George (Qingzhi) Zhao was a loving husband, a father to two sons, and a grandfather. He was born in Changge, Henan, China on March 25, 1960. He was a hard-working, dedicated man who grew up in the countryside and studied Chinese Linguistics at Beijing University before immigrating to Canada in 1993 to pursue a brighter future for his family and further his studies at the University of Toronto (U of T), an institution he cherished and had much pride in.
He received his Ph.D. and then worked primarily at U of T as a librarian while pursuing his dream and passion to teach as a professor. He realized his dream when taught as a professor in the US for a few years before returning to his librarian role at U of T to better support his family in Toronto. In recent years, he regularly taught as an instructor at U of T and published several books on East Asian subjects that he was passionate about.
George always had a passion for his work, books on East Asian subjects, writing, teaching, his family, fishing, and his faith.
His health deteriorated from cancer in 2020. He persevered until the very end, never giving up. Even when lying on the hospital bed in his final days, he said to his sons "Don't worry, I'm a fighter.". He passed away peacefully in his sleep on August 20, 2023.
He was a devoted Christian, a God-loving man, was baptized, and served as an elder and chairman of the board for many years at the Toronto China Bible Church. Even in his last weeks on earth, he finished a project important to him, translating a Christian book from English to Chinese and publishing it so Chinese readers could benefit.
George (Qingzhi) Zhao is remembered for his diligent work ethic, devotion, strong faith, willpower, ability to sacrifice and make tough choices, and relentless spirit.
This event will be broadcast live via this memorial site.