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Rafael Jaime Tossan
December 23, 1918 - May 1, 2016
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<div itemprop="description">OBITUARY OF RAFAEL TOSSAN (1918-2016) <br>According to his birth certificate, Rafael was born Jaime Rafael Tosau Fong on December 23 1918, to Alberto Tosau (1870-1930) and Teresa Estrada Fong (1886-1963) in the Guatemala City, Central America. According to Rafael he was born on February 8, 1918 and that was the date he celebrated throughout his life. Rafael was the youngest of 9 siblings of which he & his brother Albert were the only sons, all born in a town called Quezaltenango, bordering the Mexican border in Guatemala. Rafael was predeceased by his parents and all his siblings, as well as his beloved wife Maria Cordero Sang. In fact, Rafael, at the ripe age of 98, was the last person in his ancestral line. Of interest in his autobiography, he points out that ancestral records of the “TO” family can be traced back to a total of 17 generations or some 600 years, stopping at TO LOK TIN of Yu On Village who moved from Southern China to Canton (present day Guangzhou) during the Yuan Dynasty (1270-1368). It was the California Gold Rush of 1849 that prompted Rafael’s father, TO SAU LUEN to move to Guatemala as a young man to seek a better life for himself. He worked hard & did well, eventually taking a young local girl of 18, Teresa, to be his wife. They had 9 children of which Rafael was the youngest. Rafael’s autobiography recounts how his father injured himself falling from a horse, which prompted him to move himself & his entire family back to China to seek a Chinese cure. There they ended up staying until he died in 1930. Rafael was essentially raised in China, where he met the love of his life, Maria, at Sunday mass. They married in 1945. Their first 2 sons, Denis & Felix, were born in Kwantung, with Cecilia being born in Dec. 1949 on the heels of the family’s escape to Hong Kong from the Communist takeover. George was born soon after, followed by Steve 6 years later. With such a large family, Rafael often spoke of the hard times through those historic events (political unrest, Communist takeover, Word War 2, Japanese occupation etc) but he would, in the same breath, express thankfulness for the miraculous doors of job opportunity that opened up for him, from being hired by a German firm at the ports in Kwantung, to the US Consulate, to Pan Am Airways sales, & finally to a job as Regional Sales Manager with CP Air from 1962-1984. The other break he often mentioned was his appointment as Honorary Consul of Guatemala for Hong Kong from 1967-1986. Upon his retirement, he & Maria immigrated to Canada in 1985, where several of his sons had already established themselves. Never one to sit idly by, he continued to pursue his many hobbies & interests, including photography, carpentry, as well as an extensive amount of reading and writing. He continued working on his computer & surfing the Net until his final days. Indeed he was a prolific writer, with over 20 manuscripts, memoirs and reviews of his life, his family’s lives as well as political, historical and current milestones and events. Maria moved into Long Term Care in 2012, and Rafael moved in soon after – his sole purpose being to accompany her. Maria succumbed to advanced dementia on December 31, 2015 at age 93. Broken hearted, Rafael lost his beloved compass with her passing, finally leaving this earth to join her on May 1, 2016. <br>Rafael Tossan is survived by 5 children – Denis (Anna), Felix (Annmarie), George (Jacquie) in Phoenix, USA, Cecilia (Al) in Edmonton, AB, & Steve (Clarisse May), 6 grandchildren – Brandon, Jasmine, Brian (Cristine), Carl (Andrea) in Abbotsford, BC, Christopher & Andrea, and 4 great grandchildren – Madeleine, Beatrice, Caleb & Jaeda. <br></div>