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PAULINA MIAW JIN ZILLMAN (HWANG)
Date of Passing: Mar 20, 2020Offer Condolences or Memory Make a donation to CancerCare Manitoba Foundation
PAULINA MIAW JIN ZILLMAN
Left to cherish Paulina's memory are her husband of 48 years, Rick; sisters, Rosalind Chung and Nancy Tsui; brother, Raphael (Jennifer) Hwang; sister-in-law, Wendy Zillman; nieces, Yeefun (Eddy) Yan, Esther (Erik) Wang, Korina (Luke) Hogan, Katheryn Tsui, Florence (Sean) Hwang, and Justine Hwang; and nephews, Joseph (Michelle) Chung and Joel (Meghan) Zillman.
Paulina was predeceased by her parents, Shaolin and Check Hwang.
Paulina was born in the city of Chengdu in the province of Sichuan, China in 1939. During those war years, because her father was serving as a pilot in the Air Force, the family moved to several different air bases in China, and finally to Taiwan. When she was once asked why she had no baby photos of herself, she simply said, "Oh, I was born in a bomb shelter." Growing up in Taiwan, because she was the eldest sibling, even as a child she took on the responsibility of caregiver because her mom was bedridden with pneumonia and her dad was often away from home.
Paulina graduated with a BScAg degree from Zhongxing University in Taiwan, with a MScHort degree from University of Saskachewan, and a PhDAg degree from University of Manitoba. After settling in Winnipeg with Rick in 1972, she began an enjoyable and rewarding career as a high school teacher, which spanned 37 years. Her career lasted so long because her students and colleagues genuinely liked and respected her. The first half of her teaching career was spent teaching Biology at St. Norbert Collegiate. The second half was spent writing a curriculum, and then teaching a pilot Mandarin language program at Vincent Massey Collegiate in Winnipeg. Between postings she spent one year teaching Mathematics at Women's University in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.
For 35 years, Paulina volunteered teaching Saturday morning Mandarin classes to Grade 2 and 3 children at Manitoba Academy of Chinese Studies. During that time, she served on a committee that developed curriculums and published Grade 1 to 6 textbooks for teaching Mandarin. For 25 years, she served as part of the editorial staff of Manitoba Chinese Post. For several years, she was also involved with the American Field Services teacher exchange program, both hosting visiting teachers from Thailand, and being hosted herself in Thailand on two occasions. Paulina spent many years serving as a volunteer at the Spence Street Thrift Store associated with the Pregnancy Distress Centre in Winnipeg.
Paulina loved to travel to see new places, and especially to meet new people. During their marriage, Paulina and Rick made countless trips together all over the world. One of the most memorable was a trip to the province of Sabah, East Malaysia, on the island of Borneo, where they climbed to the 4100 meter summit of Mount Kinabalu. Paulina's main interest in this bizarre endeavour was to see firsthand the vast variety of orchids growing on Kinabalu's slopes.
For the past 16 years, Paulina and Rick spent their winters at Pine to Palm Resort Park in the city of Weslaco in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. There they made many new friends, and Paulina was able to engage in her lifelong passion for growing subtropical trees, plants and flowers. Paulina's other passions were gardening, cooking, baking, knitting, crocheting and Chinese knotting.
She was always experimenting with new dishes to cook, to the point that we started calling our kitchen "the lab." She loved to bake cookies and cakes to give to family and friends. Over the years, she donated many of her baby outfits and blankets, and knitted slippers to hospitals, both in Winnipeg and Weslaco. One year she outfitted an entire Grade 4 class of poor Mexican children with red knitted vests; they were all so proud to show them off when their photo was taken. The children or grandchildren of all her family members and friends received a baby blanket and/or outfit when the child was born. Many of these children, now as adults, still treasure Paulina's baby gift to them.
Paulina is someone who will be recalled many times with special warmth and affection because she was such a caring, compassionate and generous person who always put other's concerns and needs ahead of her own, and was always looking for ways to make others happy.
It is our intention to have a memorial service to celebrate Paulina's wonderful, rich life at a later date when more favourable conditions present. This will take place at Church of the Way in Winnipeg, where Paulina and Rick have been attending for almost 50 years.
In lieu of flowers, those wishing to honour Paulina's legacy may donate to CancerCare Manitoba at the Victoria General Hospital.
THOMSON "IN THE PARK"
Condolences may be sent to
As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Mar 24, 2020
Condolences & Memories (19 entries)
Rick, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this very difficult time. Pauline will be missed by many Pine to Palmers. Marilyn enjoyed her time with Pauline at yoga classes and talking about recipes. Pauline could often be seen on her early morning walks. Our sincere condolences. - Posted by: Ron and Marilyn Sigurdson (Friends from Pine to Palm in Weslaco Texas) on: Mar 30, 2020
I knew Paulina from yoga in pine to palm. Sorry for your loss & will miss seeing Paulina walking the park & also visiting with her at yoga. RIP Paulina - Posted by: Eleanor Marnock (Friend from Pine to Palm did yoga with Paulina) on: Mar 29, 2020
Dearest Uncle Rick, I'm so sorry to hear about her passing. Auntie Paulina was one of a kind. I was lucky to grow up with both of you, active and close in our tight knit MACS Chinese school community. I always noticed how you and her were global thinkers, keen to explore new countries and seek new experiences... and for a young girl like me, she was a rare model of a Chinese Canadian woman who was quietly confident, always kind and open to adventures. Inspiring. You two were a couple ahead of your time, and as I write this now I realize what a deep impression that left on me. On behalf of my husband, Cameron and our son, Tate - please accept our deepest condolences. With love and support, Carol/Carolynne Hew - Posted by: carolynne s hew (MACS community) on: Mar 25, 2020
We are sorry to hear the loss of your beloved Paulina. Grace and I shared a lot of memories with both of you from our time at MACS in the early 1990's. Grace goes back even further when she roomed with Paulina while she was an undergrad and Paulina was in her PHD program. Then both of you introduced us to Pine to Pine and we had enjoyed your company each winter there. We took yoga classes together and Grace and her enjoyed taking Spanish classes. I can still see Paulina doing her power walking around the park at 6 AM in the morning as I passed her on my for the golf course. I remember her advise on the type of fertilizer to use for Texas Ruby Red grapefruit trees that I used in Phoenix very successfully. Your tree in the front yard there was a testament to her knowledge in agriculture. It was the biggest tree in the area, giving the largest grapefruit and number of grapefruit. We have a lot of fond memories of the both of you and feel for your loss. Colin and Grace. - Posted by: Colin Dederick (friends) on: Mar 25, 2020
Sincere sympathy to Rick and family on the passing of your wife Paulina. We know Paulina way back during 70's. Unfortunately we lost touch and later years. A very nice lady and great teacher. David & Linda Tseng - Posted by: Linda Tseng (Acquaintance) on: Mar 25, 2020
Our sincere Sympathy to you,Rick, and extended family. We are thinking of you with sincere Sympathy. Sincerely, Ron and Marilyn Maryniuk - Posted by: Ron & Marilyn Maryniuk (Pine to Palm Friend) on: Mar 25, 2020
Remembering my Aunt Paulina. I was lucky enough to visit her and my Uncle Rick while in Winnipeg for a business trip in November. She gave me a tin of shortbread cookies to take home. She was in good spirits, but already quite weakened with cancer, although we wouldn't know this until a couple of months later. She and my Uncle Rick would give us books for Christmas when my sister and I were young. They, including my parents, instilled in us a love of reading and learning. She was a great teacher as well. She was the one who first suggested I go into library school before I even thought about it. I'll miss her caring nature. I have a blanket she crocheted for me recently too. - Posted by: Florence (Niece) on: Mar 24, 2020
My deepest sympathies to Paulina's family. I remember her very well at Vincent Massey Collegiate in Winnipeg when she taught the Mandarin classes. She was so friendly and full of life! Paulina loved to talk about her students, like Tych and others, all the time. She had a passion for teaching and was always so kind to everybody. She will be missed. She is also the only person I know who was born in a bomb shelter! Sounds like she had an incredible life! - Posted by: Paul Doyle (Colleague and friend) on: Mar 24, 2020
Paulina was a wonderful colleague, teacher and friend. We worked together for the Chinese language program in Winnipeg Schools and the Manitoba Academy of Chinese Studies. Her warm personality, wonderful smile and generous nature will be cherished by her many students, colleagues and friends. Condolences, Rick, on your loss. - Posted by: Eliana Handford (Colleague and friend) on: Mar 24, 2020
My condolences to the family and friends of Mrs Zillman. I spent many classes of Biology with Mrs Zillman at St Norbert High School and I appreciate all her hard work at teaching Rest In Peace Mrs Zillman. - Posted by: Kenneth Walker (Student St Norbert collegiate) on: Mar 24, 2020
Our deepest sympathies Rick. We have such great memories of Paulina,. Rene teaching with Paulina in St. Norbert . The cruise Pine to Palm residences took together in Europe. Our thoughts are with you and your extended family at this time. Love Rene and Terry - Posted by: Therese Tallaire (Friend) on: Mar 24, 2020
We are deeply sorry for your loss Rick and family.Paulina will be missed in Pine to Palm for all the volunteer knitting and turbans she did. Paulina was very generous and we were recipients of her carrot cake a couple times. May your memories help you through this difficult period. Sincerely Barb and Norm Waitt - Posted by: Norm and Barb Waitt (Friends) on: Mar 24, 2020
As an yearly Pine to Palm recipient of Paulina's cookies and her fabulous fruit cakes, I can attest to her generosity. At The coffee get- togethers after our daily yoga classes, she would tell us about her many adventures. But the one thing that really stands out in my memory of her is her great pride that she had for her nieces! Always sharing their accomplishments. I am glad that I got to spend an hour with her just before they left for Canada. Even then, as sick as she was, she gave me two bags of clothes for the woman's abuse shelter here in Texas. Always sharing. I'm glad she is no longer suffering. Rest in peace my friend. Helga - Posted by: Helga Henkel (Pine to Palm friend) on: Mar 24, 2020
And the world has lost a wonderful person. I am very lucky to have known her personally for so long. Condolences to Rick and family. - Posted by: Linda Watson (Friend) on: Mar 24, 2020
My sympathy to Mrs.Zillman's family. Mrs. Zillman taught me Biology. She was a sweet, funny, and passionate teacher. I graduated sharing her passion. After majoring in Nursing at the UofM and practising 35 yrs in my profession, I think back with a smile for one of my favorite classes in high school May she rest in peace♡ - Posted by: Donna (Former student) on: Mar 24, 2020
RIP Mrs Zillman,I can't believe how fast time has gone since you were my teacher.Sounds like she was a remarkable person and lived a very full life.My condolences to her family and friends. Shannon K - Posted by: Shannon (Student(late 1980's St Norbert collegiate)) on: Mar 24, 2020
We are so sorry to hear about Paulina’s passing ,our thoughts and prayers are with you. Paulina was a great neighbor and always showed interests in plants and will be greatly missed in Pine 2 Palm in Texas. - Posted by: Claude and Jackie Bru (Friend and neighbor in Texsa) on: Mar 24, 2020
Condolences to Paulina’s family. I am so grateful to have reconnected with her at our first reunion in 2013 and that she really hadn’t changed over the years. Be at peace Paulina 💖 - Posted by: Lynne Johnston (Student from St Norbert collegiate ) on: Mar 24, 2020
My Prayers and thoughts are with you. - Posted by: Ray Berryman (Friend) on: Mar 24, 2020
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