Terence Tan

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Personal Details

Terence Tan
Terence Tan
Date of Birth:
April 03, 1968
Date of Death:
August 12, 2017
Aliso Viejo, California, United States


On 12 August 2017, Terence Tan passed away peacefully in Aliso Viejo, Southern California following a period of illness. Born on 3 April 1968 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, he was 49 years old. Terence will be forever and lovingly remembered by his mum, Jennifer, brothers Benjamin and Dominic, sister Cassandra, sisters-in-law Valentina and Phyanne, nephews Nathanael, Isaac and Emmanuel, nieces Eunice, Laetitia, Simone and Charlotte and his extended family. Terence was predeceased by his dad, Michael.

Terence will also be fondly remembered by his friends from school, church and wider circle as well as his former colleagues at Arthur Andersen (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) and Western Digital (Petaling Jaya, Malaysia; Singapore; Irvine, USA).

To celebrate Terence’s life and to honour his final wishes, a small and intimate memorial service will be held for his burial at sea. Details are to be finalised. Even if you cannot be at the service, we invite you to be a part of it. Please leave Terence your farewell message on this tribute and it will be printed (on biodegradable paper) and sent along with Terence to his final resting place.

Whilst the family appreciates the sentiments and gesture, they have requested that no flowers be sent to either Terence’s home or the memorial service. If you would like to observe the Chinese funeral etiquette of gifting money, please email v_a_pereira@yahoo.co.uk for further details.

Something Beautiful Remains
The tide recedes but leaves behind
bright seashells on the sand.
The sun goes down, but gentle
warmth still lingers on the land.
The music stops, and yet it echoes
on in sweet refrains.....
For every joy that passes,
something beautiful remains.
Author Unknown


On the 3rd day of April in 1968, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Terence was born to Michael and Jennifer Tan. Too soon, on 12 August 2017, in Aliso Viejo, Southern California, Terence left us.

We know he is reunited with his dad, Michael, and we are convinced that they are catching up over some heavenly Teh Tarik, Roti Canai and Hokkien Mee.
In his 49 years, Terence lived a full life and he was just the kind of guy you couldn’t help but love because his kind, generous and sincere nature reached out and touched each one of us.
Terence grew up in Petaling Jaya (PJ), Malaysia, and attended Methodist Kindergarten, Methodist Primary School and La Salle PJ Secondary School. He was very active, gregarious (had loads of friends) and was always generous and considerate.
Terence was part of the Berchman Altar Servers​ Society at St Francis Xavier’s Church in PJ and also enjoyed sports; playing football​, handball and basketball. After moving to America, his sporting interest widened to include golf and he took up playing the game.
Amongst his claim to fame, in Form 6, Terence represented La Salle PJ at the Economics Quiz and was placed first at state level. He also represented the school at handball, and later became the team coach.
Terence was tech savvy and very much into his gadgets and the smart home connectivity was a huge play area for him. What the blanket was to Linus... is what the Samsung Galaxy phone was to Terence with all things from his washing machine to his friends on social media connected to it.
A few weeks before he passed away, when he was still able to work from bed (yes, he was still working!) the air conditioner technician came in to service the system. After the service, the technician was observing the thermostat to confirm that the work had been completed but the readings were all over the place. It was then that his sister caught on that Terence was adjusting the controls from his phone, which, unknown to him, really messed with the technician's head!
The last 2 electronic devices he held were the TV remote control and, especially in the last few weeks, his phone. He held on to it, reading his WhatsApp, text, Facebook and email messages from friends and family sending him their thoughts, wishes and prayers. It gave him much comfort.
Terence was also an avid photographer. There we would be with our little compact cameras, and he’d rock up with some serious equipment, and he actually knew how to use the gear to take amazing shots. So, after a while, some of us just stopped taking photos if he was around and instead made sure we got a copy of everything he took!
After completing his Form 6, Terence joined Arthur Andersen in 1988 as an Audit Assistant. 5 years later, he joined the Finance team at Western Digital (WD) in PJ. He left WD PJ office for a short while in 1997, and then joined the Singapore office in the same year. In 2000, when the WD offices moved to California, he was invited to move with them as the Finance Manager and that’s where he remained for the next 17 years.
In America, Terence decided to pursue a university degree and in 2006, he completed his Bachelor of Science in Business with a double major in Management and Marketing at the University of Phoenix. This gave him a great amount of satisfaction and sense of achievement.
Terence was adventurous and somewhat of an adrenaline junkie - show him the highest and scariest ride in a theme park, and he’d soon be on it! He also enjoyed travelling. In fact, it was whilst he was planning a trip to New Zealand for his goddaughter’s First Holy Communion and Confirmation in early 2012, that he was first diagnosed with cancer. He had to reschedule that trip to after his surgery and visited New Zealand in January 2013. It was during this trip that he went to Queenstown to visit Milford Sounds, bungee jump, ledge swing and ride the rapids!
That was more than five years ago, which brings us to where we are today. Terence had an incredible attitude - he was steadfast and determined in his battle against cancer. He was strong and courageous and took all the challenges he faced in his stride, and in all that time we never once heard him complain. Unfortunately, there is only so much the human body can take and the weight of the battles took its toll.
We are blessed and grateful that we had more than five years with Terence since his first diagnosis. Every moment we shared with him was precious and, more importantly, it gave him the opportunity to do some of the things he wanted to do.
He has left us in body but his spirit remains in each and every one of the memories we created and shared with him. His gentle, kind, generous and cheerful disposition is forever etched in our lives. He is our son, brother, uncle, nephew, godfather, friend and he will be missed because he is loved. Shed tears, grieve because we love him and he leaves a gap in our lives. We will hold on to our memories, and in time we will heal.
Go now, Terence, your journey is over.Rest.

More About


Memorial Service 

For the last 17 years, Terence lived, worked and played in Orange County, California so it is only appropriate that it is also where he has his final party.
Accompanied by his family and friends, Terence’s life will be celebrated on board a yacht departing from Newport Harbour on 9 September 2017 for the sea waters off the coast of Orange County where Terence will be able to enjoy the warm ocean waters and carry on his
final journey from there.
We invite you to be a part of the party - leave Terence your farewell message on this tribute and it will be printed (on biodegradable paper) and will accompany Terence to his final resting place.
Let our tears not be in grief but in gratitude for the memories and times shared with Terence. Wherever you are, at your local time between 9am - 11am on 9 September 2017, hold up your glass, remember Terence fondly and bid him farewell and we will form a circle of toasts in his memory.
Dear Friends I Go
Dear friends I go, but do not weep
I've lived my life, so full and deep
Throughout my life, I gave my best
I earned my keep, I've earned my rest
I never tried to be great or grand
I tried to be a helping hand.
If I helped in a team, if I helped on my own
It was more than repaid by good family and friends I have known.
And if I went the extra mile, I did it with pleasure
It was all worthwhile.
If I brightened your path, then let it be
A small contribution from my loved ones and me,
Now sadly I leave you and travel alone
Through a mystic veil to the great unknown.
With such beautiful memories
That will forever be the way that I hope
You'll remember me.
Author Unknown 

Mass offerings for Terence:

19 August 2017 - 5:30pm at Church of St John the Evangelist, 180 Centreway Road, Orewa, Auckland, New Zealand
26 August 2017 - 6:30pm at Church of St Francis Xavier, 135 Jalan Gasing, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Memorial Tree Planting

Terence would have turned 50 on 3 April 2018. So in honouring what would have been an auspicious occasion for Terence, on Sunday, 15 April 2018, we planted a tree in Terence’s memory in Auckland, New Zealand.

We planted the kahikatea (Maori name) tree which is New Zealand’s tallest forest tree. Kahikatea can grow up to 55m or 180 feet and live for more than 800 years. The kahikatea thrives in the wetlands and groups closely together, intertwining its buttressed roots with its neighbours for support in the unstable swampy ground. It is for this reason that the kahikatea are considered ‘whanau’ (family) trees as they symbolize togetherness and family support.
Mum travelled from New Jersey to be present at the tree planting. We were also joined by Terence’s good friend, Nicholas Chan and his family - wife, Anne and kids Aidan, Aaron and Amelie as well as our nephew, Timothy. Interestingly, while the tree was being planted, a fantail appeared. A fantail is said to be a spirit bird, so that must have been Terence present as well.
This is a compilation of photos taken on the day  https://youtu.be/76mVFabKiC8


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