July 31, 1923 – April 2, 2018
Allen Joe was born on July 31, 1923 and passed away on April 2, 2018
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April 13, 2018
I'll always remember the times we went to the Joe house in Berkeley. Cousins Donna & Annette & my sister Belinda & I had so much fun there. Uncle Allen & Auntie Annie had many fun parties at that house & I remember when Uncle Allen's good friend, Bruce Lee, was there teaching all my Aunts how to do the "Cha-Cha" (as Bruce was Hong Kong's 1958 Cha Cha Championship winner)!! In the summers, our family spent many times at the Gow Gong Family Association picnics at Vichey Springs in Napa. While there, my sisters, Marilynn & Belinda & I, would bring entertainment by doing our dance routines, but Uncle Allen performed his sensational muscle acts & bodybuilding routines! (He was always into body conditioning, before it became popular, before Arnold "the Terminator" was around, & Uncle Allen introduced Bruce Lee to this before Bruce became famous). How Uncle would flex those shoulder muscles to move from one shoulder, then seem to disappear behind his neck & the muscle appearing to move to the other shoulder, was unbelievable!! As a youth, he got into bodybuilding as a way out of being bullied & boy did he become a muscle man! He was the first Asian-American to win the title of Mr. Northern California Bodybuilding Champion in 1946!
In his book, "The Last of the Four Musketeers, Allen Joe's Life & Friendship with Bruce Lee" there were some things I had not known about while I was growing up. It saddened me to know his personal story of heartbreak, but I am astonished how he persevered & had so many personal triumphs in his life. Uncle had an amazing life, shared with such a loving wife - his childhood sweetheart, Auntie Annie, raising a wonderful family - my cousins Donna, Annette & Darrell, & his grandchildren. Uncle Allen was one of a kind & I am so privileged & proud to have had him as my Uncle! Uncle Allen will always be loved & never forgotten!!
Dan & I send much love and heartfelt condolences to Auntie Annie and family.