1922 - 2019
Sanders Funeral Home - Eureka
1835 E Street
Eureka, CA

Longtime Eureka resident, Ben Gim Chin, Sr. passed away peacefully Monday, May 20, 2019, at the age of 97.
Born in a small village in Taishan, Guangdong, China in 1922, Ben arrived in the U.S. when he was just 12 years old. Adopted by his grandfather after his parents died, he lived in Portland, Ore. until he was drafted by the U.S. Army during WWII. He was sent to Ft. Lewis, Wash. and Ft. Benning, Ga., training as an MP. In 1944, he was sent to the European theater, serving in France, Italy, North Africa, and Germany.
After being honorably discharged from the Army following the war, he worked in various restaurants in southern Oregon. A family member told him there was a city in northern California which could benefit from his culinary skills. Intrigued, he uprooted his young family and relocated to Eureka and opened the Canton Café in 1954. Unbeknownst to Ben, he would become the first Chinese to reside in Humboldt County in more than 70 years. Although he endured racial hostility and even a few death threats, he was tough and persisted. When the mayor of Eureka became a regular patron, attitudes began to shift and hostilities subsided. Finding success as a restauranteur, Ben opened Chin's Café and Motel on Broadway in 1970. He worked tirelessly alongside his family until his retirement in 1990.
Ben was known for his kindness and generosity to others. Those who knew him best often fell victim to his good-natured practical jokes. He loved working in his garden, napping with his dogs, and was an avid "General Hospital" fan of more than 50 years. He was ever faithful to his beloved San Francisco 49ers and Giants baseball. But most importantly, he loved his family.
Ben is survived by Mary, his wife of almost 57 years; sons Ben, Jr. (Patricia) and Donald (Laura), and daughter Cristina. He will be fondly remembered by his grandchildren; John (Karmyn) Garcia, Jason Timmons, Melissa Adams, David Chin, Stacy (Mark) Roman, Bryant (Shelly) Blaser, Alison (Will) Mendoza, Dawn (Jimmy) Beller, Cynthia (Travis) Jenkins, Alisa Blaser and Lindsey Blaser. He also leaves behind 30 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandsons. He was preceded in death by his eldest daughter, Katherine (Lou) Timmons and granddaughter Lorrie Garcia-Duck.
Visitation will be held Tuesday, May 28 at Sanders Funeral Home, 1835 E Street, Eureka, CA from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. The service will be held the following day, Wednesday, May 29, 2019, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 2806 Dolbeer St., Eureka, CA at 1 p.m., with a grave site service following at Sunset Memorial Park, 3975 Broadway, Eureka, CA. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations are made to Hospice of Humboldt or the American Heart Association. A celebration of Ben's life will be held 2 p.m., Saturday, July 13, 2019, at the Sequoia Conference Center, 901 Myrtle Avenue, Eureka, CA.
Published by Times-Standard on May 24, 2019.
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4:00p.m. - 8:00p.m.
Sanders Funeral Home - Eureka
1835 E Street , Eureka, CA
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
2806 Dolbeer St., Eureka, CA
Celebration of Life
Sequoia Conference Center
901 Myrtle Avenue, Eureka, CA
Funeral services provided by:
Sanders Funeral Home - Eureka
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12 Entries
Our family went to Chins and Canton many times over the years. My parents owned Al Johnson Chevron and always wanted to patronize other businesses his customers owned. We always enjoyed the food and the friendly service your family had. We always felt welcome. A lot of childhood memories there. Thank you for being a part of the community.

Our deepest sympathies to your family. He will be missed.

Anita Johnson Sessions
May 30, 2019
Many Memories, Grade school. clear back to the Canton days. My buddy Jerry Arnold's Mom Myra worked for Ben and Mary for years. We would go there after school sometimes and Ben and Mary treated us like family. then jr.high and high school hanging out at Chin's with Ben jr. Thank you Ben for sharing your parents with us and keeping CHIN'S going. My first stop when I come back to town to visit. I'am sorry for your loss Ben, I know it hits hard even when you know it's coming. Gods speed Old Friend to you and yours. Dean Harrison
dean harrison
May 26, 2019
Alan Smith
May 25, 2019
My Condolences for your loss
Jeremiah Burgess
May 25, 2019
What a nice man Ben was. Mary we have such fond memories of dining at Chin's, you and Ben always made us feel like family. Linda and I will never forget the time when Ben came over to our table with a big smile on his face and picked up our little daughter Stacy and rushed her off to the kitchen to show her to the staff! Please accept our condolences and know that we will always remember him with happy thoughts.
David and Linda Shamblin
May 24, 2019
Great Man and Great Family! Have a lot of good memories of Chin's. Very sorry for your loss.

Chuck & Diane Williams
Crescent City, CA
Chuck Williams
May 24, 2019
Mary and family, sorry to hear of Ben's passing. My sympathies. Dolly Cluver
May 24, 2019
May your memories of the wonderful times you shared with your loved one comfort you and your family, today and always.
American Heart Association
May 24, 2019
Mary and family: So very sorry to read of Ben's passing. He was such a special and wonderful man and I always enjoyed eating at both the Canton Cafe as well as Chin's. We ate at Chin's a lot over the years and always enjoyed seeing his big happy and wonderful smile and being greeted by you so often. My condolences to you and know that you are in my thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time. I will be unable to attend the service, but will be there in spirit. Love to all of you.
Kay Reckord Ames
May 24, 2019
I will always remember working with Ben & the whole family,while working there for a few yrs.Ben was a very kind & giving man.the restaurant was always a full house,as everyone loved the food & the family.Ben had a very long life here on this earth & Ben enjoyed his time & sharing it with many people.He will be greatly missed,especially his family,as it's always hard on those of us,left behind.I pray the arms of God's comfort surround the family during this time,until we all meet again.
May 24, 2019
Many meals eaten at Chin's restaurant growing up. I think that was my parent's favorite restaurant in Eureka. Condolences for your loss.
Peter Jones
May 24, 2019
I'm so sorry for your loss. Ben was a wonderful man. One of my favorite memories was his big happy smile. Much love to all of you
Sydne Gladding
May 24, 2019
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