In Memory of

Paul

Woo

Obituary for Dr. Paul Woo

A Celebration of the life of Dr. Paul Woo, a cherished husband, father, grandfather, uncle, and inspiration to his community.

Born on the auspicious date of December the 25th, 1944 to parents Peter Woo and U-Lan, Paul grew up in Hong Kong with his 5 siblings, Helen, Irene, Maureen, Carolyn, and Bill. He spent his early years attending St. Joseph College in Hong Kong and in 1964, he immigrated to Canada to pursue his medical education at the University of Manitoba.

The adaptation from the warm tropical climate of Hong Kong to the hostile cold of Winnipeg was a drastic one, but Paul found the people to be down to earth, friendly, and sincere. During his time at the U of Manitoba, Paul made many lifelong friends and as a foreign student, he was delighted to be exposed to the Canadian culture. He became enthralled with the CFL, the NHL, and Major League Baseball. Although he would be the first to admit that he was not much of an athlete himself, he quickly became a skilled armchair quarterback. Paul found that his love of sports allowed him to rapidly soak up Canadian traditions and culture. In 1970, he graduated from medical school and decided to leave Manitoba in favour of Toronto, owing to the larger city’s multicultural environment and more complimentary weather.

After an internship year at Toronto Western Hospital, Paul was recruited to work in a family Doctor’s office in Richmond Hill and at York Central Hospital. In 1979, he became the president of the Medical Staff at York Central and then for 6 months, he was acting Chief of Medical Staff. It was a unique and challenging experience that sparked a keen interest in the management and organization of the hospital. Paul continued to be very involved in Hospital affairs and became Chief of Family Practice in 1983. His career reached a milestone in 1991 when he was appointed Chief of Staff (Medical) at York Central Hospital, the first Chinese physician in Richmond Hill to be given this position. He was in charge of quality of service and reported to the Board of Directors through the Medical Advisory Committee.

Another momentous moment in Paul’s life was when he was lucky enough to meet his future wife, Lorraine Jackson, while working at YCH. Paul quickly fell in love with Lorraine and her family. He was welcomed with open arms and developed strong connections with Doug, Sheila and Barb, and he was treated like a second son by his in-laws Mildred and Wilfred. He grew particularly close to Wilf, who nurtured his burgeoning love for golf. Lorraine and Paul were married in October 1976 and went on to have 3 wonderful children, Matthew, Andrew, and Ashley. The family loved spending time together, whether it was going on vacations, playing at their home in Markham, or enjoying countless delicious Friday night dinners with friends.

In 1994, however, dark clouds began to circle overhead, and he was struck with kidney failure that required three times weekly hemodialysis treatments. Through the wonderful attention and help of Lorraine, they performed that procedure at home for 6 years from 1995-2001. This is typically done in a hospital centre, so doing it at home resulted in the most difficult period of Paul and his young family’s lives. Hemodialysis left Paul feeling fatigued and exhausted, but he managed to carry on, and in August 2001, God shone his light on Paul, and he received a kidney transplant which relieved him from his suffering. He swiftly recovered and rededicated himself to his work, his family life, and the missed opportunities with his children.

In 2003, an opportunity came along that altered his life once again. Paul was appointed ‘Medical Director’ at Mon Sheong Richmond Hill Long Term Care center, and he held that position until his retirement in 2017. Looking back at his time working at Mon Sheong Paul recounted that the experience had greatly enlightened him by broadening his cultural prospective and teaching him about the resilience of our elderly residents and the deep abiding family culture that is a trait for all to envy. Paul’s career reached another climax in 2012 when, through the recommendation of Mon Sheong Foundation, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for service to the community. This is an honour for which Paul was profoundly grateful.

In 2017 Paul was set to retire, but this unfortunately coincided with another health complication resulting in the above knee amputation of his right leg. Even when faced with such adversity, Paul’s resilience and courage did not falter. His strength carried him through 6 months of rehabilitation and brought him home to Lorraine. Paul was able to see his children grow into their careers and build families of their own.

In 2019 Paul was blessed with his first grandchild, Ronan. This ignited a whole new joy to his life - the booboo era! Jackson, Chloe and Harper were soon to follow in 2020, 2021, and 2023. Paul’s grandchildren meant everything to him, and a day didn’t pass where he was not either spending time with them or speaking about them. Watching and spending time with the grandkids brought him pure happiness.

Paul will be remembered for his tireless dedication to his family and work, and the legacy of compassion and service that he leaves behind.

Visitation will be held at MARSHALL FUNERAL HOME, 10366 Yonge Street, in Richmond Hill on Friday, April 12, from 2-5pm and 6-8pm.
Funeral service to follow at the MARSHALL FUNERAL HOME chapel on Saturday April 13 at 10:30am.

A celebration of life will be held at Thornhill Golf and Country Club on Monday, April 15th, from 2-6 pm – speeches at 5pm.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Mon Sheong Foundation Long Term Care General Fund or the Mackenzie Health Foundation in memory of Dr. Woo.

https://monsheong.akaraisin.com/ui/donations/donations/start?it=1&amt=50

https://supportmackenziehealth.ca/ui/equipmentappeal_web/donations/start



May he rest in peace.