Jinan Tang was born on October 30, 1971 in Shuinan, Guilin, Guangxi, China to Xianpei Tang and Ouyang Chumei. He was the eldest of three children.
In his youth, Jinan described himself as a water buffalo boy. After school, he would do his part for the family by minding their water buffalo, whom he considered a friend. Eventually, Jinan moved away from home to attend junior and senior high school in his local town. Although he considered being a doctor, he attended Guangxi University in Nanning to study mechanical engineering and commerce. It was in university that he met his wife, Lianqiong Xu.
After graduating, Jinan worked in agricultural logistics. He and Lianqiong settled in Nanning and had their first child, Jiayi. After working his way to become a manager at his company, Jinan immigrated to Canada with his family in 2006.
Jinan toiled tirelessly to provide for his family, and usually worked two or three jobs. He humbled himself to take a variety of jobs as conditions required, and in the process educated himself by completing a certificate in meatcutting and a diploma in mechanical engineering technology. Jinan was also warmly welcomed by his church community in Canada, and he accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior in August 2008.
Eventually, Jinan was able to secure positions as a mechanical drafter and designer at FMC and General Electric, and welcomed three more children into the world with Lianqiong: Jason, Jane, and Jenny.
Never complacent, Jinan continued his education and became the first person in his family to receive a master’s degree, which he earned in mechanical engineering at the University of Alberta, and later registered as a professional engineer. Despite these successes, economic conditions forced him to pivot his career, and he self-studied to become a Red Seal certified power systems electrician, working for Rising Edge Technologies.
In 2019, Jinan was diagnosed with advanced nasopharyngeal cancer. Despite the best efforts of the staff at the Cross Cancer Institute, his disease proved to be incurable. His family was privileged to be able to spend the last months of his life with him, and helped him to enjoy his hobbies of photography, hiking, and gardening to the best extent possible. His family is also immensely grateful to the nurses and staff at Palliative Home Care and the Grey Nuns Palliative Care unit for their constant and compassionate support, as well as to friends from their church for their unwavering dedication and readiness to help.
Jinan died on August 31, 2020 at Grey Nuns Hospital in Edmonton. He is survived by his wife, Lianqiong; his parents, Xianpei Tang and Ouyang Chumei; his sisters, Liping and Dongping; and his children, Jiayi, Jason, Jane, and Jenny. He strove to be the best person he could to everyone around him and will be missed dearly.