Dr. Paul Wai Naam Ho, 1942-2023
CHICAGO — Dr. Paul Wai Naam Ho, 80, previously of Canfield, passed away peacefully, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023.
Born in China during a period of civil unrest, he built a life that reflected a deep appreciation for education and love for family. He was a beloved brother, husband, father, grandfather, physician and friend.
Ho Wai Naam was born Aug. 16, 1942, in the city of Guangzhou. He was the fourth of seven sons to Ho Hei Sing and Chan Kwan Ying, but nicknamed “Brother No. 10” in a large family that included 13 other step-siblings. When he was 10 years old, the family fled to Macau to escape the Communist regime. He attended Yuet Wah High School, where he adopted the Christian name, Paul.
In 1963, he came to the United States to study at St. Louis University and met Bernarda “Bernie” Yin-Har Wong. They married in 1970 and had their first of three children, Colleen, in 1971. That year, they also became U.S. citizens.
Paul worked as a lab assistant, phlebotomist and busboy to pay for college. During medical school, Bernie supported him by tutoring, and later working as an urban planner. Paul graduated from St. Louis University School of Medicine in 1972 and moved to Canfield to begin his internal medicine residency. They welcomed daughter, Karen, in 1974, and son, Jeffrey, in 1976.
Paul loved being a physician and sharing his knowledge with medical students and patients alike. With Bernie as his office manager, he began a private practice in Boardman. He had an impeccable memory, often recalling his patients’ histories without their charts. He emphasized eating a healthy diet and maintaining an exercise routine, which he practiced diligently. In a career that spanned more than 30 years, he treated generations of the same families and kept in touch with many after retirement.
At their home on Raccoon Road, Paul spent much of his time landscaping and gardening. He loved playing mahjong, listening to classical music, eating Cantonese-style dishes, attending Rotary meetings and watching Notre Dame football. He especially loved to go fishing, a hobby he shared with his brothers as a boy. He was friendly, upbeat and hardworking. When he was “out and about,” one might recognize him with his clip-on sunglasses and pocket protector.
In 2006, Paul retired to care for Bernie and cherish his new role as a grandparent. They relocated in 2010 to Chicago, where they could be closer to family and continue their medical treatment at Northwestern. After Bernie passed away in 2013, Paul began volunteering at a senior center and gave presentations on health-related topics.
He met May Wong at church and remarried in 2016. They enjoyed attending services together, traveling and visits to the Chicago Botanic Gardens.
Paul is predeceased by his wife, Bernarda Ho. He will be deeply missed by children, Colleen Ho (Barrett Langlinais) of Brooklyn, N.Y., Karen Ho (Michael Lee) of Chicago and Jeffrey Ho (Jennifer Whalen) of Chandler, Ariz.; grandchildren, Gavin, Owen and Micah Lee, Laurel and Alexandra Ho, and Kai Langlinais; brothers, David Ho of Toronto, Canada, and Francisco Ho of Rockville, Md.; sister-in-law, Agnes (Wing) Lee of St. Louis, Mo.; and surviving wife, May Ho and children, Anthony and Francis Chin of Chicago.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Chicago Botanic Gardens. A private memorial service will be held at a future date.