Hung-Yao Kuan, age 98, of Fort Lee, NJ, passed away peacefully at home on November 24, 2023, surrounded by his family. Born in Chengdu, China in 1925, he graduated from Shanghai Jiao Tong University during the Sino-Japanese War and the ensuing Chinese Civil War. In 1947, Mr. Kuan left China for an internship at the Taiwan Railway Administration, unknowingly separating himself from his family for almost four decades after the 1949 Communist takeover of China. Mr. Kuan served as a lecturer and section chief at the Freight Service Headquarters of the Bureau before emigrating from Taiwan to the United States to pursue graduate studies at Virginia Tech. In New York City, Mr. Kuan started United Aero Marine Services, Inc. which was the first Chinese-founded freight forwarding company in the U.S. East Coast, specializing in the growing international trade between Taiwan and the U.S. As a pioneer in transcontinental transportation services among the overseas Chinese community, he later became President of Wallant International Trade, US.
After his long career in transportation services, Mr. Kuan and his wife opened the first New York Times 3-star-rated Sichuan restaurant, Chengdu 46, where he regularly enjoyed dinners prepared by a team of culinary chefs from his beloved hometown, Chengdu.
Mr. Kuan loved activities that engaged the mind, as much as he loved the arts. Beside his favorite pastime playing mahjong, he liked the mental challenge of bridge, where he competed nationally in Taiwan. He reveled in music and theater arts, particularly classical Beijing Opera. Teaching himself the Chinese violin or “hu qin”, he became an active member of the Chinese Opera Club of New York City, where he participated in Chinese Opera performances throughout the city, and more importantly, where he met his beautiful wife.
He leaves behind his beloved wife Fang-Chih (nee: Wang) Kuan, his daughter Vivian Kuan and son-in-law Loli Wu, of New York, and his grandchildren Nicholas Wu and Ava Skye Wu. He is also survived by his elder sister Guan Qing Hua of Chongqing, China.
The family will gather for visitation and a funeral service at 11am on Saturday December 2nd 2023 at Frank Patti Funeral Home, 327 Main St. in Fort Lee New Jersey. Following the services, immediate family will proceed to Ferncliff Mausoleum in Hartsdale, NY, for entombment. For further information please call (201) 944-0100.