Death Notice - Betty Chew Chan, age 92, passed away peacefully on August 22, 2014 at Hudson Pointe at Riverdale in Riverdale, NY where she had lived for the past few months. Born in Hong Kong, she was educated in a French convent school where she learned to speak English. As a teenager, she was a long distance swimmer. She was practicing to swim across Hong Kong Harbor when she was stung by a jelly fish and suffered a severe allergic reaction. After that, her swimming career was cut short.
During World War II, the Japanese attacked Hong Kong on December 8, 1941 right after the attack on Pearl Harbor. After the Governor of Hong Kong was forced to surrender, life became very difficult. The Japanese ruled by martial law. They terrorized the local citizenry and committed numerous atrocities. Food was scarce and many people died. Somehow her family escaped and they came to America. Like many other immigrants, she entered this country through Ellis Island, where her name appears in the immigration arrival records.
She was married to Ham Din Chew in 1943 until his passing in 1977. She had five children, Richard (Marion), Phillip (Maureen), Robert (Clara), Irene (Morris- deceased), and Alice (deceased). In 1950 the family moved to Riverdale, NY where she lived for the next 64 years. Although she was primarily a homemaker, she also assisted her husband in his work as a Chinese herbalist. After her children were grown, she enjoyed her new-found independence by exploring her personal interests such as gardening, traveling, going to movies, and walking her pet dog. For many years, her beloved companion was a white poodle named Mickey. She was proud of her success as a gardener and loved to share photos of her flowers and flowering trees.
She is survived by four of her children, seven grandchildren, Lisa(David), Diana (Michael), Christopher (Jeanne), Brian(Simon), Kim, Kelly (Aalap), and Jacqueline, and nine great grandchildren, Jacob, Amanda, Corinne, McKenzie, Christopher, Jackson, Colton, Sonia, and Olivia. She was predeceased by her youngest child, Dr. Alice Chew who died on December 7, 2009 after a long illness. The family wishes to express their gratitude to the staff of Hudson Pointe at Riverdale who were very kind to her during her final days.
Family and friends may call at Riverdale-on-Hudson Funeral Home, 6110 Riverdale Avenue, Riverdale, NY 10471 on Friday, August 29, 2014 from 5pm to 7pm. The family will gather at Riverdale-on-Hudson Home on Saturday August 20, 2014 at 10:30am. Interment will follow in Ferncliff Cemetery, Hartsdale, N.Y.