Anita Woo Eulogy
Today we are here to honor, celebrate, and remember Anita Yee Mui Woo, who passed away peacefully at home on June 21st surrounded by her loved ones. She was a woman of grace and courage, who was kind and generous to everyone she met and remained joyous even in the face of adversity. She was 90 years old when she passed and is survived by her 3 daughters; Helen, Mona, and Lancy, and her 4 grandchildren; Ryan, Marina, Aeriel, and Olivia.
Anita was born in Macau in 1930 during a peaceful period before World War II. Her parents were Tso Siu Wai and Leung Suk Yee. As a young girl, she loved animals, nature, and adventure and would often share stories of venturing off into the park in the pursuit of dragonflies. She loved dragonflies! She also loved chickens as did her mother before her. As the only girl, she was often ignored by her brothers so she grew very independent and was proud of her ability to travel all over Macau by herself. She had a simple happy childhood but the war came and changed everything.
She met and married her husband William in Macau but in 1958 packed her whole life into 2 suitcases and immigrated to San Francisco to be with him. They soon settled in Chinatown where they worked (he as a cook, her as a seamstress) and raised 3 daughters. In the early years, Anita developed three enduring friendships with Auntie Yau Lan, Auntie Bo Ha, and Seurng Ma. They would spend their time having lunches, playing mahjong, and celebrated their children's birthdays. The four friends remained close until their dying days. In 1974, William collapsed at work one day and the doctors discovered a brain tumor that soon left him paralyzed on the left side of his body. Anita singlehandedly took care of her husband while raising 3 daughters. These were difficult years but she never failed to provide for her family. When it became too difficult to continue caring for her husband at home, she still continued to visit him everyday at the nursing home until he passed in 2010.
Anita spent her golden years taking the bus all over San Francisco to go line dancing or grocery shopping or going to meet her friends at the senior center. She liked to make her famous soups for her family that would take four hours to cook. She loved to celebrate all the Chinese holidays by carrying on the traditions like making Chinese New Year rice cakes, autumn festival joong, and other traditional dishes. She also loved raising her beloved pet chickens Bibi, Ninja, Jee-ma, and Jack-Jack. On her last day, Anita said "Today is a nice day." She had a good heart, a beautiful giggle, and a wonderful smile. We know she is now enjoying hanging out with family and friends dancing, playing mahjong, and chasing dragonflies in the sun.
We would like to dedicate this poem to Mom:
I would like the memory of me to be a happy one,
I'd like to leave an afterglow of smiles when day is done.
I'd like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways.
Of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days.
I'd like the tears of those who grieve to dry before the sun,
Of happy memories that I leave behind when day is done.
Thank you for coming to honor her today. I know she would be so grateful and as she always said to people: "Nay ho sum".