Siu Wan Tso, 74, passed away Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021, at Providence St. Peter Hospital. Siu Wan was born in Sorsogon, Philippines, the ninth of 10 children in a Cantonese family.
Early on in high school, he attended a gospel crusade and accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. He was a talented athlete, setting track and field records, and continued that success as a member of his college track team. After graduating from Mapúa Institute of Technology in Manila, he became an elementary school teacher and coached high school track and field. Later, he met and married his wife, Jemima, and the couple had two children before immigrating to the United States in the later 1980s. They settled in Centralia nearly 25 years ago, and Siu Wan worked for Providence Centralia Hospital for many years before he retired.
He discovered a love for music in his 50s, which led to teaching himself over 20 different instruments. He frequently played for patients outside of his work shifts and performed for residents in nursing homes. He also enjoyed finding and collecting little known instruments from around the world. In his 70s, he learned about the USA Track and Field Association’s master’s league and competed over the past several years as a sprinter and a jumper, earning many podium finishes in meets around the northwest.
He was a humble man and a hard worker, quick to help wherever needed, and served his family and community tirelessly and with a cheerful heart. He was a giving and generous father and “angkong” (grandfather), spending countless hours playing, building, singing, driving, feeding, teaching, and caring for his grandchildren. He traveled often with his family, both for pleasure and working as support staff on many medical mission trips alongside his wife. He laughed easily and could crack jokes in any of three dialects of Chinese, and two dialects of Filipino and English, all of which he spoke fluently.
He is survived by his wife, Jemima; son, Jerome (Shawn) Tso; daughter, Stephanie Joyce (Josh) Heck; seven grandchildren; three siblings; and many nieces and nephews.