In Memory of Tsai King Yeh
October 21, 1921 - May 18, 2012
Tsai-King Yeh, 90, of Gainesville, Virginia, passed away on May 18, 2012, at home surrounded by family and friends.
He was born October 21, 1921 in Zhejiang, China, the son of Yeh Chenshu and Chen Hershing. He was the oldest of 2 siblings. During his lifetime, he only received two years of formal primary education. Afterwards, he was self-educated.
He wanted to earn more to support our family of 7; in 1962, he went to New York by himself to work as a kitchen helper. He gradually learned how to run a kitchen, and by 1968, he got a job as a cook in Washington D.C.
In 1970, the whole family was reunited. At that time, he was working for an Hawaiian restaurant located in the lower level of the Washington Hilton. By 1973, his cooking ability got him promoted to head chef. At one point, President Nixon ate at the restaurant and loved his cooking so much that he came into the kitchen to shake his hand.
In 1976, Tsai-King and his family purchased King's Palace Restaurant in Alexandria, Virginia. He was the head chef there from 1976 until he retired in 1983. A lot of customers were like family, they came every week to enjoy his cooking.
After retiring, Mr. Yeh became heavily involved in philanthropy. He volunteered to cook and clean for a temple in Maryland. He was very generous to poor people and helped several students pay for college. He used his retirement funds to support nuns and monks in the DRBA (Dharma Realm Buddhist Association) and at various temples. His funds also helped pave a road in his home town back in China.
He enjoyed feeding animals such as ants, birds, and squirrels. His favorite television shows were Wheel of Fortune and The Price is Right.
He was a caring father. He taught us not to be greedy and said we should be content and happy as long as we have enough money to buy food. Tsai-King, affectionately known as "Papa Yeh," was very independent. He always took public transportation because he didn't want to bother anyone with giving him a ride.
He is survived by his 4 sons and daughter-in-laws: An Hua, Zhu Qing Zhang, Tony, Linda, Andy, Jimmy, Zhi Hua; his daughter and son-in-law: Sylvia and Steven Tung; 15 grandchildren; and 5 great-grandchildren.