Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It is with deep sadness that we inform you that our sister, Yer Vang, spouse of Rev. Wang Pao Thao, died on Friday, August 21, 2020.
Yer was a faithful companion as her husband began his ministry as a Pastor in the Christian Mission Alliance denomination where together they founded the first Hmong congregation in Modesto, CA in 1985. In 1993, Wang Pao became a local pastor in The United Methodist Church and was ordained a Deacon following completion of the Course of Study. Together, they served the following United Methodist churches in the state of California: Merced, Marysville First, and Clovis Memorial churches, until retiring in 2016.
Sister Yer was born in Laos. She met and married her husband there. The 1959-1975 Laotian civil war forced them to flee Laos. They landed in refugee camps in Thailand where they helped with Bible studies and held Sunday services. The family immigrated to the United States in 1980.
Many families in our Conference Hmong language ministries lost loved ones during the years of war in Laos. Yer’s tender love and care for our Hmong brothers and sisters in each congregation where Pastor Wang Pao was appointed to serve helped them to find family within the church. The women of the congregations, especially, experienced her as a beloved mother and beautiful role model. She is remembered with deep appreciation for her kindness, compassion, servant leadership, and for visiting those who were ill, bringing them healing herbs.
She is survived by her husband Wang Pao Thao and their children: Nao Ngia Thao, Vang Sho Thao, Dang Thao, Fue Thao, Poua Thao, Kang Thao, Lee Thao, Tang Thao, and Mee Thao, and by 24 grandchildren. She was predeceased by her daughter Pang Thao. All of Yer and Pastor Wang Pao’s children reside in Sacramento, CA except for Kang who lives in Chico, and Tang who lives in Merced.
A memorial service was held on Friday September 4, 2020. Gifts in memory of Sister Yer may be sent to your local congregation. Condolences may be sent to Pastor Wang Pao Thao at 10062 Silver Legend Drive, Sacramento CA, 95829.
Let us continue to give God thanks for Yer’s life and witness and hold her family close in prayer. In our living and in our dying, we belong to God! (Romans 14:8)
Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño
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