Flora FukWa Cheng passed away peacefully on January 2, 2021 in her home in Davis, under her daughters’ care. Known by many as “Grandma Flora”, she will be remembered for her inherent ability to love and care for everyone and for her sweet spirit.
Flora was born in southern China. Her father and younger brother died when she was young, so she was raised by her mom. Due to financial hardship, Flora's mom sent her to a boarding school. She was raised in a Christian home and credits her faith as sustaining her through some difficult times at school. At school, Flora met her future husband's family. His brother and sister were her schoolmates and his mother her English teacher! Flora continued to nursing school. During her nurse's training, she worked in the same hospital as the esteemed Southern Baptist missionary, Dr. Bill Wallace.
Flora met Kingsley (Kin) in Hong Kong, at a going away party for friends who were headed to the missions field. She recalls how Kin offered to escort her home (by bus) after the party- he couldn't afford cab fare! They were married in Hong Kong in 1956. A year later, their first daughter, Christine was born. And they followed Kin's dream to move to the US in 1960, landing in Hawaii just before Grace was born. A local church there had co-sponsored their citizenship, however, work was hard to come by. So, they moved to California where Kin eventually worked for UCD and the State and they welcomed their third daughter, Gloria.
Flora worked as a surgical nurse at Woodland Memorial and then Sutter General hospitals. She tried her hand as a business owner at “The Ice Cream Store” formerly on G Street. Flora had a love for travel, real estate, gardening and feeding people. Although dementia took her memory, Flora maintained her gentle and generous spirit and her steadfast faith in God. Her concern was for others, even to the end.
Flora is preceded in death by her husband, Kingsley Cheng and daughter, Christine Cheng. She is survived by daughters Grace Cheng and Gloria Purnell (Ron Purnell) and grandsons, Coren Turne, Zachary and Joseph Purnell; and cousins Pedro Ching (Linda) of Hong Kong and Philip Ching (Maria) of London. Flora leaves behind many others who loved and treasured her.
Her family is thankful that Flora was able to stay at home to the end and know that would not have been possible without extraordinary support. Her family would like to thank the Yolo Adult Day Health Center and Saturday Club through Citizens Who Care for providing programs which foster community and independence. Flora received excellent medical and hospice support through Sutter Health. Dr. Ron Cotterel and the staff at Sutter Hospice provided compassionate care. Flora was a member of Pole Line Road Baptist Church for almost 50 years and because of the love and support of her church family, she was able to attend church until the pandemic. Flora received so much love from her roommates and caregivers over the years. She loved them like family.
An online celebration of life is being planned. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Pole Line Road Baptist Church (770 Poleline Road, Davis CA 95616) , Yolo Adult Day Health Center (20 N. Cottonwood St., Woodland, CA 95695) or Citizens Who Care(1909 Galileo Court, Ste. A; Davis, CA 95618).