It is with profound sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Neil Vernon Cheng, 53, of North Delta, on January 28, 2023.
Neil was an exceptional and highly gifted individual. While growing up, he received many accolades and awards. The most notable, being the $20,000 Gordon M. Shrum Entrance Scholarship from Simon Fraser University. As a recipient of this award, he was able to further his studies, and obtained his Bachelor of Applied Science degree in 1992. He then later, completed his Masters of Engineering in 1998, while working as an engineer at various high-tech and start-up companies.
It was not all about academics. Neil was a passionate volleyball player; he was involved with organizing and playing in the Vancouver Volleyball league for many years. Ultimate was another favourite sport.
Even at a very young age, Neil loved to “fix” things and was extremely creative. On one occasion, he helped and directed an adult to properly affix the right wiring to repair a broken toaster; Neil could not have been more than six years old. As a youngster, he loved his Legos and created many cool toys with it. A lego camera comes to mind and it was an amazing piece of work! He added a window lego piece for the viewfinder and built a “shutter-release” button to simulate a real camera.
Neil never ceases to amaze his family and friends. Many thought a rewarding engineering career was destined to be in his future; but much to everyone’s surprise, Neil seeked work on board the cruise ships and acted as a lecturer and instructor, educating ship passengers of the most current technology and security issues. During this time, he met and made many new friends and had the opportunity of a lifetime, globetrotting to the many amazing places where the ships sailed. He was enjoying life and having fun.
Uncle Neil adored his two nieces. He always remembered and celebrated their birthdays. He sought out many wonderful souvenirs for them from his travels. Neil once bought tickets to a Cirque du Soleil show and had a special outing with just the three of them.
Neil was not someone who desired great wealth, prestige, and status. He lead a comfortable life, living on his own terms. He was content.
Neil is survived by his parents, Mervyn and Mona, sister Maureen (Stig), nieces Krista and Erika, longtime best friends, John Brown and Mario Galea….and many uncles, aunties, cousins from across the globe.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Heart & Stroke Foundation.
A Celebration of Life is scheduled on February 25, 2023 (more details to follow).