Jack Nam Yee was born in Toishan, in the Canton province of China, on September 17th, 1929.
He married his wife Szeto Har, in April of 1948, and soon after, they welcomed their first son in 1949. His father, having already immigrated to the United States, requested that he join him in Johnstown Pennsylvania in order to help him run the family laundry business. After a couple of years helping his father, Jack looked towards other opportunities and his father suggested contacting a friend who was always in need of help in his restaurant in Salt Lake City. On August 28, 1951 he began a journey that would take him to Salt Lake City, a place where he would eventually call his permanent home. Working at the Broiler Cafe afforded him enough money to enter into a partnership for a new restaurant named Nanking. In 1957, he returned to China to visit his wife and son and move them to Hong Kong in preparation for their eventual immigration to the United States. After returning to the States, he was informed that his wife was pregnant with their second child, a daughter. Jack then poured all his energy into work and in 1960, was able to open his own restaurant, the China Doll Cafe on Redwood Road in Salt Lake City. In 1969, twenty years after first coming to the United States at the behest of his father, Jack gained permanent residency and was reunited with his family when they were allowed to immigrate via Hong Kong. So happy was their reunion that his next three children, two sons and a daughter, were born in the following three years. He worked until 1978 when he decided that he would enter early retirement to spend more time with family and friends. The remainder of his life was spent helping friends and relatives from China with money or sponsorship to the United States, helping to mentor other immigrant entrepreneurs with his business acumen, travelling the United States and the World, maintaining his post-retirement business interests, and most of all, spending time with his family. Dad, Grandpa, Great-Grandpa, we all love you and will always think of you.
Jack passed away at a rehabilitation hospital on July 16, 2021 due to complications resulting from a heart condition.
Jack is survived by his wife of 72 years, Szeto Har, the family of his eldest son Adrain (Jennifer) Yee M.D, their daughter Candice (Eric) Yee M.D and their son Evan, and their twin sons, Derrick and Dwight; the family of his eldest daughter Anna (Rowland M.D.) Wong, and their daughter Alana, and son Ryan; the family of his second son Benson (Phuong)Yee and their daughter Kiri; the family of his youngest son Cleon (Grace) Yee M.D and their son Cyrus; and the family of his youngest daughter Lily (Tadashi) Yee, and their three daughters, Mirin, Emiko, and Aratani.
Services will be held at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 with a brief viewing one hour prior at Larkin Mortuary, located at 260 E South Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84111. Masks will be required and be provided if necessary. All are welcome to join in celebrating the life of Jack Nam Yee.
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