Ruby Chow
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Ruby CHOW June 6, 1920 ~ June 4, 2008 Ruby Gum Seung Mar Chow was born on June 6th, 1920 in Seattle, Washington. She died just two days short of her 88th birthday. The eldest daughter in a family of 10 children, Ruby quickly learned to care deeply for family, dropping out of Franklin High School during the depression to go to work to support her younger siblings. Hearing of job opportunities in New York, she moved across the country to become a waitress. It was there she met her future husband and best friend of nearly 70 years, Ping Chow. They soon opened Seattle's historic Ruby Chow's restaurant, a magnet for Seattle's elite, visiting dignitaries and elected officials. It became her base for changing ideas and demystifying Chinese culture and cuisine to the general public, smoothing the way for healthier community relations in Seattle and later, the success of Asian political candidates. While running a restaurant and raising a family, she founded the Seattle Chinese Community Girls Drill Team and Dragon team in 1952. In 1974 she worked with Seattle's schools to establish bilingual education at Asa Mercer Junior High School. When her friend, city councilman, Wing Luke, died in a plane crash, she helped create the museum that bears his name. She ran for King County Council in 1973 becoming the first Asian American elected to that post. Her career in public service continued as she rallied around those looking to be heard. She was a strong and meaningful voice for many. In honor of her work on behalf of King County, Ruby Chow Park was created in 1990. Recently, King County named the 8th floor of the new Chinook Building after her. Her legacy continues through the lives of her husband Ping and her children, Edward, a Pres. Clinton appointee to veterans affairs, Shelton, a retired public school teacher, Cheryl, Seattle School Board president, Brien, a businessman and volunteer youth coach and Mark, an elected judge. She is also survived by four daughter-in-laws, Margaret, Jeannie, Marcia, and Carol, 6 grandsons, 3 granddaughters, 3 great-grand sons, brother William Sing Mar, sister Mary Mar Pang and kid brother Roy Sing Mar. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Seattle Chinese Community Girls Drill Team, PO Box 28832, Seattle, 98118 Memorial Services will be held on Wednesday, June 11th, 2008 at noon at Town Hall, 8th and Seneca streets, in Seattle. Please sign the online guest book at

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Published in The Seattle Times from Jun. 8 to Jun. 11, 2008.
Memories & Condolences
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11 entries
July 8, 2008
Thank you Chris.

Brien Chow
July 7, 2008
After reading your mother's obituary, I remember what an accomplished and memorable woman she was. My sincere sympathy to the Chow family.
chris woo
June 13, 2008
Dear Cheryl, Brien, Mark and Chow Family,
My earliest memories of Auntie Ruby were in the 1950's. I was not yet 12, the minimum age to run in the Chinese Dragon in the Seafair Parade. However, I was big for my age. I summoned the courage to ask Auntie Ruby if I could be in the Dragon. She gave me a look, then told me to show up the next day and wear a white T-shirt. I was the happiest kid in Chinatown. I was approved by Auntie Ruby! Even then I sensed it, Ruby Chow was the ultimate authority. Over the next 50 years, not much changed in this regard. In subsequent Seafair Parade activities, Chong Wa Board meetings, campaigning for "approved" candidates and other volunteer activities, I see that I was still seeking Auntie Ruby's stamp of approval. Auntie Ruby, you are revered then, now and forever.
My wife Edna and I offer our condolences.
Tony Chinn
June 12, 2008
Thank you...
June 11, 2008
Dear Chow Family,

Our deepest sympathy goes out to you all in the lost of your beloved mother.

We will never forget how your parents opened up their home each year to greet and meet old and new friends. The food was just excellent. Mr. Ping, Shelton, Edward, Cheryl, Brien and Mark, we thank you all for sharing your mother with the community and the world. She will truly be missed.

Dwight and Edna Wheaton
Edna Wheaton
June 11, 2008
Our deepest sympathies for your loss. Ruby was one of the great ones.
Steven Smalley
June 11, 2008
God Bless Ruby Chow and her Family and I am so sorry for your loss Mr.Ping Chow
Curt Belzer
June 10, 2008
My sincerest sympathies for the familie's great loss. I have many fond memories growing up and seeing Ruby Chow everywhere--from our competing drill teams, to the media coverage as a politician, to her being the parent involved in our senior high school prom and all the fund raisers during Cheryl's political campaigns. She was a great role model for young Asian women. She will be missed by many.
Cris Krisologo-Elliott
June 10, 2008
Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts...
Brien Chow
June 9, 2008
My Deepest Condolence.
You are in my thoughts and prayers.
God Bless!
Marlyce Pang
June 8, 2008
Dear Chow Family,
My prayers go out to you for the loss of Ruby. I remember her well when I was a child and seeing her at times growing up . I remember outings for dinner with the family and our out of town guests. I am so sorry for your loss. She will be remembered as a strong person. God Bless.
Tony Volchok
Tony Volchok
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