JENNIFER HING WAI WU CHAN
Age 62, died in her home on September 13, 2012. She was born under communist rule in China on August 26, 1950, and the youngest of six children. She endured persecution and ridicule as the child of a “land owner” and was forbidden from pursuing a university education.
In 1972, at the young age of 22, she escaped China and received amnesty in Hong Kong. While there, she worked a number of demeaning jobs to save enough money in order to create a better life for herself. By 1974 she received a coveted opportunity to immigrate to Honolulu, Hawaii. When she first stepped foot on American soil, she didn’t speak a word of English and had less than a hundred dollars to her name.
Jennifer toiled in the restaurant business for more than 35 years and learned how to speak English by phonetically studying menus and conversing with customers who quickly grew to love and admire her. Through her courage, hard work, and perseverance Jennifer went on to own and operate a number of restaurants in Hawaii: Chan’s Dim Sum and Wonton Restaurant and Chan’s Chinese Restaurant on South King Street, Chan’s Gourmet Buffet on Nimitz Highway, and Little Village Noodle House in Chinatown. To date, Little Village has won more than 20 awards for outstanding service and cuisine including numerous Hale Aina and Ilima awards. The restaurant has also been positively reviewed by the New York Times, Zagat, Fodor’s, and the San Francisco Chronicle.
Jennifer was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in November 2008 and fought courageously against the disease for almost four years. She relocated to New York City in 2010 to begin receiving treatment at Memorial Sloan-Kettering hospital. While there, she underwent two stem cell transplants, but ultimately lost her battle against cancer. Jennifer was brought back to Hawaii to spend her remaining days and passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by her family.
Jennifer Hing Wai Chan touched the lives of every single person she encountered and will be remembered as a devoted wife, loving mother, doting grandmother, lifelong friend, and a respected leader. She will be missed.
In lieu of flowers, please give generously to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center:
http://mskcc.convio.net/goto/jenniferchan or at 1-866-815-9501.
Public visitation will take place at Borthwick Mortuary, 1330 Maunakea Street, on September 23, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. The memorial service will begin at 12:30 p.m. followed by burial at Valley of the Temples Memorial Park, 47-200 Kahekili Hwy, at 2:30 p.m.
Jennifer is survived by husband Kenneth, son Brian, daughter Janna, daughter-in-law Aimee, brothers Paul and How Ming Wu, sisters Qing Xiang and Qing Hung Wu, and grandchildren Ellie and Connor.