Joseph Chew Tang
May 2, 1923 - May 30, 2014
TANG, Joseph Chew
Joseph Chew Tang passed away peacefully in his sleep on May 30, 2014 at the age of 91. He is survived by Katherine, his beloved wife of over 60 years and brother Jack (Jeanne). He is also survived by his son Alan, daughter Patty (Jimmy), and grand- children Mitchell and Natalie. He was known to his family, friends, and business associates as Joe. Family and friends knew Joe as an independent, sociable, outspoken, and competitive man.
Joe was born on May 21, 1923 to Fred and Wong Shee Tang in the Chinese farming village of Yun Hing Lai. His early life was spent in China in Yun Hing Lai and Guangchou. Since his father returned to America and he was separated from his mother so that he could be with his grandmother, Joe did not have much of a childhood family life. Joe came to America in 1938 and lived briefly in San Francisco with his father. In 1940, he moved to Sacramento to be near others who came from Yun Hing Lai. It was here that he formed his close lifelong friendships with Kai Fat and Frank Louie. He attended Lincoln Junior High School and Sacramento High School. As a teen, Joe worked and lived on his own which further developed his independent and self-reliant character.
Joe served in the U. S. Army near the end of the Second World War, He was stationed in Kunming China in a liaison unit between the U.S. Army and the Nationalist Chinese army. Because of his service, he became a life member of the VFW. After the war, Joe returned to Sacramento and obtained his Associate of Arts degree in business at Sacramento City College. He also attended Golden Gate Business School and obtained his real estate and insurance licenses.
Joe met Katherine Quan through mutual friends and dated for over a year. They married on August 20, 1950. After a brief time in Oakland they moved and settled in Sacramento and remained married for over sixty years. They raised two children Alan and Patty. In later years, they travelled to China and other asian countries several times including visits to his childhood village. Joe started a food brokerage business with a partner in 1958. In the early 1960s, he successfully moved out on his own and was an independent sales representative for various companies to the growing Chinese owned supermarkets in the Sacramento region. His sales territory gradually expanded into general supermarket chains and into the Bay Area and the Central Valley. He was also active with the Ong Ko Met Association. Joe retired in 1991.
Joe’s passion outside of work was golf. Joe began playing golf in 1959 and enjoyed it for the following sixty years. He belong to the Sacramento Chinese Golf Club to which he served as president in 1985. He also belonged to the Sacramento Senior Chinese Golf Club and the Dry Creek Golf Club. His most memorable golf moment was getting a hole-in-one in a major business tournament at Dry Creek’s fifth hole in front of more than 70 people.
A memorial service will be held at the East Lawn Memorial Park Chapel, 4300 Folsom Boulevard, Sacramento, CA. 95819 at 11:00 am, Tuesday, June 10, 2014. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to ACC Senior Services.