Ying Chen Ho


November 10, 1926  –  December 10, 2021


image of Ying Chen Ho

Ying Chen Ho

Mrs. Ying Ho was born on 11/10/1926 in Fuzhou, Fujian province, China.  Starting in 1934, she attended the #4 Fujian Provincial Experimental Elementary School in Fuzhou.

In 1937, at the start of the Sino-Japanese war, as Fuzhou was threatened by Japanese advances, Ying returned to the ancestral hometown Muyang city in Fu An county with her parents.  She attended Provincial Sandu Middle school.  Ying was known for her intelligence, diligence in her studies, and intellectual curiousity, always attaining top marks in school.  She especially enjoyed literature and music.

From 1943 to 1946, she attended Fu An Teachers Training Institute.  It was here that she met Irving T. Ho, who became a Physics teacher at the school in 1944. They were married in a lavish ceremony in Shanghai in 1948.  Irving was an engineer for Air China.

In 1949, events in China necessitated an abrupt move to Taiwan for Ying and Irving.  Ying did not foresee that this would mean no contact with her family on the mainland for over thirty years, and she would never see her mother again.  The pain of this parting was deep and borne over many years, but it reached a peak when she learned of her mother’s death in the first letter she received from her siblings in the mainland.

Allen, Bill, and Charles were all born in Taiwan.  In 1956, Irving moved to Seattle to embark on his graduate studies as well as to take a job with Boeing, saving money for the family to move to the US. Ying stayed in Taiwan, raising their three sons.  She and the boys joined Irving in Seattle in 1958, and Linda was born in 1959.

The family moved to Palo Alto, California for Irving to pursue his PhD, which he completed at Stanford in 1961.  Irving subsequently took a job at IBM, and the family moved to Poughkeepsie, New York.  While Irving filed a record thirty-four patents for IBM, Ying was the disciplinarian at home and became known as the premier cook of Chinese food in the Hudson valley.  Their Mahjong parties were also legendary amongst the local Chinese community.

After raising the kids in Poughkeepsie, a new challenge awaited, as Irving and Ying moved back to Taiwan to start the Hsinchu Science and Technology Park.  This highly-visible role required Irving and Ying to appear at many social functions.  When protocol required a toast to be downed, Ying would sometimes make up for Irving’s red-faced sensitivity to alcohol by drinking it herself, despite not having a particular proclivity for drink.  She was always the supportive partner.

After years in Taiwan, Irving officially retired in 1993, and he and Ying moved to Campbell, California.  This was, coincidentally, the year after their first grandchild, Julia, was born.  They also coincidentally moved into a home one mile away from the grandchild.  Their home proved to be the site of many happy gatherings over the following years.  Ying’s cooking was always a highlight, and nothing made her happier than the family members enjoying the many-course meals that she prepared.  She always encouraged the family members to eat more.

When Irving became ill and died in 2003, Ying was profoundly heartbroken.  She lived with Linda and her family for several years, later moving to live with Allen and Shuchao. She spent the remaining eleven years until her passing with Bill, Yen Ling, and their family. Even as she lost her previous vigor and became physically unable to cook, she got to see her grandchildren grow up around her.  She always took great pride in her family and looked forward to seeing Irving again.

Ying is survived by brothers An Chen and Huan Chen, sister Yi Chen, sisters-in-law Xianghui Wang and Yuqing Pang, sons Allen, Bill and Charles Ho, daughter Linda Ho, daughters-in-law Shuchao Lin and Yen Ling Lee, and son-in-law Jim Von De Bur, grandchildren Julia and Charlotte Von De Bur, Ethan and Athena Ho, and Michelle Ho.


4 Responses to “Ying Chen Ho”

  • Jim Von De Bur says:

    We miss her profoundly

  • Sandra Costa says:

    What an amazing life! No wonder her daughter turned to be a wonderful human being! My condolences on losing your sweet mother.

  • Robert Allen says:

    Well done Jim. She had a remarkable life and you captured it in words that will help your children and generations to come appreciate their heritage.

  • Doug Weinstein says:

    My condolences to the family. Mrs. Ying Ho was well loved and has much to be proud of. The family has many fond memories to cherish.

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