Wun Yee (Lau) Leong - Born in Kai Kok Village, Kai Kok Heung, Chung Shan County, Guandong Province, China on April 3, 1927 to Lau Jun Bong and Lau Wai Lan (Yuen - Maiden Name). Wun Yee was the fourth of six sisters. Mom left us on December 30, 2020 after a year-plus battle with cancer. She lived a happy and glorious 93 years.
Wun Yee was preceded in death by her first husband Eddie Wong in 1959 and second husband Richard Leong in 1997. She is survived by 5 children and their spouses, eleven grand-children and a spouse, and three great grand-children. Mom will be missed by:
Son Gene and his wife Dianne
Daughter Eunice and her husband Howard
Son Leland and his wife Debbie
Son Scott and his wife Lori
Son Tim and his wife Kara
Additionally, Wun Yee will be missed by surviving relatives in the Bay Area and Honolulu:
Sister Katty and her husband Kenneth
Brother-in-law Ed and wife Nancy
Numerous Nieces and Nephews
Wun Yee was preceded in death by her husbands, parents, three older sisters and five brother-in-laws in Australia, China, Hawaii, and California.
In her formative years, Wun Yee went to school in China and and survived the Japanese invasion in World War II. Mom spoke fluent Loong Du, Cantonese, and later learned English after immigrating to the United States.
In 1947, Wun Yee married American businessman Eddie Wong. Son Gene was born thereafter in 1948. Gene was the first male born in the Lau side of the family and was cherished by Wun Yee’s father Jun Bong.
Eddie, Wun Yee, and Gene migrated to California in July 1948. Eddie, Wun Yee, Gene, Eunice, born 1949, and Leland, born 1956, resided in Oakland’s Chinatown. The rest of the Lau family, Wun Yee’s mother and four sisters would eventually immigrate to Hawaii in the 50’s and 60’s starting their own families. Wun Yee’s mother moved to California in the 70’s and lived with the family until her passing in 1972.
Eddie and Wun Yee raised their three children, Gene, Eunice, and Leland in Oakland’s Chinatown until Eddie’s passing in 1959. Eddie and Wun Yee ran a butcher store during their 12 years together.
In 1961, Wun Yee married Richard Leong, an employee of Merritt Jr. College. Richard was born in the United States, the oldest of four children. Scott, Wun Yee’s fourth child, was born in 1962 and Tim, the fifth child, was born in 1965. The family moved from Oakland’s Chinatown to a bigger house in East Oakland in 1965.
Wun Yee lived in East Oakland until after Richard’s death in 1997. She moved in with Scott and Lori in Alameda in 1998 and lived with Scott for 22 years and 48 years in total when counting his single years in Oakland. Mom also resided at Tim and Kara’s house during Brent’s formative years.
In life, Mom was extremely happy and proud as she raised five kids who were all successful college graduates. She had not gone to college but expected all of her children to get college degrees which they did. However, she was happiest knowing that all five siblings got along and worked and vacationed well together.
Mom’s favorite past times were: Fashion, Cooking, Mah Jong, Traveling, and Slot Machines. Her fashion sense was honed by her 15 plus years as a seamstress in Oakland’s Chinatown while her cooking sense and her love for food was honed by throwing numerous parties where Richard and she made Chow Mein, Foil Wrapped Chicken, Sweet & Sour Pork, Shark Fin’s Soup, while also making Jai, Egg Rolls, Hainanese Chicken, Black Bean Crab, and the occasional one pound American Steak shared by five on special occasions.
Her Mah Jong skills were legendary to the end. Mom kept a ledger of her winnings and likely supplemented her retirement income from her weekly games at the associations in San Francisco and Oakland. She was taking BART and AC Transit by herself in her 90’s just to play MJ and to mingle with her friends. In the last two years, Mom played MJ with her Children and Grand-children, in actuality we were just donating to her weekly income. She really looked forward to the weekend MJ / Meal marathons with Leland’s and Scott’s families all the way up to a few weeks before her passing.
Slots and Traveling were another passion… Mom loved her slots and once received a W2 for winning a large jackpot at Red Hawk. Cruising was also a favorite since it combined her passions of sightseeing, dining, especially buffets, and slot machines. She loved cruising as it was an opportunity to travel with friends and family and also to dress-up.
In addition to her favorite pastimes, Mom was also a member of:
Tung Sen Benevolent Association
Kin Fook / Lau Family Association
Chung Chung Alumni Association
Zhung Shan Family Association
Donations were made to each of the associations in her name.
Mom, Wun Yee, will be sorely missed by everyone.
The family would like to thank everyone for their help and prayers during the last four and a half months, especially Kaiser Hospice Oakland’s Lia and Sharon. Their gentleness and compassion helped her and the family get through a rough four and a half months. We appreciate everyone’s visits, food, flowers and especially your compassion as you spent time talking to her and us.
Wun Yee will be interred in Tung Sen Cemetery in Daly City. We expect to hold a “Celebration of Life” meal in the future after vaccines have been fully administered for COVID-19. Please be safe.
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