September 5, 1934 – May 11, 2021
It is with profound sadness that we announce the peaceful passing of Wo Chang “Jimmy” Toy on May 11, 2021, in Vancouver, B.C., following a brave battle with lymphoma. He is survived by his beloved wife of 54 years, Wai Har “Lucille” Toy, and their three children Galen (Penny), Malaine (Andrew), and Junine (Darren).
Wo Chang Toy was born on September 5, 1934, in rural Taishan, Guangdong, China. When he was 10 years old, he lost his mother to illness, at which time he began working on the family farm alongside his uncle. Even at this young age, he possessed the maturity, practicality, and strength of conviction that would guide him through his entire life.
At the age of 15, he made his journey to Canada, to the small northern village of Bowsman, Manitoba, to meet his father whom he had not seen since he was an infant. Challenging circumstances led him to seek a room in a boarding house with the help of a loan from a cousin.
In Bowsman, he received personal tutoring to learn English and took all his public secondary schooling in English, while also working early mornings and evenings in his father’s cafe and general store, and pursuing his new-found passions of curling and photography.
After graduating from high school, he made his way to coastal British Columbia to work in a pulp and paper mill in Ocean Falls. There, his work ethic and tireless energy were found to be indispensable and he took every extra shift offered him to save enough money to pay off his debt and fully fund his University education at U.B.C. Off-shift, he honed his skills around the pool table, and found success enough in wagers to fund his grocery bills!
A connection with his dear high school English tutor brought him here to Hope, B.C., and Jimmy fell in love with the place. After his graduation from U.B.C. in 1961 with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy, he chose Hope to be his home and began working at Scott’s Pharmacy, a business that he and his family would continue to run for the next 55 years, in later years as Toy’s Pharmacy.
Through a cousin, he was introduced to the love of his life, Wai Har “Lucille”, who was then living in Hong Kong and with whom he corresponded by letter mail. She immigrated to Canada and they were married on April 15, 1967.
Ever self-reliant, he served as his own contractor in constructing the family home – the home in which he and Lucille would lovingly raise their three children and continue to live in until this time.
In addition to tirelessly serving the town of Hope as a pharmacist and local business owner, Jimmy always felt a strong duty to contribute to the community from which he felt he had received so much support.
A lifetime of volunteer service included serving as a Trustee on the Board of the Fraser Canyon Hospital, a member and President of the Hope Rotary Club, a member and President of the Hope Golf and Country Club, and a member of the Hope Curling Club.
Through his pharmacy business, he hosted an annual community golf tournament for many years, and supported countless community causes over many decades.
Golf and curling were activities he pursued with the greatest of enthusiasm his entire life. Jimmy never stopped striving to better his game, practicing and playing as much as opportunity would allow to improve his skills. At the age of 85, in the Winter, he was curling three nights a week and known around the Hope Curling Club for his youthful exuberance and keen shot-making abilities.
Spring, Summer and Fall, he was at the Hope Golf Club most every day enjoying the fellowship of friends and his favourite game of golf, and, remarkably, shooting his age! His achievements in golf include a streak of podium finishes in 10 of 11 consecutive years at the 55+ B.C. Seniors Games, in which he began competing at the age of 75.
An endlessly devoted and supportive husband and father, and a friend to many, Jimmy will be missed dearly for his wisdom, intelligence, caring, and kindness. He was so well loved by many and will be remembered for his cheerful, positive energy, his unparalleled good sportsmanship, and for being a humble, honest, and sincere gentleman. He was much admired and respected for both his accomplishments and his character. We will cherish his memory and continue to be inspired by him.
Visitation was held privately for family members on May 17, 2021, at Glenhaven Memorial Chapel in Vancouver, B.C., followed by interment on May 18, 2021, at Mountainview Cemetery in Hope, B.C.
The Toy family extends heartfelt gratitude to all those friends who gathered at the Hope Golf & Country Club and the Hope Curling Club to honour Jim during the funerary procession.
The Toy family would also like to acknowledge the staff of St. Paul’s Hospital, the B.C. Cancer Agency, Vancouver Coastal Health Community Nursing, and St. John Hospice in Vancouver for their exceptional care.
Those who wish may consider a donation to the Fraser Canyon Hospital Auxiliary or to the Hope Curling Club in Jim’s name.
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