Judy Yung
1946 - 2020
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Judy Yung
January 25, 1946 - December 14, 2020
Our family, friends, and community are mourning the loss of Judith "Judy" Yung. Born and raised in San Francisco Chinatown, she was the fifth daughter of immigrant parents detained at Angel Island.

A graduate of Galileo and St. Mary's Chinese Language high schools, she earned her B.A. in English Literature and Chinese Language from SF State College. She also earned a Master's in Library Science then Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley.  

Her many professional accomplishments include establishing the first Asian Public Library (Oakland) in America; breaking new ground on documenting the histories of the Immigration Station on Angel Island and Chinese women of America; and inaugurating the first courses in Asian American Studies at UC Santa Cruz.  A beloved professor and recipient of multiple awards from community and professional organizations, Judy's primary commitments remained her community and family. 

Judy passed away on December 14, 2020 after suffering a fall in her home. She is survived by sisters Sharon, Sandy, Virginia, and Pat, and 22 nieces, nephews and grand-nieces and nephews. A memorial celebrating her life will be held this spring, when conditions allow. 

To continue her work and honor her legacy, donations can be made to the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, or any community nonprofit of your choice.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Dec. 31, 2020 to Jan. 3, 2021.
Memories & Condolences
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13 entries
February 24, 2021
Judy was amazing from her roots as a Librarian in a Chinatown Branch Library to her landmark research and publications regarding Chinese American History. As a Professor at UC Santa Cruz, she mentored many young folk in her Asian Amercian classes, just as she shared her knowledge and expertise with many documentarians like myself. As the granddaughter of "Living Widows" on both my paternal and maternal sides of my family from Toisan, and the daughter of a "Paper Son" and "War Bride" (my father and mother), I very much appreciate Judy's dedication to telling their stories. It was an honor to know her. I mourn her lost but will always remember her generosity and kindness.
January 18, 2021
Judy possessed such warmth and humanity, shared generously. I am among the many deeply indebted to her for being a pathfinder of Asian America. Her book, Unbound Feet, enlightened and liberated us. Thank you, Judy, your brilliant vision lives on. Lovingly, Connie Young Yu
Connie Young Yu
January 15, 2021
What a beautiful person Judy was! It was our honor to have known Judy the past 9-10 years as volunteers/docents with the Angel Island Immigration Station. She was intelligent, professional, caring, kind, with a humble dignity in all that she did. While we will miss her, her legacy lives on through those with whom she so generously shared her experiences, knowledge and life. We send our deepest condolences to her family. Ben and Jane Lee
Ben Lee
January 12, 2021
Dr. Yung helped me study the history of her great grandfather, Chin Hong Dai, one of California's great businessmen of the early 20th century. She was generous, brilliant, and wise. I'm dismayed to learn of her passing and I wish peace to her whole family.
Michael Clemens
January 11, 2021
judy was a gracious woman dedicated to serving the community with her scholarship and personal involvement. i enjoyed working with her on the launch of her Angel Island book, which broadened public knowledge of the Chinese Exclusion Act but subsequent restrictions on Asian immigration. she gave of her time and knowledge freely. she will be missed greatly. eddie wong, former exec director of AIISF.
eddie wong
January 8, 2021
Judy was a dedicated scholar, inspiring mentor, and supportive friend who made major contributions to Chinese American history. A great loss at a still young age.
John Jung
January 7, 2021
Judy and I were professional colleagues. Early in both of our young adult lives, we shared an interest and participation in Chinese American community journalism. I wrote a blog about that period. Judy Yung: A Yellow Feminist Force - East Wind ezine
William Gee Wong
January 7, 2021
Judy Yung was an incredible lady. Our family met Judy through her interview with Eddie Fung for the Lost Battalion. My grandfather served with Eddie in WWII and they were POWs in the Lost Battalion together. Judy last wrote me in 2018 and sent me a copy of Eddie's book. It was a blessing to go up to SF and see her and for her to meet my daughter meaning she met four generations of our family over her lifetime. Her devotion to history, preserving history, living history, and writing history is truly inspiring and I was so blessed that my eldest was able to meet her and ask her questions about the Lost Battalion and Eddie. May God bless the Yung family in your memories of the infamous Judy Yung. Our Condolences and the Condolences of the descendants of the Texas Lost Battalion Association. Hugs to y'all and God Bless!
Loriana Hatch
January 6, 2021
Judy Yung: a stalwart of the Chinese Historical Society of America (with Him Mark and Philip); instrumental in the founding of Chinese America: History and Perspectives; scholar; a fine person.
Ted Wong (aka Teong Wong)
January 6, 2021
I have created a memorial blog for Judy and welcome anyone to add their comments there:
judyyung dot wordpress dot com
Greg Soone
January 6, 2021
I recall taking my Mom to the Chinese Culture Center auditorium to attend Judy’s launch of her book on Chinese American women. The huge room was packed with women of all generations. Judy spoke about the book, and the entire event was groundbreaking.
Laurene Wu McCLAIN
January 6, 2021
Thank you for your scholarship, books and your community service (Angel Island Immigration Station, showcasing Chinese American women, Chinese American History and immigrant rights. I still can't believe our "go to scholar" has passed away. Your legacy will be remembered as one of our treasured Chinese American Historians (Him Mark Lai Philip Choy).
You always set a high standard being bilingual, even at Galileo you were a
good athlete and leader.
Jeanie Chooey Low
January 3, 2021
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