Memorial serivce for local Chinese writer Gao Derong

(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.

(Copyright 2012 KTSF. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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  1. Peter Furrer says:

    Te Yung and I took our marriage vows on May 24 th. 2012, that was her dying wish. She knew that she had less than a month to live. Father Labib, whom she credits with leading her to God, blessed our union.
    Taking care of Te Yung during her long battle with stomach cancer was my honor and my privilege that has affected me in a very profound way. If given the chance, I would do it again and again. There is no greater way to prove once love for someone than to take care of that person in times of need. My only regret is, that I was not able to do more.
    Te Yung was my LOVE, my LIVE, my EVERYTHING !
    I would like to thank all those who came to pay their last respect to Te Yung and who expressed words of condolences and comfort.
    Peter Furrer

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