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Liza Cheuk May

December 16, 1953 – November 13, 2019

Liza Cheuk May Chan
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"We are honored to provide this Book of Memories to the family."
— Families First

Liza Cheuk May Chan

Born on December 16, 1953, Liza Cheuk May Chan’s indomitable spirit ascended to eternity on November 13, 2019. Liza was beautiful inside and out, captivating family, friends, schoolmates, colleagues and everyone fortunate to know her with her signature Hong Kong British charm, sonorous voice full of confidence and compassion, and an impish grin and infectious laugh that radiated her wit and brilliance.

Liza was a model student at St. Stephen's Girls’ College in Hong Kong, where she had a close-knit circle of school chums. Her strong leadership qualities were very apparent at Columbia University’s Barnard College in New York as she became an outspoken, pioneering activist for feminism and LGBTQ rights, penning essays, articles and appearing in campus news. She obtained a master’s degree at Texas Woman’s University and her J.D. from Wayne State University Law School.

A courageous Woman Warrior, Liza willingly accepted the responsibilities of a citizen of the world: when she was just two years out of law school, initially Liza was the only attorney to take on the legal battle against the injustice in the hate killing of Vincent Chin. The pressures of the national campaign and spotlight were intense as Liza faced homophobic immigration policies that put her own status at risk. She was especially beloved by the Chin family and Michigan’s emerging Asian American community, impressing all with her integrity, eloquence and strength of character. She established her own firm focusing on business and real estate law, later taking her passion, talent and acumen to Dickinson Wright, where, as partner, she added her specialty in immigration law.

In the later decades of Liza’s life, she valiantly battled chronic illness and pain that affected her mobility but never limited her active mind, joy of friends and family, and engagement with the world. She wrote and published her exceptional memoir, My Impossible Life; she was also an accomplished photographer, capturing thoughtful vignettes of the human condition, and a collector of vintage cameras and fine design, with an unerring eye inherited from her father. Undaunted to the end, Liza is survived by her sisters Lina Cheuk Ling and Vivian Cheuk Wai, niece Juliana Ka Yan Li (her parents, But Yue and Eva Ho, and sister Lilian Cheuk Lin predeceased her) as well as countless friends, colleagues and admirers. Liza, we send you our love and sorely miss you.

– Helen Zia

If you so desire, donations to Lambda Legal or the American Civil Liberties Union would be appreciated by the family. Visitation at Families First (3260 Dougall Avenue, 519-969-5841) on Saturday, November 30, 2019, from 12:00 noon, with funeral service commencing at 1:00 p.m., followed by procession for burial at the Chan Family Estate at Heavenly Rest Cemetery (5005 Howard Avenue, 519-969-4836) and memorial dinner at Tai Yin Palace (11925 Tecumseh Road East, 519-735-8810). Share memories, photos or make a donation at

愛 姊 陳 綽 薇 痛 於 公 元 二 零 一 九 年 十 一 月 十 三 日 晚 上 六 時 半 壽 終 於 美 國 密 歇 根 州 安 娜 堡 鎮 家 中 積 潤 享 壽 六 十 有 八 遺 體 奉 移 加 拿 大 安 省 溫 莎 市 Families First 殯 儀 舘 治 喪 謹 定 於 十 一 月 三 十 日 (星 期 六) 正 午 十 二 時 設 靈 一 時 追 思 二 時 大 殮 辭 靈 隨 即 出 殯 Heavenly Rest 墳 場 陳 家 墓 園 土 葬

聞        哀 此 訃

胞 妹 綽 玲 綽 瑋 姨 甥 女 李 嘉 姻 同 泣 告

如 蒙
賜 賻 請 捐 贈 至
Lambda Legal 或 / 和
American Civil Liberties Union



When Saturday November 30, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Families First - South Windsor
3260 Dougall Ave
Windsor, ON N9E 1S6
Additional Information Visitation will continue until time of Funeral Service.

Service Information

Saturday November 30, 2019 1:00pm
Families First - South Windsor
3260 Dougall Ave
Windsor, ON N9E 1S6
Service Extra Info
Procession to Heavenly Rest for burial at the Chan Family Estate.
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