (age 96)


It is with great sadness that the family of John Yip Soo, aged 96, of Parksville B.C., announce his passing on May 21, 2021 after a recent diagnosis of cancer. He passed away peacefully in Palliative Care surrounded by family and immersed in love.

John, affectionately known as ‘Gongo’, grew up in Panyu located in the Guangzhou Province in China.  He left China in 1950 and lived in various locations in British Columbia for the rest of his life.  He met his wife, Jean Chan, in Vancouver and they settled in Youbou where he worked in the lumber mill.  They subsequently moved to Port Alberni where he shared his passion of cooking by opening the Golden Dragon Restaurant.  During this time they had four children, Robert, Susan, Garry, and Benny.  They later moved to Parksville where he opened the Holiday Cafe and continued to prepare delicious chinese meals for over 25 years.  

John retired in 1995 when he then enjoyed spending more time with family and friends.  ‘Coffee Club’ visits with local friends became daily occurrences, and sometimes more!  His favourite past-times included fishing and gardening, and these activities wonderfully complimented his love of cooking.

John had a calm and gentle spirit and was known to always make ‘family first’.  He was proud of his kids, and they became a reflection of his kind and caring nature.  He thrived on sharing many lunches and stories with his grandkids and this gave him tremendous joy.  His sympathetic soul kindled the hearts of many and fed the less fortunate in our community.  He will be greatly missed by many close and dear relatives and friends.  He will be fondly remembered by all the lives he touched with his warm smile and generous nature.  

John was predeceased by his wife, Jean in 1970, and survived by his children, Robert Soo, Susan Ciammaichella (Anthony), Garry Soo, and Benny Soo (Dawn Ishii), and by his grandkids, Tiana Lucia, and Mateo John. He will also be dearly missed by Chico the dog, with whom he shared a special relationship.

Special thanks to Dr. Bradley Bell and the amazing team in Palliative Care.  Dr. Bell, your kind and sensitive delivery of care was very much appreciated and together with Palliative Care, made this journey a gentle and memorable one.

A private family celebration of life will be scheduled later in the summer.  In lieu of flowers, please consider donating in John’s memory to the Canadian Red Cross at or the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital Palliative Care Unit at








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