It is with heavy hearts that we share with you the passing of a beloved member of the Kin On family, Fred Yee who passed away suddenly on August 7, 2018. Fred served as Kin On’s second Administrator/Executive Director from 1988-1991, board president (1996-1997), and long-time board member and supporter.
He was well known not only at Kin On, but also in the AAPI community where he served tirelessly and selflessly. He was a wonderful husband, father, leader, mentor, and friend to many. His signature smile and laughter were infectious to all who he came across.
Fred was a man of great character who genuinely cared for people and his community. Here are some memories and words from our staff, board, and community in remembrance of Fred:
From Staff and Board:
“Today, I was staring at the empty table in my office where Fred and I used to hold our weekly one-on-one mentoring sessions. It was only a couple weeks ago that we talked about the future of Kin On. If Fred were here today, I could hear him telling me, ‘when your sorrow subsides, regain your spirit and move on leading this great organization. Keep the Kin On tradition going into the next century for our community. There is so much work to be done.’ I will miss you dearly Fred.” – Nigel Lo, Kin On CEO
“Fred was an inspirational leader with a big heart to serve our community. His path crossed with many community organizations and he committed wholeheartedly in serving as a leader and mentor to many. His generous smiles and laughter have always been his signature in every occasion. I am honored to know Fred for over 40 years and witnessed his contributions and legacy to the Asian community.” – Stella Leong, Kin On Board President
“Fred was a mentor and role model for us all. We will truly miss his smile, voice of wisdom and kindness.” – Lawrence Lee, Kin On Board of Director
“Fred, it’s so hard to believe I won’t see you at our next Kin On meeting, or in future community events. It’s even harder for me to believe I won’t hear you sing karaoke ever again. Your booming voice and heartfelt laughter will forever be in my memory. Thank you for sharing your life with us.” – Dennis Lam, Kin On Board of Director
“Fred Yee was like our brother. His contributions to the communities will always be remembered. His love and laughter will remain in our hearts.” – Arline Wong, Kin On Board of Director
“About 10 years ago Fred Yee recruited me to the Kin On Board, shortly after my father’s passing, and at the time this invitation provided a way for me to honor my father’s memory. Like many, I owe a debt of gratitude to Fred Yee.” – Dr. Grace Wang, Kin On Board of Director
“Fred’s passion and commitment for serving the community is unparalleled. We are grateful to have the opportunity to work with Fred and learn from his decades of experiences. A great friend and an avid advocate of the poor and vulnerable, he is be greatly missed and remembered. His legacy will live on in our heart and minds.” – Wendy Zheng, Kin On Board of Director
“I met Fred when he became Kin On’s second Administrator/Executive Director in March of 1988. As his assistant, I had a very close working relationship with him. During that time, Kin On Nursing Home was in its second year of operation and was faced with a lot of difficulties – nursing shortages, the need to fill the nursing home beds and balance the budget. Every time when I mentioned the above issues, Fred would say ‘don’t worry, we will be okay.’ In fact, he proved himself right. When he left in April 1991, Kin On was full with a waiting list and we were financially sound. Today Kin On has become much bigger and stronger – Fred Yee’s involvement with Kin On (as the ED and later on as a Board member) played an important role in Kin On’s success.” – Rani Cheung, Kin On’s Operations Support Manager
“Fred was passionate about our community. He cared for the elderly, knew the business of senior care, and was someone that our community trust and respected. Fred played a very significant role in Kin On. He established a solid foundation and stabilized the operation during the critical early stage of the organization. Fred was a major force in crafting Kin On’s vision of building a comprehensive care system for our elders and committed tireless efforts in realizing such a dream. I am forever grateful to him for all that he had done for Kin On and for his friendship and tremendous support during my years in Kin On.” – Sam Wan, former Kin On CEO
“Fred was a good friend and mentor who led by example and inspired those around him to give of themselves for the good of the community. He generously shared his time and talents with us and infused his passion into making Kin On the best it can it be. We will sorely miss Fred and his kind spirit lives on in our hearts.” – Hannah Wong, Kin On Board of Director
“Bill and I are so blessed to have known you and Clara as good friends with so many fond memories together- traveling around Taiwan and Yangtze River Three Gorges, late-night karaoke, and dining out at those restaurants where you had the good taste and foresight to purchase discount coupons in advance. Recently, seeing that Bill lacks Cantonese songs in his karaoke sessions at Kin On, the love-to-help nature of yours made Bill a copy of more than 80 karaoke Cantonese oldies. Bill loves them so much that he shall make a special section in his songbook, called Fred Yee’s <粵舊粵動聽> 全集, to honor your contribution. We are so sad to lose a great friend and a mentor. Your legacy will be remembered and greatly appreciated by all your friends for a long time in the Asian community.” – Christin Chou, Kin On Board of Director
“Fred was the ROCK!! There was no one like him ever, nor will there be another again. Our world lost so much when we lost him!” – Katty Chow, Kin On Board of Director
“To Sir with my Endless Love… Fred, your laughter, your voice, your great deeds and mostly, your big heart will be so dearly missed.” – Rosa Leung, Kin On Board of Director
“While the news of Fred’s sudden passing brought us much sadness, I personally come to deeply appreciate the great honor and pleasure of having known him and worked with him. We will miss Fred. Rest in peace, my dear friend.” – David Yip, Kin On Board of Director
“Fred was a tireless community activist and like the energizer bunny, kept on volunteering and rarely stopped. He was also a friend and a mentor to me. He will be sorely missed at Kin On, Yee Fung Toy, Chinese American Citizens Alliance and other organizations he belonged too. A big loss to the community. Rest in peace, my friend.” – Warren Yee, Kin On Board of Director
“I got to know Fred through both Kin On and CACA and he was always enthusiastic about the community and one of the most dedicated people to improving the lives of everyone around him. I will sorely miss his enthusiasm, contributions and discussions, and someone that I could ask any question and receive a well thought out response. I very much appreciate the honor of getting to know him and working with him and his mentorship and guidance will be greatly missed.” – Sherwin Tsao, Kin On Board of Director
“Fred was our mentor, was our family!!! His contribution to the Chinese community, his smile and his kindness will be dearly missed.” – Cherrie Lee, Kin On Board of Director
“Fred, It’s been an honor and privilege to meet you and I’m very grateful that our lives crossed paths at Kin On. Your leadership and commitment to the Asian community was truly exceptional and will certainly be missed. Thank you for sharing your time and energy in making our community a better place!” – David Lee, Kin On Board of Director
“Fred was a great community leader, mentor, but mostly, Fred was a kind, loving, caring friend to me. No matter where we met, always stopped by to ask me how I am doing, making me feel special. I will miss Fred’s gentle, warm smiles forever.” – Sylvia Liang, Kin On Board of Director
“I had the honor to serve alongside Fred when we were on the board of Kin On, many years ago. He was a great advocate for the long-term benefit of our residents. Most recently, I worked with Fred as a member of the Seattle CACA. He was constantly involved with bettering the lives of our Asian community. Very sad loss for Seattle.” – Jerry Lee
“Through many years of playing table tennis with you, in single or double, as your partner or as your opponent, when you played the game, you always carried a big friendly smile, win or lose. You will be remembered in our table tennis community.” – Frank Chin
“Fred, knowing you since the beginning of Kin On, your leadership and dedications to the community always impressed me. You were a man with a kind heart and who was always generous to your friends and the Chinese community. Thanks for leaving us so much laughter and fond memories of yours.” – Karman Cheung
“Fred and I go back many years working together. He was very committed to serving our Chinese population, Kin On in particular, dating back to his involvement with its conception. We are grateful for his insights and the contributions he made to create a better place for all of us. He will be dearly missed.” – Dr. Henry Chin
“Never shall I forget the days we spent with you, your humor and smile, rest with peace Fred.” – Karwing Tse
“Any amount of words are not enough to express the loss of our dear friend Fred. With sorrow in my heart, I remember him as a person with a big heart. He always reached out to whoever that needed assistance. His ability to forgive and forget was admirable. We also benefited tremendously from learning by example through his acts of philanthropy. We will miss him dearly.” – Philip Chan
“For as long as I knew Fred, he was a genuine and compassionate volunteer who was a proud member of the Yee Family, Kin On and many many community organizations for which he served with dedication and selflessness. I grieve for him and his family and pray for their comfort.” – May Wan
As you can tell from the comments, Fred served both Kin On and the community with great passion and conviction. He was a beloved member of the Kin On family, and Kin On was dear to him as well. Here is an excerpt from an article from 2015 that really shows Fred’s heart:
I have received more from my involvement with Kin On than I feel I have given. Community involvement, sense of meaning and purpose and personal development are among the most meaningful to me because all these are integral parts of citizenship and community membership.
Volunteerism is a two-way street. One receives as one gives.
Has Fred impacted your life personally? Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org to be posted on our website as a special tribute to Fred.