Joy Ling Kao was born in Shanghai, China, the youngest daughter of four, to Abraham and Lydia Kao. As a young child, her family barely escaped into Hong Kong from the Chinese Communist regime. After graduating high school, she went to and graduated from nursing school at The Haven of Hope Sanatorium. She was married then later divorced, with one daughter.
In the late sixties, Joy immigrated to the United States with her husband and daughter where she became a US citizen. She was able to earn her nursing certificate and became a Licensed Vocational Nurse. She worked as an LVN until retiring from Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley, in 2008.
Being the daughter of a pastor she was imparted with a deep Christian faith that sustained her soul to her last corporeal day on earth. She was an active member of the Presbyterian Church of Chinatown in San Francisco for almost 40 years. She loved singing in the choir and formed close bonds with many in her church family. Her generosity spread out to many charities. Among her favorites were Navigators and Bay Area Rescue Mission.
Joy was a California resident for fifty years, living in Hercules for the last thirty. On February 14, 2021, after a hard fought battle against post-surgical complications, Joy peacefully joined her mother and father; sister, Mary; and niece, Olivia in heaven. She was 77 years old.
Joy leaves behind her only daughter and daughter’s husband, Autumn and Tom; sister and brother-in-law, Grace and Andrew; brother and sister-in-law, David and Amy; four nieces, Sophia, Rebekah, Sylvain and Erica; three nephews, Daniel, Jerome and Sam; two step-grandchildren, Mitchell and Lane; ten grandnephews, three grandnieces, two great-grandnephews and one great-grandniece. We look forward to being reunited with her one day.