Ted Yang, as he was affectionately called by those who knew him, passed away in Taoyuan, Taiwan, on May 28, 2022, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease and dementia. He was 75 years old.
He was given the name Te-Kuei Yang when he was born in Beitou, Taiwan, on November 21, 1946. As a young man, he enlisted in the Taiwanese army, and he later worked with his father making finely tailored suits. Ted was a perfectionist when it came to the quality of a well-made suit. He met the love of his life, Hsiu Fung, and they were married at Chung-Shan Hall in Taipei City, Taiwan, on February 12, 1972.
Ted came to the United States in 1978 to pursue the American dream. He traveled throughout North America working in Chinese restaurants — learning the restaurant business and the English language at the same time. He was later able to bring his wife, their two small children, and his father and mother to America. The family settled in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Ted continued to work in restaurants, saving money and learning while chasing the dream of one day opening his own restaurant.
In the summer of 1986, Ted moved his family to Murfreesboro, North Carolina, where he opened China Garden — the town’s first Chinese restaurant. The restaurant was a huge success, leading Ted to open his second restaurant, China Express, in Franklin, Virginia. Ted was an amazing chef, and China Garden employed many of Ted’s siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews, as well as others in the community, for more than 20 years. Ted Yang had chased his dream of a better life in a new country and made his dreams come true. In 2005, Ted sold China Garden to a new Chinese family, passing along the dream of finding opportunity through hard work and determination.
Ted loved his family above all things and always wanted to do the right thing. Ted lived a life of compassion and courage, generosity and joy, and now he is at peace. May his memory be a blessing to all whose lives he touched.
Ted is survived by his wife of 50 years, Hsiu Fung Yang; daughter Wendy Yang Brunk of Concord; son Michael Yang of Virginia Beach; son-in-law Doc Brunk; daughter-in-law Beverly Chen; grandchildren Sophia Brunk and Nathan Yang; brother Te-Hsing (Sam) Yang; sisters Chu-Ying Cheng, Li-Ming Yang and Li Yang; and all the nephews and nieces he helped support and raise.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Ted’s honor can be made to PAWS of Hertford County, PO Box 153, Murfreesboro, NC 27855 or online by clicking here
Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service is assisting the Yang family with the memorial service and online condolences can be directed to the family by visiting www.garrettsykesfs.com.