Raised in Corralitos, CA to Eng Sam Chung and Chin Shee where she attended Aldridge School and Methodist Church. Sam Eng of Canton, China came to California in the 1850s working on the railroad as the paymaster of the Chinese crew. He settled in Corralitos, became an orchardist and apple dryer owner of Pacific Operating Co. He was the first one to apple graft in the Pajaro Valley. Sam and his wife were born in the Ching Dynasty so Bernice and her siblings grew up with the old traditions in the new world. Sam lived in Corralitos until 1929 when he and his wife returned to China with their youngest children (Bernice, Agnes and George). Bernice was the last surviving sibling of seven.
In 1939, Bernice returned to California and after being detained at Angel Island, in 1940 married in Reno to Jimmy Lew (Jr of Red Dragon) and settled in San Francisco for 65 yrs until his passing in 2005. They have six children: Laraine, Melvin (deceased), Calvin (deceased), Norman, Douglas and Matthew as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Bernice worked all her life alternately as a seamstress, a clerk, a grocery store owner and always the matriarch of the family.
Funeral Services will be held at 11 am on Sunday, Nov. 5th at Halsted N Gray-Carew & English 1123 Sutter St, SF, CA 94109. Interment, Hoy Sun Memorial Park, Colma, CA. Celebration of Life to follow in Daly City.