Van Sau Nguyen

April 4, 1952May 11, 2018
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Van Sau Nguyen was born on April 4, 1952 and passed away on May 11, 2018


  • Visitation Thursday, May 17, 2018
  • Funeral Service Friday, May 18, 2018

Van Sau Nguyen

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Ralph Dornsife

May 21, 2018

I worked with Van Sau at the WSDOT bridge design office, starting in 1992. He was a very hard-working and dedicated employee and a humble and caring family man. He was very well-respected and well-liked in our office. As coworkers, we were very impressed with his artistic skills and his tennis-playing abilities and the great enthusiasm he displayed for these activities. I remember that during office break times, Van Sau would go outside with his tennis racket and practice his serves against the building. We would sometimes have to be careful if we were leaving the building a little late because he had a very fast serve. But because his serve was also very accurate, we knew we didn’t have to worry much.

My favorite memory with Van Sau happened in March 2001. I was fortunate enough to have been able to travel the full length of Viet Nam, from Sa Pa to the Mekong delta, with another Vietnamese friend. We started our trip in Ha Noi and finished in Sai Gon. Coincidentally, Van Sau was visiting his mother south of Saigon about the same time. We connected with him at the end of our trip in Sai Gon. He showed me around some of the city. Van Sau had a friend who operated an open air restaurant in the city, so he decided to arrange a big dinner celebration for his American-born friend the evening before I departed. We enjoyed seafood of all kinds, including lobster, along with libations. That was, undoubtedly, one of the best seafood dinners I have ever had. The friendship shared was also among the very best. I will always remember that experience with Van Sau.

I extend my sincerest condolences to Van Sau’s immediate family and his extended community of family and friends. He will be sadly missed, but not without very fond memories that will last forever.

Ralph Dornsife

Luong Tran

May 18, 2018

I would like to share our deepest sympathy to the family; it has been a great loss to all of us.

Anh Sau as we know him, is very good man - very pleasant, kind of heart, and fun to be around with. He touched us all. Anh Sau also is talented with many passions, he is true free spirit artist. He is very good with painting, calligraphy, poetry, chess, table tennis, badminton... and the best of all is tennis. As we know him, he would play tennis in the rain or would play at any time any day... I have seen him practiced hit the tennis balls at break-times, day in day out. He was so proud that he left the tennis legacy to his children Huong, Long, Qui, and Toan, when they all played tennis for the school teams.

I am fortunate to have anh Sau as a friend and coworker for last 25 years – we worked in the same office, played pin-pong, tennis, chess ... and traveled one trip to VN., a lot of great memories to cherish. I would like to dedicate this Haiku poem to anh Sau as a free artist.

Free Traveler
Why plan if I can go,
place of joy, peace, and happy -
journey never ends.

Anh Sau, thanks for all fond memories with you and your family. We pray that you will find eternal peace and happiness with the Great Divine.

JC Hsieh

May 16, 2018

Whenever Van and I called each other over the phone, he always said “Hi Brother” enthusiastically. Just about three weeks ago, we had a wonderful dinner together at his home with his wife, Lou Tran, and my wife (Lin). It is so unexpected to learn about Van’s passing.

I was fortunate to work with him in WSDOT Bridge Office; I always enjoyed his “art” in bridge plan detailing. Thanks for all his countless free lessons in tennis and chess for my kids and me.

Van taught me in tennis game, it is to “get the ball over the net”, and not to win. Pray that Van is over the “net”, and the eternal bliss of Buddha light is upon him now. Amituofo …

Danny (Nghiep) Nguyen

May 16, 2018

I would like to express, on behalf of Team Genesee, our condolences on the loss of Van Sau Nguyen. Many of us here knew him personally, and knew how passionate he was with tennis.

Sau was someone that always wanted what was best for someone – even if it didn’t include him.

When he was no longer able to play, he continued to be present and supportive of many tennis functions. He was an inspiration, made everyone feel like someone – Sau was a role model for human beings in general.

We will truly miss him, but he will be remembered. Again, we extend our deepest sympathies to you and your family during this period of mourning.

Hieu Nguyen

May 16, 2018

I always remember brother Sau as an easy-going, athletic, and gentle man with strong voice and hearty laugh. He engaged with the Vietnamese community, the young and the old alike, with passion and energy. He used his many talents to serve people around him.

Sau is and always a teacher. He taught Vietnamese language, painting, biking, tennis, and table tennis. He was showing by examples. I admired him for his dedication and learned from him to participate in sports.

We got together a couple times last summer and he was happy with friends. This summer comes and we say goodbye to Sau. Blessed is his presence with us.

Hung Phan

May 15, 2018

The Vietnamese calls him Sáu, but most tennis friends at Bally's called him Van - probably because the immigration paper shows his first name is Van.
I have known Nguyen van Sau for a long time since the early days of the Vietnamese boat peoples settled to Thurston county. Sau used to work for Department of Transportation. I remember his down to earth character, always smiling and get along with everyone.