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Life Story / Obituary
With a journey that spanned times of war and times of peace, times of plenty and times of want, Buck Fong Woo lived a rich and rewarding life filled with the people and experiences she treasured. She had a fun-loving sense of humor and loved sharing her laughter with all who were near. Buck was a loving and devoted wife and mother, and she was filled with unspeakable joy to become a grandmother and great-grandmother later in life. She worked hard in everything she did, never one to complain or let a challenge get the best of her. Although she will be deeply missed, Buck leaves behind a brilliantly colored mosaic of memories that her loved ones will forever hold near and dear to their hearts.
The nation of China was in great turmoil in the year 1917. Although there was great unrest within their own people, things only became more stressed when Duan Quiri declared war on Germany and Austria-Hungary on August 13th that year. Despite the trials of the time, there was much to celebrate when Chow Chiew Gook, Juse Shee (Buck’s original name) was born on March 24, 1917, in Hoi Ping Yuen, Guangdong Province, China. Her father, Chow Yick Hung worked in agriculture, farming in rice fields. Buck was the baby of the family, joining her three brothers, Chow Geem Jiew, Chow Foon Jiew, and Chow Yee Jiew, and her three sisters, Chow Tiew Yuet, Chow Jun Ho, and Chow Chun Hup. In many ways Buck was a young girl of the times. She enjoyed things like walking to the market and playing outside.
Life was forever changed for Buck when she met the young man of her dreams. His name was William On Woo, and he was from Madison, Wisconsin, although his family was originally from Hoi Ping Yuen. Buck met him on one of the trips he would make back and forth between Madison and China. They were married when Buck was just a young girl of 16.
A new life was in store for Buck when she boarded the USNS Marine Adder in Hong Kong, bound for America on July 12, 1947. Eager to be with her husband, she arrived in San Francisco, California, on July 28, 1947. Buck was held for a second inspection before being released. Together they were blessed with the births of four children, Nancy, Bill, Harry, and Henry. She was a loving and nurturing mother who was there for whatever her children needed. In addition to caring for her children, Buck also helped in the kitchen and waitressed at the two restaurants that she and her husband owned together, Great China and Woo’s Chop Suey. She was an amazing cook, and she loved to cook, too. Among her most famous dishes were her tay and doong, Every year Buck looked forward to celebrating the Chinese New Year, which she did by cooking Chinese food and handing out red envelopes with money in them. Buck was thrilled to become a grandmother to her eight grandchildren, Tiffany, Jeremy, William, Jennifer, Wendy, Ashley, Matthew and Kelly. She was very involved in the lives of her grandchildren and was known to ask them when they would find a good boy or girl and get married. Later on, great-grandchildren began arriving, and she was blessed with nine altogether: Tarian, Jaden, Naomi, Prenity, Jack, Genevieve, Mya, Liam, and Desmond. Buck especially enjoyed getting out and raking leaves with her great-grandchildren.
Throughout her life, Buck maintained an active lifestyle. She traveled to California to spend the winters with her son, Bill and his family, for years. Buck always enjoyed being outside, gardening, taking walks, or just sitting on her front porch getting some fresh air. She could find the beauty in even the simplest of things, and she enjoyed just taking in her surroundings wherever she was. Buck liked Christmas carols with her favorite being “Jingle Bells.”
Truly beautiful on the inside and out, Buck Fong Woo was a blessing in the lives of all who were near. She worked hard, but she also made the time to enjoy life along the way, surrounded by the love of her family and friends. Buck was known for her sense of humor and the way she was always joking around, and she made life so much fun. With a life that spanned more than a century, she made a significant impact in the lives of all who were blessed to know and love her.
Buck Fong Woo passed away peacefully January 31, 2018. Preceded in death by her loving husband William. Beloved mother of the late Nancy Moy (Greg), and Bill Woo (Donna), Harry Woo (Audrey) and Henry Woo (Brigette). A visitation will be held on Wednesday 11am until the funeral service begins at 2pm at Neely-Turowski Funeral Home 30200 Five Mile (Between Middlebelt and Merriman). To share a favorite memory and/or photo of Buck and to sign the online guestbook, please visit www.turowskilifestory.com