Thieu Thi No, 91, of Irvine passed away peacefully on Monday July 12, 2021 with her loving family by her side after a short period of declining health. She is survived by 9 children and a total of 28 grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Born in the village of Chau Doc in southern Vietnam, she was an extremely devoted and caring daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. Despite her small stature, gentle nature, and calm demeanor, she was a strong woman who has remained courageous and steadfast when facing many of life’s incredibly difficult challenges: losing her parents at a tender age of 3 months, growing up in a poor family, being sent off to live with her husband's family after she got married at the young age of 19 to serve her in-laws (as was custom at the time), living through the war torn years in Vietnam, grieving the death of her first-born son when he was just 2 years old, and becoming a widow at the age of only 44. In 1978, without knowing a word of English, she risked everything she had in order to take her family from Vietnam to the United States, by boat through pirate-infested waters of the Gulf of Thailand. Single-handedly, she raised all of her children and found a way to give all of them a better future.
Having survived almost a lifetime of hardship and many misfortunes, she had taught and passed on to all of her children and their children the value of patience, resiliency, and empathy. And while she did not have the opportunity to obtain formal education beyond fifth grade, she had the innate ability to speak eloquently (and was often invited to deliver honorary speeches at family friends' weddings or functions), was well versed in traditional Vietnamese proverbs and history, and commanded the respect of people from all walks of life who had interacted with her.
As the matriarch of her family, she provided her children a strong foundation of family values, traditions, and life skills to help them succeed in life and to pass on to the future generations. She always enjoyed family gatherings (seeing her children, caring for her grandchildren and doting on their children) and treating them to her delicious culinary dishes. She loved orchids and tended to a dozen of varieties grown in her patio garden. In her late years, she also became a faithful follower of local Buddhist temples and practiced daily meditation.
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