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Remembering Lisa Watt

Sep 11, 2018

On September 8, 2018, Lai Han Lisa Watt, loving mother of Lok-Yi and valued member of social work and social justice communities in Hamilton and at McMaster, passed away at the age of 45.

Lisa was born on September 13, 1972 in Hong Kong. She received her bachelor’s degree from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Master’s degree and PhD, both in Social Work, from McMaster University, Canada.

Lisa was a generous and skilled contributor to many teaching, research and social change projects in the Hamilton community and at McMaster. She worked in various sectors of social services including at Catholic Family Services and the Immigrants Working Centre. She was involved in support networks among parents of children with diabetes, active with her daughter’s school, and volunteered with the Beasley Neighbourhood Association. She taught at McMaster and was a caring mentor for so many, with a special passion for the wellbeing and success of racialized students. She had recently taken up a professorship at the King’s School of Social Work at Western University, London, Ontario. 

Lisa will be deeply missed by her family and by hundreds of friends and colleagues who have experienced the gifts of her attention and kindness.

  • On Friday September 21st a Celebration of Life will be held at Convocation Hall, second floor of University Hall (room 213), McMaster University. Convocation Hall will open at 4pm, the Memorial will begin at 4.30pm. Everyone is welcome. For directions and a campus map, see the Welcome to Mac website. Note: University Hall is building #1 on the campus map.
    Parking: The closest parking lots to University Hall are lots B and C on the campus map.   As of 4:00pm parking rates are reduced to $8.00 (flat rate) in these lots or $7.00 (flat rate) in lots G, H and Underground Stadium.  People in purple shirts or purple armbands will be near parking lots B and C to direct you.
  • Burial will take place at 2.30pm on Sept 24 at White Chapel Memorial Gardens, 1895 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 1J2. Family and friends are welcome.
  • Earlier notices indicated a visitation - this is to confirm that there is no visitation.

Condolences, memories and photos may be left at

A fund for Lok-Yi's education and development has been established in Lisa’s memory. To contribute, write a cheque payable to: Trust for Lok-Yi Watt. Include the account number on the cheque: 98186 03895 28. Mail the cheque to: Trust for Lok-Yi Watt, Scotiabank Branch - Waterdown, 76 Dundas Street East, Waterdown, Ontario L0R2H2. 

A memory book: Remembering Lisa for Lok-Yi. Do you have a story about Lisa you can share with her daughter Lok-Yi?  Lisa’s friends are assembling a memory book, and are asking for stories, photos, or other contributions. Stories about Lisa for her daughter, including stories about Lisa and Lok-Yi, or Lisa talking about Lok-Yi, are especially welcome. Please send your contribution by October 22nd to