(KTSF by Michelle Yue)
Memorial service for the well-liked Chinese columnist Gao Derong was held today at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in San Francisco Attendees included her four sons, her current partner, ex-husband, brother and many of her friends and readers.
“My mother wanted us to cherish life and be happy,” said Su Rentian, Gao’s son. “She wanted us to always appreciate life. That is her legacy”
Gao Derong was born in Sichuan, China in 1941 and grew up in Beijing. She married in Hong Kong in 1964 and had four sons. In 1990, the family immigrated to the U.S. where Gao met then Managing Editor of Singtao, Cheng Huaicheng. She was invited to write a column for the paper.
Gao wrote about everyday issues in a down-to-earth, sincere and humorous way, which soon caught the attention of many Chinese readers. In 2009, Gao published a collection of her essays, to the delight of many of her fans. Gao told KTSF in a previous feature story that being a housewife and a mother provivded the fodder for her writings. She could only write about what was close to her life and to her heart.
“She was so sincere and so funny in her writings,” said one long time reader. “I can feel that she really loved life and that touched me.”
Gao was diagnosed with stomach cancer last year. After a series of chemotherapy treatments and an operation, she was declared free of cancer earlier this year. But the cancer returned two months later. She passed away last Tuesday.
“She said she had no regrets” said Gao Deli, Gao’s brother. “She did not want us to cry over her death. Instead, she asked people to applaud for her wonderful life.”
“Quoting her own words, my mother had a perfect life,” said her son Su Xiaotian.
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