A famous Chinese poet, also a friend of yours, dear Howard, once writes: “Some people are still alive but already dead. Some people are dead but still alive”.
Dear Howard, your endless stories about our recent history, your disarming smile, your wicked sense of humor, your healthy jokes that never fail to make us snort our beer through our noses, your unrivalled wisdom as a teacher and mentor, above all, your genuine kindness, love and humanity as a trusted and elderly friend, will continue to stay and live with us.
Dear Howard, you have had a fulfilling life and distinguished career. Throughout your professional and lifelong pursuit, you have worked so hard, actively contributing to a better world where we will live in peace and harmony. You have earned respect and friends from this country, from China and from all over the world.
We are here today to celebrate your life, not only by a few of us, family and friends gathering here today but also on behalf of many friends who cannot come here today, especially many many friends from China.
We know, dear Mr. Chao, or “Zhao Xiansheng” as you are always intimately called among friends in China, you will continue to live with us and among us.
(Alfred Che Wei, delivered at the funeral service celebrating the life of Howard H. S. Chao, at Munson-Lovetere Funeral Home, Southbury, Connecticut on July 2, 2012)