Maria Ye-Chen Sung was born on July 31, 1930 in Shanghai, China to parents Pai Ping Sung and Hon Wen Soong. Maria moved to Hong Kong in 1950 with her family. She traveled to Argentina and stayed there to study Spanish. She had then planned on attending Blue Mountain College in Mississippi but was unable to obtain a visa and returned back to Hong Kong. She worked for a number of years at the David & Felix Trading company and then at The Dairy Farm as a “clerkess” in the Accounting Department.
In 1958, she was introduced to Chia-Ching Fan who was on vacation in Hong Kong to see friends and family. They saw each other every day, dining and dancing until C.C. had to return to the United States. They wrote each other letters every day until C.C. returned a year later to propose and get married.
Maria moved to New York City in 1959 with C.C. and had 2 children, Perry and Vicki. She worked at the United Nations in the Postal Administration. She was amazing at balancing work with home life. Maria and C.C. hosted numerous parties with Maria cooking up multi-course banquets out of their small apartment galley kitchen. She could also work a full-day, shop, come home and cook for her kids, then cook another meal for her and C.C. and clean up afterwards without ever slowing down.
She adored her two grandchildren, Russell and Olivia. Albums are filled with their pictures and she boasted about how smart or artistic they were. She was always interested to hear what they were up to.
Maria loved the arts and theater, good food, celebrating special events with friends and families, hitting the slot machines, a good laugh, staying active and most of all catching up with everyone. She amazed us with her independence and strength, her energy and knowledge.
There are not many people at her age who can use an iPhone to text or email and know how to Uber when they don’t want to take the bus. Most of all, she was the one who remembered everyone’s birthday and anniversary. She was the link between all of us and she will always be missed.