In memory of

赵清治 Qingzhi George Zhao

March 25, 1960 -  August 20, 2023

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.


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Andrew Buege (Friend, fellow minister, assistant in translation work)

Entered August 24, 2023 from Hastings, Michigan, USA

With deepest sympathy I offer this tribute:

In February of 2023, George (Qingzhi) Zhao contacted a mutual friend, Duane Maxey online through
He reported to Reverend Maxey that he was translating “Remarkable Incidents and Modern Miracles through Prayer and Faith”, by Guy C Bevington. Although very fluent in the English language, he had questions about the rare idioms, regional expressions and colloquialisms used by the author. Reverend Maxey asked me to respond to his questions. Thus began an email exchange that lasted until he digitally published his translation and after. He told me once that he was a sick man but I otherwise would not have known it. Naturally, he was interested in the many incidents of divine healing recorded in this book. Yet, one must ask: there are countless books on healing, why did he pick this old book to spend his last days on earth translating?
I personally believe he chose Bevington’s book because it addresses both physical healing and the healing of the corrupt nature of the human heart. Bevington called this Heart Purity and Entire Sanctification. Furthermore, he (and many others) believed and taught this experience made it possible for the “born-again” believer to love God “with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.” Mark 12:30.
I have only corresponded with George (Qingzhi) Zhao a short while, but his Christian sincerity impressed me. I feel I have lost a friend and a brother-in-Christ.
Please accept my heartfelt condolences for all the family.
I am praying that the God of all grace will be your comfort during this time of bereavement.
Sincerely in Christ
Andrew Buege

Hana Kim (Colleague)

Entered August 24, 2023 from Toronto

Remembering Dr. George Qingzhi Zhao

In honour of our dear colleague and friend, Dr. George Qingzhi Zhao, the Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library pays tribute to his remarkable legacy. With 22 dedicated years at our library, George profoundly touched the lives of all who had the pleasure of knowing him.

Joining our library on January 4, 2001, as the Chinese Original Cataloguer and Reference Specialist, George quickly became an integral part of our library family. His passion for knowledge and warm spirit created an environment of learning and friendship.

In 2008, George earned his PhD from the University of Toronto's Department of East Asian Studies. His dissertation, “Marriage as Political Strategy and Cultural Expression: Mongolian Royal Marriages from World Empire to Yuan Dynasty,” published by Peter Lang, illuminated the fascinating world of Mongolian royal unions spanning eras. Beyond academia, he extended his influence to students in the U.S., sharing insights on Chinese civilization and culture.

George's commitment remained strong, even during his health-related absence starting in 2020. He played an important role in significant projects involving our library's Chinese rare books, collaborating with institutions in China.

But George was more than just his accomplishments. His friendly smile brightened our hallways, fostering a sense of togetherness and community.

As we bid farewell, we also celebrate the privilege of having shared a part of our lives with George. His memory will continue to inspire us to pursue knowledge and connection.

In Fond Remembrance,

Hana Kim
Director, Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library

Bo Luan/Wenling Li (Friends)

Entered September 2, 2023 from Mohegan Lake

Rest in Peace!

Guoyang Shao (a former colleague and a friend)

Entered September 2, 2023 from Toronto, Canada

Rest in peace.

崔希亮 (同学)

Entered September 2, 2023 from 北京



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