Life-long San Franciscan, proud U. S. veteran, cabernet enthusiast, and beloved Husband, “Daddy,” “Gung Gung,” and “Uncle Pal,” William Jew, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on April 3rd.
Born in San Francisco in 1928 during the Great Depression to the late George Daw Jew & Young Shee Jew, William was the third eldest of six children. He grew up in Chinatown where his family owned the Bay City Shrimp Company.
He was a true City boy and went to Commodore Stockton, Francisco Middle School, Galileo High School and City College of San Francisco. During this time he fell in love with basketball and was a pretty good player. He started playing at Francisco and was on the Galileo High basketball squad where his team won the championship for the 110 lb. team.
William met his wife Lillian in 1948, a fellow San Franciscan, and they wed in 1951. Soon after, he was drafted into the Korean War and served his country well. He was a proud U.S. veteran. During this time William and Lillian welcomed two cherished daughters, Kimberly and Cynthia, into their lives. He was incredibly proud of them and happily welcomed son-in-laws, Martin and Zane, into the family.
After the Korean War, “Billy” went to work for the U.S. Post Office where he retired after 35 years of service.
William had an incredibly full life outside of work. Not only was he a devoted husband, father and grandfather to Andrea, Andrew and Caroline, he was active in the Chinatown community, working at the Chinese Community Development Center, teaching citizenship classes for the elderly, and helping Lil with the family-run legendary Sun Hung Heung Restaurant. An eager student, he learned to speak Mandarin, diligently going to class every week and studied Tai Chi for an amazing 32 years.
He was an avid fan of all the San Francisco sports teams, but especially loved rooting for the 49ers. A true foodie at heart, William became a red wine connoisseur, favoring cabernet sauvignon and took great pleasure in rating bottles of wine on a 10-point scale, according to his tastes.
He delighted in taking his family on adventures around California and started traveling internationally in the late 1960s. With Lil as the travel agent, they were quite the jetsetters visiting sites in the US and around the world including Asia, Australia, Europe and even Russia. William traveled until 2013, where appropriately, he celebrated his 85th birthday with his beloved family and a nice bottle of Cab, on the beautiful island of Maui.
He is survived by the love of his life, Lillian Jew, devoted daughters Kimberly (Martin Wong) and Cynthia (Zane Matsuzaki), beloved grandkids Andrea Lim, Andrew Lim and Caroline Wong, as well as a multitude of adoring family and friends who will always remember his kind smile and cheerful demeanor.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: Chinatown Community Development Center, Grant Ave., SF, CA 94133; Hospice by the Bay, 180 Redwood St., Ste. 350, SF, CA 94102; Self Help for the Elderly, 601 Jackson St., SF, CA 94133 in memory of William Jew.