April 28, 1929 – November 10, 2018
Po-Tsen (Paul) Wang (王寶珍) was born on April 28, 1929 in Shandong, China. He grew up in Tianjin as the second born of three sons of a businessman. As a teenager, Po-Tsen and his older brother escaped on the last ship to Taiwan as the communists took over China. The two brothers bought the last ticket from someone that changed his mind about leaving; Po-Tsen got on the ship with the ticket, put the ticket stub inside a steamed bread roll, and threw the bread out to his brother on the dock to get on the ship. After arriving in Taiwan as a refugee, Po-Tsen sold newspapers to support himself and put his older brother through college. After his older brother found a job in then rural Taichung, Po-Tsen enrolled in the Taipei’s Teacher Prep School. While teaching at Zhong Shan Elementary school, he met teacher Helen Yee Lin (林宜) and won her heart through acts of kindness such as cooking her poached eggs. They married in Taipei on 8/27/1960.
Po-Tsen became Principal of Beitou Elementary School in 1968. Renowned as a brilliant administrator at this school of more than five thousand students, he treated all staff with respect and routinely had them over for meals. He cared deeply for the welfare of his students, even getting the Department of Education to pay for the milk supply for all of the students. He unapologetically encouraged and rewarded excellence, taking the best students to international competitions. His elementary school student math team was able to beat a Japanese computer with their mental math calculations. Po-Tsen was a big sports fan and convinced the Education Department to fund his school’s sports teams. His basketball and volleyball teams won national competitions. After moving to the US, he added football to sports he watched regularly.
Po-Tsen was also a fan of plants and filled the yard with exotics such as Queen of the Night and apple-banana plants. He loved celebrations and made events out of any occasion to be with family and friends. Although Taiwan at that time had a 6-day work week, Po-Tsen made time for weekly family trips even if only to the local park. Later in the US, he made sure the family had annual vacations such as car trips along the Pacific coast, digging geoducks. Throughout his life Po-Tsen avidly kept up with world events and loved new technologies.
Helen’s mother, Hsiang Ling Chen, was one of the first female Principals in China. She encouraged her family to move to the US where they had more opportunities to become scholars. In 1973 Helen immigrated to the US, sponsored by her brother and sister as part of the extended family immigration policy. Po-Tsen followed with their three daughters a year later and started his second career as a cook in the US, since his teaching credentials were not recognized in the new country. He would move his family from Iowa to Seattle to Redmond in the next few years. After Po-Tsen retired, he took care of his grandsons. In 2015 Po-Tsen and Helen moved to Grand Island, Nebraska, to be near their oldest daughter, Shu-Ming, as Po-Tsen’s health failed.
Po-Tsen is preceded in death by his parents Fu Hai Wang (王福海) & Li Shi Wang (王李氏), and older brother Jia-Tsen Wang (王家珍). Po-Tsen is survived by his brother Wei-Tsen Wang (王維珍), his wife Helen Yee Wang, his children Shu-Ming (Douglas Clark) Wang of Grand Island, NE, Shu-Hsien (Stephen) Lee of Bellevue, WA, Shu-i (James Annis) Wang of Winfield, IL, and grandchildren Michael Lee, James Lee, Marissa Annis, & Christopher Annis.
Funeral services are planned for 1pm on November 17, 2018, at Sunset Hills Funeral Home: 1215 145th Place SE, Bellevue, WA 98007. Mr. Wang will be laid to rest at Sunset Hills Memorial Park immediately following the funeral service.
- Funeral Service Saturday, November 17, 2018
- Graveside Service Saturday, November 17, 2018