December 7, 1953 – July 28, 2020
Arlene was born December 7, 1953 in Leader, Saskatchewan. to parents Yip Ah Won, and Lee Gin of Burstall, Saskatchewan. Arlene passed away peacefully at Vancouver General Hospital on July 28, 2020 at the age of 66 years.
Arlene was predeceased by her parents Yip, who passed away November 10, 1971 in Vancouver, BC and Lee Gin on April 12, 1957 in Burstall, SK.
Arlene was 4 years old when her mother passed away. In Burstall, Yip owned and operated a successful restaurant business called The Burstall Hometown Cafe. While Yip worked at the restaurant Arlene and Faye were raised by John & Elsie Riehl who were the postmasters of Burstall. John & Elsie took Arlene and Faye to Sunday school at the Evangelical church. Bill was raised by Reinhold & Lenora Schlepp of Burstall. Arlene attended Burstall School until grade 3.
After Yip sold the restaurant in 1962, we moved to Vancouver, and opened a hotel (still in Gastown). Arlene took on the responsibility of looking after Faye and Bill even though she was just a child herself. She was resilient and despite the challenges determined to keep us as a family. As kids we had to carry empty beer bottles back before school started, work in a fish cannery peeling shrimp and strawberry picking to earn lunch money. Peeling shrimp was not a pleasant job except that we probably ate more fresh boiled shrimp than the other older ladies. We three kids stuck together.
In the 1960’s our dad took us to Union Gospel Mission when it was at 126 Powell Street. Arlene was very active with Union Gospel Mission ever since. She also attended Ruth Morton Church and Broadview Baptist Church. She attended Sunday school at these places of worship and she loved being a Sunday school teacher.
Arlene committed her life to Christ at a very young age. Her faith was very important to her. She spent many hours reading her bible and in prayer. Arlene’s faith in God, family and close friends were most precious to her.
Arlene worked for Union Gospel Mission in administration. The last 10 years her health took a toll as she was in the hospital close to death several times. Her determination helped her to rebound each time - she loved working at Union Gospel Mission. Two years ago, Arlene retired due to her ailing health.
Arlene was very generous. She invited people to High Tea, the Keg and treated people to International Gelato. She always remembered people’s birth dates.
Arlene loved to travel. Over the years she visited London, England, Japan, Italy, Israel, Germany, New Orleans, Florida, China, Singapore, and Hawaii. She kept meticulous records and receipts of her travels in her many journals.
Special friends to mention are Beulah, Ruby, Violet, Evelyn, Bonnie, Joanne, Elizabeth, Cecilia and Roberta. Arlene was a private person and I’m sure there are many more special friends that we don’t know.
Arlene is survived by her sister Faye (Mario) Ceravolo of Vancouver; Brother Bill (Sandra) Won of Burstall, SK; Niece Ashley Won and nephew Cameron all of Medicine Hat, AB. Arlene also has a great niece Aizlynn and finally a great nephew Roman, all of Medicine Hat, AB.
Arlene will be sadly missed, and memories with her will be cherished forever.
We have laid Arlene to rest with our dad at Mountainview Cemetery in Vancouver, BC.
A celebration of Arlene’s life will be held in Vancouver a year from now, as we could not hold it due to the Covid pandemic. In lieu of flowers, donations in Arlene’s memory may be made to Union Gospel Mission, 601 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6A 1J7.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Union Gospel Mission in Arlene's memory.