Beloved husband and father Tobby Yu-Yung Yen lost his fight with lung cancer on July 19th, 2012 at the age of 67. Tobby was born in Jiangsu, China on February 27th, 1945. When he left China for America in 1969, Tobby began a movement that brought his many family and friends to the United States in search of the American Dream.
In 1975 he founded the Supper Club with his best friend Johnny Kau in Washington, DC, the first of what would begin a restaurant dynasty that spanned several states across the nation. This included many notable restaurants in the place where Tobby eventually called home - Springfield, Missouri. He opened Diamond Head in 1976, quickly followed by Grand Fortuna, and then the crown jewel and culmination of his life’s work, Mr. Yen’s. His four decades of entrepreneurial ventures were vital to the shaping of the Chinese community throughout the Midwest.
More than anything, Tobby was a tough fighter who came from humble beginnings and ended with the richness of life; a hard-working man who loved his family deeply and loved his friends like they were family.
Tobby is survived by his wife Lily Chun Hua Lee Yen, four children, John Shiu Chung Paul Shui Jie , Michael Shiu Jun and Betty Shiu-Hua, Jennifer Burke, and three grandchildren. Tobby once said, “Chinese people give their children names that follow a pattern like a poem to help them remember their generations.” In this, Tobby Yu-Yung Yen will never be forgotten.
Visitation will be held at Greenlawn Funeral Home East 3540 E. Seminole Springfield, MO, from 4 to 8 pm on Sunday, July 22, 2012. The funeral service will also be held at the funeral home on Monday, July 23, 2012, at 11am.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Greenlawn Funeral Home East Springfield, MO.