BIDDEFORD - Mr. Suon Svay passed away peacefully in the comfort of his home surrounded by family on Nov. 21, 2015, in Biddeford at the age of 57 after a bravely fought battle with cancer.
Suon Svay was born on Jan. 2, 1958, in Battambang Province, Cambodia. He is the son of Phut Svay and wife Vaghiem.
He was a survivor of the Khmer Rouge genocide. He is the only one in his family to have made it to America. He raised himself at a young age living hidden among jungles to escape war. He met his wife Saran in the Khao-I-Dang Refugee Camp in Thailand and got married in 1980. They had one son and one daughter before immigrating to Biddeford, in 1985, where they had another daughter and one more son. Suon Svay began working for Saco Wood Manufacturing and Wood Turning establishing himself to be a very passionate and accomplished woodworker of 30 years.
Along with incredible working ethics he is well known by friends for his outgoing, fun attitude. His children remember him as a loving, patient, driven father who encouraged them to pursue their goals, compelling two of his children to serve in the U.S. military. He was very family-oriented. He loved travel, nature, and the outdoors, but most of all, spending time smiling and laughing with family and friends. Creating an atmosphere of love was his life-long goal, which he accomplished well. Suon was a selfless, generous individual who found great joy in helping others. He was a highly active and dedicated member of the Watt Samaki Buddhist Temple of Buxton. He was the go-to person for volunteering in helping the Cambodian American community in Maine.
Suon Svay is survived by his wife, Saran. He is also survived by: his four children, his two sons, Kosal and wife Sinoun, and Jon and wife Joanna; and his two daughters, Soeuth and husband Rithy, and Doris and husband Jessie. He is also survived by his many grandchildren.
Suon Svay was an amazing man. He possessed genuine love for people. He had a welcoming soul that attracted people and brought up their spirits with just a simple smile. He had a wonderful gift of communication that touched the hearts and lives of many. Suon, you will be greatly missed.
A viewing of the body will be available to the public at Hope Memorial Chapel Biddeford on Monday, Nov. 23 between the hours of 1- 4 p.m. Friends and family are encouraged to attend services for him at the Watt Samaki Buddhist Temple on Nov. 24, 25 and 26, with his funeral service on Nov. 27 at 3 p.m. His final funeral ceremony will be on the Nov. 28 at 8 a.m. to noon at the Watt Samaki Buddhist Temple. It will be followed by the cremation on Nov. 28 at 3 p.m. at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Saco. The family would like to thank everyone for their condolences as well as the team of doctors, nurses and personnel that helped cared for him.