BURT WEI Obituary





                                                BURT H. WEI
                                                      1922 – 2023

Burt H. Wei (魏文軒) passed away peacefully in the comfort of
his San Francisco home with his wife Amy by his side. He was 101 years old.
Burt’s Chinese name is Wei Wen Hsiuan (魏文軒). Upon coming to the U.S., he gave himself
the English name Burton Wei which he later shortened to Burt Wei. The name Burton Wei was a
phonetic translation from the Chinese words, Bai Dun Wei (百噸威), meaning one hundred tons
of mighty power. How appropriate and aptly that name was since his life story and the outsized
influence he had on his friends and family members were truly mighty and powerful in every
sense of the words.
Burt was born on 1922 in Gong-An County, Hubei Province of China to parents,
Wei Kai Hong (魏開洪) and Xie Shi (谢氏). Raised in a privileged land-owning family but with the
values of the common men, he was a courageous, intelligent, and driven young man during a
time of significant global conflict and regional turmoil. He graduated from the renowned
Huangpu Military Academy in 1942 and went on to serve as an army officer in the Nationalist
Army of the Republic of China during World War II and the Chinese Civil War that followed.
He fought on many brutal battlefronts in the Sino-Japanese War during World War II, notably the
Battles of Changsha against the Imperial Japanese Army. Subsequently, he participated in                                                                                                                                                                      many skirmishes between the Nationalist Army and the Communists’ fighting forces.

In the aftermath of the war and during the reprieve of the armed conflicts, he got married and
started a family in Hubei province while continuing to serve in the military. He married Tian Mei
Gui (田玫瑰) and had two children, a daughter, Wei Sheng Nian (魏勝年) in 1947, and a newborn
son, Wei Yun Qi (魏運奇/Jim) in 1949. Shortly after the birth of his son, the Chinese Nationalist
Government (KMT) fell to the Chinese Communists in mid-1949; he fled to Hong Kong, where
he was recruited by the US Central Intelligence Agency to continue combating the rise of
Communism before eventually finding refuge in Taiwan. He heartbreakingly was forced to
abandon his wife of just a few years and his two young children. With China closed off to the
rest of the world post-revolution for 30 years, he was cut off from his family, unable to
communicate with them, support them, nor knowing if he would ever be able to see them again. 
Knowing he could never return to China to reunite with his family he left behind, he remarried in
1960 to Chang Hsiu Yun (張秀雲/Amy), and they had two sons, Jack (魏運策), born in 1961 and
John (魏運成), was born in 1963. Determined to provide his family with a better life and more
opportunities than he ever had, he went through an arduous process of immigrating to the
United States of America, arriving alone in 1971 with few possessions and little else but
abundant hope for a better life, with his family later joining him in 1973.
Burt strived to live the quintessential quiet life of a combat veteran who had seen too many
horrors of war. He worked hard at multiple jobs, including serving as a security guard, to provide
for his family and focused on raising his sons, emphasizing courage, self-reliance, education,
and perseverance. He often exhorted his children by saying, “a man should never be defeated
in spirit”, a saying that we should always remember. He worked hard to gain U.S. citizenship so
he could try to bring the family he left in China so many years ago to the Land of Opportunity
and give them a chance at a better life.  Ten years later, in 1982, the son he left behind, arrived
in America at the age of 32 with a young wife and three children, Jane, Ken, and Keith. 
Burt’s passions were spending time with his devoted wife Amy, taking quiet strolls through the
neighborhood, writing letters to family and friends, reading the newspaper daily, keeping up with
the lives of his children and grandchildren as they came into this world, and eating salad at
every meal. For the past 30+ years, he would often say that he only had a few years left. But the
resilient survivor he was, he outlasted all his peers.
In passing, Burt leaves a legacy spanning five generations. He is joining his deceased first wife,
Tian Mei Gui (田玫瑰), of Gongan, China, his parents Wei Kai Hong (魏開洪) and Xie Shi (谢氏),
his brother Wei Wen Xi (魏文熙), and his daughter Wei Sheng Nian (魏勝年).  Burt is survived
by his wife of 63 years, Amy Wei (張秀雲), his three children: Jim Wei (魏運奇) and spouse
Mamei Wei (張明明), Jack Wei (魏運策) and spouse Jeannie Wei (徐競立) and John Wei (魏運

成); Burt is also survived by his beloved grandchildren: Jane Wei Sander (魏世俊) and spouse
Jack Walter Sander III, Ken Wei (魏世剛) and spouse Jennifer Wei (張家玉), Keith Wei (魏世强)
and spouse Prapai Chalongkoon, Kevin Wei (魏世杰), Todd Wei (魏世逹), Isabelle Wei (魏世田),
Wei Shijin (魏世劲) and spouse Zhu Xiaohong  (朱小红), Zhou Xiaolin (邹小林) and spouse Cao
Xiangmei (曹象梅), Zhou Yixia (邹贻霞) and spouse He Chaozheng (贺朝正).  Burt is further
survived by his beloved great-grandchildren: Audrey Wei (魏代琳), Preston Wei (魏代文), Jack
Walter Sander IV (魏代平), Kai Wei (魏代真), Chloe Wei (孙舒淳), Wei Jiamin (魏家敏), Hezhou
Tongxin (贺邹童心), and a great-great-grandchild, Hu Miyi (胡米宜). A funeral and interment
service will be held on Saturday, September 30, 2023 at 2:30 p.m. at Golden Hill Memorial
Park & Funeral Home, 2019 Hillside Blvd. Colma, CA   94014. 
Words of Wisdom passed onto his family:
One should never be defeated in life.
Use your head to think, use your hand to write, use your mouth to speak,
treasure your life.



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September 30, 2023

2:30 PM to 3:30 PM
COLMA, CA 94014


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