Newton Wong, longtime Yellowknifer, passes away at 89

A photograph of Newton Wong published by funeral home McConnelly-Kinley
A photograph of Newton Wong published by funeral home Connelly-McKinley.

Newton Wong, operator of a Yellowknife grocery store for three decades, has passed away at the age of 89 in Edmonton.

Newton “succumbed to Covid-19 after a valiant fight” on December 23, an obituary published by Edmonton funeral home Connelly-McKinley stated.

He retired to Edmonton in the 1990s having arrived in Yellowknife in the late 1950s. He first ran the Gold Range Café before becoming the owner-operator of the city’s Super A grocery store.

Later, his property company was responsible for Yellowknife’s Panda 2 Mall among other developments, including the skywalk that connects the mall with the YK Centre complex.

“He was always energetic, very, very friendly, and kind,” Dr David Wong told Edge YK magazine in 2013, remembering Newton’s impact on Yellowknife.

“He was constantly talking business,” Dr Wong told Edge. “By the time I knew him, Newton was a millionaire. But you’d never know. He never drove a fancy car. He never wore expensive clothes.”

Wong Crescent, off Kasteel Drive, is named in Newton’s honour.

He was born in Guangdong province, China, in 1931, and married wife Wei Ting in 1947, his obituary stated. The two remained together until her passing in 2010.

Newton moved to Edmonton in 1950 and was joined by his young family later that decade ahead of the move to Yellowknife.

“Newton considered his time in the North as the best days of his life,” his obituary declared.

“Newton will forever be loved and remembered by his children, grandchildren, extended family and numerous friends.”

To abide by Covid-19 restrictions, a private service will be held. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to Edmonton’s Chinatown Multi-level Care Foundation.