Kai Chi Kwok
November 20, 1927 – May 29, 2019
Passed away in Columbia, MD, on Wednesday, May 29, 2019. He was 91 years old.
Kai Chi was born on November 20, 1927, in Fuzhou, China. He was married to Yuk Ying Chan, his devoted wife, for over six decades. Kai Chi served in the Chinese navy in his early adulthood. After his service, he married and lived with his wife in a farming community for a short time before joining a merchant ship as an officer. He traveled the world for several years and reunited with his family during intervals between voyages, having three children while in China. Kai Chi and Yuk Ying relocated to Hong Kong in 1961, where they had three more children and raised all six there. In 1969, the Kwok family immigrated to the United States and lived in Washington, D.C., before eventually settling in Culpeper, VA, where Kai Chi and Yuk Ying tirelessly ran a family business for almost 15 years. After selling their successful restaurant, they continued to work with family and lived in Charlottesville, VA, and Springfield, VA, over the next 30 years before moving to Ellicott City, MD, with their son in November 2015. Kai Chi spent much cherished time with his family for the last years of his life and was very happy when his generations of children visited. When he was able, he enjoyed walking outside almost every day.
Kai Chi is survived by his four children, Brenda Shek of Charlottesville, Fung Sham of Springfield, Wanda Kwok of Springfield, and Fei Kwok of Ellicott City; two daughters-in-law, Lisa Shao of Gaithersburg, MD, and Ching-Fen Kwok of Ellicott City; three sons-in-law, Yee D. Shek of Charlottesville, Foon Sham of Springfield, and Richard Woo of Springfield; 12 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Yuk Ying, whom he missed dearly; father, Xian Zhen; mother, Lin Tie Ying; sister, Zhu Mei; three brothers, Kai Yang, Kai Lee, and Kai Charng; son, William Kwok; and daughter, Cindy Kwok.
A viewing will be held at the Fort Lincoln Funeral Home, 3401 Bladensburg Road, Brentwood, MD, on Sunday, June 9, from 10:30 am until time of service at 11:30 am. Interment in Fort Lincoln Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society and American Heart Association.
- Visitation Sunday, June 9, 2019
- Funeral Service Sunday, June 9, 2019
Kai Chi Kwok
June 8, 2019
(Part 1 of 2)
My Dear Father,
I will remember you as a proud man, with respect well earned from your family, friends, and the many you impacted throughout your life. We all owe sincere gratitude to you for changing our lives forever.
I have always looked up to you and respected you, Yee-Dee/Dad. I know many of the things you accomplished I could never dare to try. At sea all those years. Discovering new countries on your voyages, alone. Taking a leap of faith and establishing residency in the US against obstacles. Uprooting your family for the promise of better lives and opportunities. The many challenges necessary to overcome to make that all happen. And the love and courage to see it through and accomplishing your goal of uniting us.
And you did not end there. So many relatives and friends you sponsored and provided assistance and shelter. You helped them create new lives here, so many lives changed and opportunities granted. Though I did not understand the language well, I will always remember the visitors over the many years and how they expressed their gratitude and held you in such high regard for taking care of them. Your influence, incalculable.
June 8, 2019
(Part 2 of 2)
For us, your children, you were a mystery at times, never talking much about your past life and the hurdles you overcame. The early years you and Yi-Ma/Mom were so engaged with the restaurant, working very hard in the many hours to make it successful, that we did not spend enough time together. I wish our lives intersected better in that regard, where I could have spent more leisure time when you and Mom were healthier, but I was establishing my own family, career, and future plans at the time. It always feels like we have more time than we really do, and then the time is gone. Later in life, we did engage in more cherished time together, and you and Mom eventually came to live with me. Those 3.5 years were short but very challenging, as both Mom’s and your health conditions advanced, but I tried to care for you two as much as I could, and I am happy to have spent almost every day with you the last few years of your life.
Your love for Mom was evident, and you missed her so much these last seven months. Some days felt interminable to you without her. I did not know what to do to ease your pain, but I know nothing could relieve your broken heart after her death. I am sorry I could not make it easier but relieved that your suffering is over and you can finally join her.
Dad, rest assured that I know how much you accomplished in your lifetime, more than I can dream of doing. I am deeply grateful for everything you have done for me and the family, and I will thank you every day for the rest of my life that you made it all happen for us.
Eternal love and respect, Dad. Enjoy your rest with Mom, William, and Cindy. I will miss you always.
Your loving son,
Fort Lincoln Funeral Home Staff
June 5, 2019
The Staff of Fort Lincoln Funeral Home wishes to express to you, your family and friends, our sincere and deepest condolences on the loss of your loved one. Please know those we love remain with us for love itself lives on, and cherished memories never fade because a loved one's gone. Those we love can never be more than a thought apart, for as long as there is memory, they'll live on in the heart. (Mary Ramish)