Dad standing in front of a Christmas tree, December 2010

Our father, George Wu-Wey Wen, passed away on December 5, 2013, in Walnut Creek, California. His 76 year-life was filled with compassion, love, patience, and perseverance for all those around him.

Born in Chekiang, China, on March 26, 1937, to a Chinese diplomat and a middle school staff member, Dad’s character was built from all of his life experiences. As a child, he was deeply affected by the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II, and it grew in him a fierce passion and love for his homeland and culture. After growing up in Taiwan as the middle son with two brothers and three sisters, and struggling his way through elementary school in Taiwanese when he spoke only Mandarin, he learned how to work hard and never give up.

When Dad came to the States, he was successful in winning over Mom’s heart, and it was here that he built a family and a career as a mineral sciences and metallurgical engineer. In the 1970s, our parents moved to Pittsburgh from Penn State, where Dad had earned his Ph.D. It was important to him to be a good father and husband, and to teach his children the lessons that he had learned himself in life. Dad valued our Chinese heritage, education, religion, patience, honesty, and hard work, and he did his best with Mom to impart those values to us.

Dad and Mom loved to travel, and through the Semester at Sea program they saw the world. It was on these trips that Dad rediscovered his passion for art and created some amazing pieces that showcased his raw talent. After retirement, he became even more involved with the church community and had the honor of serving as a church elder.

In 2009, Dad and Mom moved to California to be near Jennifer, Alex, and their children, Zoe and Griffin. When he visited Pamela and Chung in New York City this past March, he was thrilled to meet Orion, his new grandson.

Dad’s health was a challenge throughout his life. After dealing with heart disease, kidney cancer, and a host of other issues, last May he was diagnosed with advanced PSP, a rare, incurable brain disease that affected his memory, balance, strength, cognitive function, speech, and eyesight. Five months later, he underwent surgery after a bad fall, and survived against all odds. On December 5, after weeks of ups and downs in therapy, having received many visitors who shared their support and prayers, Dad gave up his fight against PSP and peacefully passed away knowing that he was well loved and would be missed, and that our mother would be surrounded and supported by family and friends.

Even though we knew about Dad’s condition for a little while, there is nothing you can do to prepare yourself for losing a parent. It is hard to think about our father and all of our memories with him without both laughing and crying at the same time. Each tear that flows is matched by a flood of all of our precious moments with him. He was such a loving grandfather, father, husband, brother, uncle, and friend, and we will miss him dearly. He will forever be in our hearts and we find comfort in knowing that he is no longer suffering or in pain, and that he is off to a better and more peaceful place in heaven.

Memorial Service – December 26, 2013

We held a memorial service at our parents’ church in Walnut Creek, the Contra Costa Gospel Church at 2460 Buena Vista Avenue, Considering the holidays and weekday service, we expected to receive 50 people. We were extremely touched to see almost 200 friends and relatives come to honor our father.

Bench Dedication – June 25, 2014

On June 25, 2014, we installed a cedar bench in the San Francisco Botanical Garden in Dad’s memory. This is a meaningful place for us to mourn his loss and celebrate his life, and so we are extremely grateful to all the family and friends who contributed to the donation for Dad’s bench. For more information on visiting the arboretum, please go to the bench page.

Thank you

In case you would like to get in touch with our mother, here is her contact information:

Mrs. Agnes Wen
1426 Rockledge Lane #7
Walnut Creek, CA 94595
phone: 724.777.0700

Thank you so much for your heartfelt condolences and expressions of concern. Our mother and the two of us appreciate your messages and gestures of love and support.

Jennifer and Pamela

Dad cooking fish at home in Murrysville, with Mom next to him
Dad and Mom resting in a grassy field of flowers
Dad strolling on a path