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PIERCE, HELEN YONG Helen Yong Pierce, 90, passed away peacefully in her home on December 10, 2012, surrounded by family and friends. Born in 1922 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, she was strongly influenced by the struggles her family endured in World War II, which gave her an indomitable drive to forge her own destiny. She immigrated to San Francisco in her 20's, earned a Bachelors degree and became a medical laboratory technician and real estate developer. Helen married Bernard F. Pierce, a Navy veteran, anthropologist and professor. In support of his research, they lived in Hawaii, South America and New Zealand, but always returned to San Diego, the place she felt most at home. She is survived by one daughter, Elaine Pierce, sister-in-law, Carolyn Mack, as well as extended family in Kuala Lumpur. A long-term member of the Hsi Fang Buddhist Temple, Helen was an avid orchid grower who enjoyed giving away blooming plants. Her integrity and enthusiastic, sociable personality will be dearly missed. Thank you to the many people who enriched her life and enabled her to continue her active lifestyle despite her physical disabilities. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Helen's home-away-from-home, the LiveWell Senior Center: (www.livewellsandiego.org)

Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on Dec. 16, 2012
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