It is with the fondest memories that we say "TO SIR WITH LOVE" to "zia lao she" (teacher zia) who passed away peacefully with his two sons by his side at the Shaughnessy Care Center in Port Coquitlam on September 26, 2017 at the age of 94 years.
James Ven Hao Zia was born in Shanghai, China in 1923. He came to Canada via Hong Kong with his wife Dola (pre-deceased 2002) during Canada's 100th celebration in 1967. After retiring from his teaching position in Edmonton (29 years), he lived in Coquitlam (Marlborough House) and Port Coquitlam (Shaughnessy Care Center) for the past 19 years. He is Grandpa to Kevin (Leah), Kelly (Karen), Christina (Eldon) and Janet (Ishai) and "Big Papa" to Nicholas, Elliot, Madeleine, Nathan, Jayden, Henry, and Arieh.
Although James was educated as a lawyer and ran his own business in China, he was best known as a high school mathematics teacher in Hong Kong and Alberta (Edgerton High in Edgerton and Victoria Composite High in Edmonton). In fact, he taught his own two sons Angelo (Lucy) and Huntley (Diane) in Edgerton and maintained a friendship with his former students through five decades.
James is grateful for the connections he has made over the years and leaves to mourn nieces, nephews, and relatives across Canada, USA and China as well as former students and friends throughout the globe. The plaque that hangs on the wall in his room reads "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46.1).
The family wishes to thank all the staff at the Shaughnessy Care Center for the loving care "Papa" received in the past four and half years.
In lieu of flowers, donation in his memory may be made to the Canadian Diabetic Association or the Canadian Cancer Society.
Cremation will take place on September 30, 2017 and his ashes will be spread over water flowing between China and Canada, no service by request.