George Yao 游學智 (72) was born to the late Yao Néng Qīng and Yao Lín Zăo on January 2, 1951 in Taipei, Taiwan. He was born during Taiwan’s post war era which profoundly influenced his upbringing, fostering a deep appreciation for life’s simple pleasures; a lifetime commitment to creative frugality; and an unwavering determination to lead a purposeful existence.
Being the second eldest of five siblings, George made his own path while always maintaining a strong duty to family. Following his military conscription, he attended Kindai University in Osaka, Japan where he earned a degree in Business Management. This marked the beginning of his extensive career in international commerce, which started alongside his father for the first few years. Despite his global travels, Taiwan remained his cherished homeland, drawing him back multiple times each year for decades.
It was during his high school years that George encountered the love of his life, Grace. Little did they know that their early connection would blossom into a lifelong partnership. In 1986, George, Grace, and their three young children immigrated to California, carrying with them only two pieces of luggage each. Settling in Cerritos during the late 1980s, the family has since called it home. Throughout their shared journey, George and Grace cultivated a multitude of small joys and happy rituals, such as their summer Sunday trips to the supermarket in search of the sweetest watermelons.
A consummate scholar, George thrived on acquiring new knowledge and skills. He taught himself an array of practical disciplines, including plumbing and electrical engineering. His lifestyle was a testament to ikigai 生きがい, intertwining purpose and contentment in his daily pursuits. Possessing a deep appreciation for all things, you can find George enjoying a humble bowl of street-side noodles as much as the elegance of a Michelin-starred restaurant. His frugal living coexisted harmoniously with his generous spirit, constantly, selflessly, extending a helping hand to those around him.
George's legacy endures through his adored wife, his siblings, his three children, and six grandchildren.
He relished his role as a-gong 阿公 or grandpa and hopes that the grandchildren continue to enjoy ketchup fried rice - a dish he is credited with, within our household, as a tasty culinary invention during his early days as an American dad.
The Yao family extends heartfelt gratitude to the countless friends and relatives who have contributed to their remarkable journey over the years. Their collective support has been instrumental in building a tapestry of cherished memories.
Please share a memory of George 阿智 or send a condolence to his family below.
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