A memorial service will be held on July 21 for Andy Chan, who passed away on July 10.
Chan was born on October 27, 1946 in Toi Shan, Canton, China. He immigrated to Hong Kong, attended college in Alberta, Canada, and moved to the United States in the early 1970s.
Chan opened up a restaurant at Seatac Mall, called Peking Express in the late 1980s. He sold that business in 1995 and took over ownership of Sun Ya Seafood Restaurant in Seattle’s Chinatown. That restaurant has since sold twice and is now known as Ocean Star.
He died on July 10, at the age of 72, surrounded by family and friends. He is survived by his wife and three children. A July 21 memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. in Sunset Hill Memorial Park and Funeral Home in Bellevue.
The following is a eulogy prepared by Chan’s daughter, Cynthia.
Funny, kind, smart, and stylish are some words that would describe my dad. He always made us laugh. His personality is what makes my family and I who we are today. Let me tell you some stories to exemplify this characteristic. One day my mom was nagging about something during dinner and instead of saying anything back, he took a piece of napkin and ripped it into two pieces and stuffed his ears.
He showed his fun side, not only with words, but also with his actions. As many of you know, we had a scare back in 2015 with his heart attack. Let’s just say his humor never went away even when he was sick. After his bypass surgery, the doctors were rounding on him and was trying to gauge on how his brain was functioning. They asked him to show them one finger. Guess what finger that was?
Yes, the middle finger. Even during the last days of his life, he kept this amazing personality as shown by the many times he would call my brother f*ing Kenny A as my brother would constantly tease him and ask him who he was out of love.
My father had a very kind heart. I felt that this was his greatest characteristic. He always put others first. He put his community and friends on the top of his priority list. I remember him writing many letters to sponsor cooks and waiters so that they could have a chance to immigrate to the United States. Mostly, I remember me editing and typing them out after he wrote a draft. I cannot count the many times he helped out employees and friends with translating their mail, going to doctor appointments to help translate, and teaching them how to drive. One time I asked him why he did that, and he said to me, “It is good to give back when they have no one else they can ask. We are all equals and should help one another.”
That’s when it dawned on me how much he cared for others and how selfless he was. He was a big part of Chinatown. Everyone knew him. He helped a lot of people out of the kindness of his heart and I think this is the reason why so many people of the community liked him and respected him.
My dad was bright and intelligent. My uncle would always tell me how my dad had been accepted to the top college in Hong Kong, but eventually was not able to go because of the passed deadline. That is something my dad also never lost, his habit of procrastinating.
Despite this, he went on to test for schools in North America and eventually got into a college in Alberta, Canada. He went on to major in chemical engineering and later mastered in Economics at the University of Washington. He always valued education and certainly had made that clear to my siblings and me. There was no spanking for grades. Only encouragement. That was an awesome trick of his to make us self-motivated. I will always remember him telling me that I didn’t have to be the best, but I have to choose a route that will make me a “somebody.”
Towards the end of his career, my dad became a hip dresser. He had transitioned from his daily suits to pairs of versace jeans, gucci shoes, and a collared shirt. You would think that his closet was that of a college student. He definitely was the cool dude.
There are so many qualities that my dad possessed and I am proud to say that I am his daughter. He has shaped who I am today and I would not change my father for anyone else. I can speak for everyone here, that Andy Chan was an amazing man that lived an incredible life and has made an impact on his community and the people around him.
— Cynthia Chan