This Biography Includes information about Pei-Chiu Lee, wife of Ho-yee.
A Biography of Ho-yee Chiu written in 2007.
In memory of Ho-Yee Chiu who is survived by sons, Richard and Mark and daughter Donna and 13 grand children and 15 great grand children.
Ho-Yee was born in the early days of the Republic of China in a small fishing village on the coast of Fujien, China to a wealthy family. When he was of age, he was married to the first daughter of a prominent family of the village, a beautiful maiden, Pei-Chiu Lee. This arranged marriage jointed together two fishing companies with combined sea going fleets and shore based sea farming operations which in effect have business monopoly in the village. The Chiu family also held considerable sea side and mountain-view properties in countless acres. (Properties were described in terms of how many peaks.)
An idealistic young man, whose visions were forged by memories of opium obsessions of past generations and their obvious consequences and the incompetence of public officials in China. He set out to change all that by joining the military. By so doing he was able to protect family fortunes while fulfilling his bigger ambitions of freeing China from foreign dominations. At personal level, he abstained from all forms of vices and, with the able assistance of his wife, setting a proper course for many generations to come.
Ho-Yee was a ranking officer in the Nationalist Chinese Army, initially a position plus their share of the business income that allowed them to live in comfort. But servants and possessions did not keep their first son from dying for lack of medical facilities and services. Then the wars began. One of their sons tells that the children would go watch the soldiers shooting prisoners outside of city walls. To escape Japanese occupation Pei took her son on foot to rejoin her husband in the northern part of Fujien, China. After the Japanese were defeated, Mao and the communists began to fight the ruling nationalist government for control of China. Life becomes even more difficult.
Ho-Yee was sure that the Nationalist Army would defeat the communists. When he was serving on the presidential staff to set up the governing body in Taiwan following Japanese's surrender and was given opportunities to buy properties for pittance, he refused. He was sure he would return to mainland China to reclaim his business and properties. Fortune of war turned against the nationalists. Eventually the family was forced to flee to Taiwan. Having lost all properties and business on the mainland, they had to rebuild their life from nothing. One of Pei's children had been the smartest student in their village in Fujien. In Taiwan he arranged to tutor a schoolmate in exchange for sharing books. Through all the trials and tribulations, Pei managed to see her children through schools and set a good foundation for their futures.
Ho-Yee and Pei were Christians, unlike most of their Taiwanese neighbors. In the late 1950's, Mormon missionaries from America came to Taiwan. Pei's children were among the first converts, and worked with the American missionaries. Soon all three children left for America, where her sons obtained advanced engineering degrees and had successful careers in federal and state governments and families had successful real estate businesses. Her daughter became a registered nurse and had a successful career.
Having been well established in the United States by 1980, Pei's eldest son, Richard, sponsored them to immigrate to the United States. After a few months of winter in Canada and in Virginia, Pei and Ho-Yee moved to California where weather is more agreeable. They live here comfortably near their younger son, Mark, to this day. It is fitting on this occasion to acknowledge the contribution of my brother Mark and his family, whose unfailing supports physically and emotionally have enhanced the quality of life for our parents here in El Cerrito, CA for all these years.
In quoting his words at Mother's funeral, we can all say amen!
In a day filled with sorrow, tear, and pain
The worst is how my heart breaks to say goodbye;
Your heart, my strength through decades, is now still
May this Green hill in El Cerrito Guard your eternal rest.