PITTSFORD, NY – On May 17, 2022, Ying Suen “Bryan” Yee passed away peacefully at home at the age of 84. He leaves many loved ones to cherish his memory: his wife of 55 years, Emily Yee; son Dennis (and wife Nancy) Yee; daughter Tracy (and husband Daniel) Pierson; grandchildren Joanna, Kevin, Natasha, and Audrey; siblings Susan Mon, Ying Luen “Allan” Yee, Sue Lai, Robert Yee, Ying Kwong Yee, Ying Kam “Gim” Yee, and Ying Cheung Yee; and a host of nieces, nephews, and friends.
Bryan, the eldest of eight children, was born in a small village of Guangzhou, China to the late Soo and Gean Kwong Yee. From an early age, he deeply valued education, attending school in both Guangzhou and Hong Kong — where he eventually switched to an English school — but due to World War II, he did not finish high school until he was 20 years old. Upon immigrating to the United States, Bryan repeated high school to improve his English. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the City College of New York, majoring in electronics, and then earned his master’s degree in physics from Michigan State University.
A faithful employee of Eastman Kodak for 31 years, Bryan was known for his loyalty, integrity, and generosity towards others. He had a fierce sense of fairness, always seeking to do what was right and never wanting to take advantage of a situation. His engineer’s mind never rested, and his desire to constantly learn was evidenced by the notes he’d take whenever reading one of the many non-fiction books and novels that he devoured in his lifetime. Bryan and Emily were early and active members of the Rochester Chinese Community Association, and he treasured the many friendships they formed over the years. In his retirement, he enjoyed volunteering at the Pittsford Public Library, playing bridge and mahjong with friends, staying active at the local JCC, cooking for others to enjoy (including his Cantonese-style lobster and secret recipe for sweet-and-sour pork), tending his backyard garden, and traveling around the world with Emily to visit with beloved friends and family.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in his name to the American Lung Association (lung.org/memorialgiving).
A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, May 27, 2022, from 2pm to 3:30pm at White Haven Memorial Park (210 Marsh Road, Pittsford, NY 14534). Please bring along a story or memory of Bryan to share; we’ll have a time for those who would like to publicly share their memory, as well as note cards for those who prefer to write down their memory to be privately shared with the family.
So many memories. East Lansing, Rochester, Greece, Pitsford. Travels in Asia. Rest well, pal.
Dear Emily and family:
I am so sorry to hear of Bryan’s passing. It’s been so long since mom passed and then dad in 2018, I feel like my children were so cheated out of knowing their grandmother. We feel your loss deeply and send you our sincerest condolences.
Wendy (Moy) Ling
Bryan had a keen interest in different foods. I recall the jook (congee) he had served me for breakfast when I was his houseguest. He got up at 5 am to prepare his jook. Then, 5 minutes before he would serve it, he put in the raw meat in so that the meat would be cooked, but not over-cooked. Hard to beat this Chinese breakfast when so well prepared. Over the years, many of his Rochester friends got treated to his special “secret recipe” of Sweet & Sour Pork. Best in the world! He was very proud of this dish.
On a trip to the big island of Hawaii, we drove along a dirt road and came upon a house with pomelo fruits hanging over their wall and exposed to the road. Bryan daringly knocked on the door and asked the homeowner if he could pick a couple of his fruits. The homeowner smiled and told Bryan to help himself to as many as he wanted. Aloha! Bryan picked a dozen pomelos that afternoon and was the happiest man on the island. He thought he stumbled upon a gold mine! For the rest of our trip, we sat in our rented 6-person van listening to pomelos banging around, rolling back and forth making music.
What impressed me about Bryan was his sense of responsibility. Being the eldest brother of his siblings, he brought all his brothers and sister to Rochester to live with him, some of them stayed with him throughout their elementary and secondary school years. In this respect, he was very fortunate to have a wife who allowed him to do so. I remember when we were all very young and wanted to start gardening projects. Bryan was exceptionally keen on growing vegetables. He and Emily’s father built very big fancy and sturdy trellises for the vegetables to climb even though they did not yet have appropriate grounds to grow vegetables where they lived, but he built the trellises anyway and brought them over to our yard. We happened to have a patch of very rich soil tucked away at the back of our yard. I couldn’t imagine how one would drive all the way from Pittsford to Brighton several times a week to tend to the plants, but he did. He taught me to use genuine fertilizer (manure). Up to to-date, I still use cow and chicken manure to plant my flowers and vegetables; neighbors don’t understand why I have a green thumb. I remember when we were all young, Bryan laughed his heart out winning a game of shuffleboard against Paul. It was a carefree world.
We are so sorry for your loss. It’s also our loss.
We had prayed for Bryan and his salvation for years. We hope his translation was a peaceful one.
We have so many fond memories of Bryan. He was always fair, honest and responsible. And he was most hospitable. We were royally treated countless times with gourmet dishes both at home and restaurants. We walked back and forth between the condo building where we were staying in Discovery Bay and the ferry for the Hong Kong Island many times between Nov.2018 and Jan.8,2019. Those were very special times.
Bryan has left a legacy of warmth and generosity . He will be greatly missed.
What a shock to me to learn I talked with you just the day before Bryan passing. We had been friends for so long it is a profound loss to all of his friends. To me he had been particularly close, having shared trips to Thailand and Vietnam. Together we made friends with a Vietnamese Chinese couple who later visited Brian Emily in Hong Kong and Bryan treated them to snake soup. A special treat indeed. Bryan made friends for keeps and he valued friendships for a life time. I will always cherish memories of him.
Bryan our dearest friend gave us many wonderful memories that will remain in our hearts forever..
He was the best Dad to Dennis and Tracy. The best husband to Emily.
He encouraged Emily to pursue Chinese watercolor paintings with her NY city teacher and as a result, had
exhibitions in several countries.
He was a great teacher – taught Emily to operate all kinds of electric machines. When Emily & I were having
fun doing real estate rentals, we would change the landscape in a jiffy. We cut down huge vertical bushes with
the small chain-saw to expose the nice looking facade of the rental property.
We loved his sense of humor & lovely smile. Rest In Peace.
Please accept our condolence on your lost of a life time partner. Bryan had been very dear to us – not only as a classmate in my school age but also his participation in our wedding occasion. His caring for all his friends especially while he was in Hong Kong is so dear to our heart. Kindly take this change as part of our life on earth to reduce suffering and a path that we all have to go through before reaching our home in heaven.