Hai Yung Vee, age 96, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, April 3, 2019 in the caring and loving home of his daughter, Betty, and her husband, James, in Princeton, NJ.
Hai Yung was born on November 14, 1922 in Shanghai, China. He left his childhood home at an early age, working on cargo ships. He started as a labor hand but worked his way to bosun’s mate. His employment took him to many foreign places where he acquired the love of knowledge and history of countries around the world. For his substantially continuous service in the U.S. Merchant Marine from October 11, 1943 to December 3, 1946, he received a hand-signed letter from President Truman in appreciation for answering the call of his country and for undertaking a task that required courage and fortitude.
In May 1953, Hai Yung married Lin Chen in Kobe, Japan. In 1954, they moved with their newborn daughter, Judy, to New York City’s Lower East Side where they continued to raise a young family. In 1965, Hai Yung and Lin Chen moved to Queens, where they eventually settled to raise their growing family. Although Hai Yung worked the majority of his career in the maritime trade, including Grace Line passenger ships, he eventually took a land job working as a machinist at Petrometer Corporation in Long Island, NY, in order to spend more time with his family. Upon his retirement from Petrometer after twenty years of dedicated service, he received a gold watch, a cherished memento that he wore every day since then.
Surviving Hai Yung are his children, Harry, Betty (James), Lucy (Ray), and Grace (Adam), nine grandchildren, Jonathan (Nina), Melanie (Zamaine), Jacqueline, Alexandra, Brandon, Evan, Lauren, Caitlin and Jordan, and two great-grandchildren, Eleanor and Andrew. Hai Yung was preceded in death by his loving wife of 46 years, Lin Chen, and his dear daughter, Judy (Benson).
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, April 13, 2019, from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m., at Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, 40 Vandeventer Avenue, Princeton, NJ for the family of Hai Yung Vee. Family is invited to gather here to reminisce on the life of Hai Yung. Private burial will follow at Pinelawn Memorial Park and Arboretum, 2030 Wellwood Ave, Farmingdale, NY. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to ALS Therapy Development Institute or the Cancer Research Institute.