ForeverMissed
Stories

Share a special moment from Gracia's life.

In memory of a dear friend - Gracia

Shared by Rebecca Li on June 11, 2021
Gracia was a special friend to many of us. When I think of Gracia, I think of a few unique things. 


We shared many similarities. We both have the same last name (Chang) and married a Lee/Li. We both got married on the same day (1/25/69), she in Pittsburgh, me in Ann Arbor. Our children went to the same high school, Andover High in Bloomfield Hills. Tzielan and Albert were in the same year, while Siemay and Karen were two years apart. We both hold business degrees and worked for auto companies, Gracia with Volkswagen and me with General Motors. Both Tony and Chin-Hsiu worked for General Motors in Engineering. And, we both love chocolate!


Gracia cared about all her friends, especially friends in need. For the first year following his brain surgery in 1991, Chin-Hsiu was unable to drive to work. Gracia and Tony generously offered to give Chin-Hsiu a ride every morning from West Bloomfield to Warren. They did this for a whole year until Tony was transferred to Packard Electrics in Ohio. I am forever grateful for their selfless devotion to friends.


Gracia’s love for travel was contagious. In the summer of 2003 when Chin and I lived in Taiwan temporarily for his work, Gracia and Tony happened to be in Hong Kong for Tony’s work. Gracia thought we should get together. So I made the decision to go to Hong Kong a couple days later. Gracia gave me a pretty complete tour of Hong Kong during my two days there. She was familiar with the local public transportation and points of attraction. I was so impressed with Gracia’s efficiency as a tour guide. After all, she had only been there for two months! 


Gracia loved to dance. She had a flair for dancing the jitterbug. One night during one of our cruise trips I was walking towards the dining room when I saw a woman from afar dancing a few casual steps to the music. I could easily tell, even from a distance that it was Gracia by the way she moved. She had a big smile on her face, when I told her what I saw later that night.


Gracia is a generous, fun loving and devoted friend. When I think of her, I will never forget her big smile.


Our Friend - Gracia

Shared by Han Sheng Lee on June 11, 2021
It was a shock when we learned that Gracia passed away.  Just two months ago, we saw and chatted with her in our April zoom meeting, and it looked like things were fine at that time.  It is so sad and difficult to accept that she is no longer with us.

           

When we think of Gracia, we think of her smile, so pleasant and happy.  Especially when we talked about her grandchildren, it was a favorite topic of conversation for us.  Even though we didn’t hear anything different from her tone of voice, the smile on her face always showed how much love and pride she had for them.  To her friends, she was a great host, always wanting her guests to have the best combination of a relaxing atmosphere and delicious food (lots and lots of gourmet food!).  Mei-li and I have always enjoyed spending time with Gracia and Tony, especially when Gracia was in charge of hosting.  She had a way to make people feel welcome.  Even during the pandemic, Gracia showed her kindness and thoughtfulness by preparing snacks for her singing/dancing club members, which Tony delivered and dropped off on members' porches.  They are the kind of friends that constantly show their appreciation for others.

                                              

In 2016, she organized a trip to South America.  She spent a tremendous amount of time talking and negotiating with the travel agency so that the group could travel to specific locations that we liked.  The trip that she took the time and effort to plan was one of the best and most enjoyable trips we ever had.
    
Above is a picture of our white water rafting in Peru.  On the left of the boat was Tony with Gracia behind him.  You can see a happy time that we had together.  A short video clip of this activity is at the gallery section.

It is so heartbreaking to lose such a good friend.  Gracia, you will always be in our hearts, we think about you often, and we will miss all of our times together.  We miss you.  Rest in peace.

My little Sister But She Took Care Me as My Elder Sister - "I Will Go and Accompany You"

Shared by sue Ying and Jim Chang on June 10, 2021
In my whole life, my little sister followed me around and we always go places and did things together.  As the elder brother, my desire was to take good care of her and make her happy.  I think I have done that well.  

However, as we grew older, the role reversed. I will give just one example here to illustrate the case-and-point.

As you all know from her life story personally or from this web page, she was well traveled and have been nearly everywhere with families, friends or just with Tony.   The last two family reunion cruises, three brothers and her families, to New England and another one to Mexico was instigated/organizes by her even she has been on the same cruises many times before.

Last year before the pandemic, I wanted to cruise to Alaska, especially to see/experience the glaciers.  She has seen and experienced the cruise and glaciers from the helicopters, skied and tracked on the them,  seen them from the water on a small boat.  She said to me "I will go and accompany you".  Yes she did, three brothers and their wifes plus Tony and her, we booked the cruise.  Unfortunately, the cruise was cancelled because of the pandemic.

I talked to her again two months ago about the possible coming-up cruise; her answer was still the same "I will go and accompany you" .  She would if she could ---------

My Kind, Empathic and Generous Sister

Shared by sue Ying and Jim Chang on June 10, 2021
When we lived in Taipei, Taiwan as little kids, we received red envelopes from all our elders/relatives during the Chinese New Year each year.   One of these years, as excited as ever,  my sister and I went to the market outside our home with our newly acquired fortunate; we were prepared to purchase a few things that we have been wanting for the whole year. 

On the way to the market, we run across a man who stop my sister on the track and show her a scar on his stomach.  He was asking money but the scar was an aged and well healed old scar.  Without given a second thought, the little girl who was not more than five years old, gave all she had from the red envelopes to this man.  She was very happy because she did help someone even the man lied to her.  I could not call her stupid but admired and felt so lucky that I have a kind and gentle sister. 

Jamie's Loving Memories of Dearest Gracia

Shared by Jamie Hsu on June 10, 2021
Gracia’s life in Michigan was so tightly intertwined with ours, her various images keep popping up in my head. I see her in Misty parties, golf trips, cruises, national park hiking, South America trips, time-sharing cabin lodging, and in her house parties.
Over the close interactions, she made a huge and last impression on me:

Her mischievous caring heart. She decorated our cruise cabin secretly to celebrate Tina and mine 50th wedding anniversary. Her grin is still so vivid. So typical of her.

Her passion for life and fun. To her, the party just gets started after midnight. Why everyone is leaving so early.

Her love and protection of he family. She is really like a mother hen spreading her big wings over the whole family. Feed them, nourish them, and guide them.

Her single minded pursuit. When she is driving the golf cart, she only sees her ball, no other players or hazards in her way.

Her love for good food, she is a great chef and a discriminating eater. She is the one responsible for picking our 19th-hole restaurants. She always go in there to check out the buffet selection and the seating availability. Then we can go in.

Her dedication to community service. She often spend sleepless nights to prepare for such events, the invitation, tickets, seating, and every details.

Her interest in all her friends. After the yearly returns from California, she would host parties and gatherings to catch up with ‘what is going on in Michigan’

Her over-prepared feast to treat us. If the food are gone, she worry that we don’t have enough. If any food is left, she worry that we don’t like the taste. It is a no win situation for her guests. Her so-called pot-luck dinner always consists of 6-8 extra dishes prepared by herself just in case.

Her meticulous planning skills. Her dream of being a travel agent makes her our natural trip organizer. Her arrangements have given us the most memorable trips in South America, National Parks, and White Water rafting.

Gracia, thanks for all the wonderful time together and for all your caring and laughers. You have a full and wonderful life, and enriched all ours too.


My Sister Jeh (that’s what I call her all my life)

Shared by Chin Chang on June 9, 2021
Jeh is 8 years older than I, she is more than a sister, she is also a mom to me, my little brother is 2 years younger than I, but he was born very weak, which took all mom’s time attend him, that defaults her to raising me; I am the most mischievous one in the family, which forces her spent a lot of time to see me grow up, I cried a lot, she will have to hold me face out all the time looking the street; I still remember my teen time, Jeh will stay up late with me forcing me to study, she will go to school with mom with gifts talk to teachers, just trying to understand more about my progress, after I came to the United States, I remembered, Jeh’s family just moved to Pittsburgh, their house was still under construction, she rent two room at Monrovia, one room for me and mom, she will work during the day, and cook for family of 6 (including mom and me), I swear, I have never see anybody move that fast, hands holding pans pots, feet closing drawers. Yet, still makes delicious meal.

Jeh, now you left me, but you will not be forgotten, you will always be in my heart.I miss you dearly already.  I will meet you on the other side when it's my time, remember, I still need someone look after me!!!!!

Mao Mao

How We Met

Shared by Anthony Lee on June 7, 2021
As a young graduate student working on a summer job with the US Army Research in Red Bank, NJ, I often hung out with friends in Hoboken, NJ over the weekends.  One Saturday morning in July 1967, I was planning to drive home to visit my family in Philadelphia that afternoon.  My friend happened to be chatting with his cousin in New York City on the phone, and he casually mentioned that I was leaving for Philadelphia.  His cousin told him that one of her roommates was also planning to go to Philadelphia to meet with up her brother.  My friend’s cousin asked whether her roommate could bum a ride from me.  I gladly agreed to pick her up in couple of hours.



The ride with Gracia to Philadelphia was uneventful, and we chatted all the way there.  I graciously refused to take any gas money she offered.  She struck me as being very gentle, kind, and extremely comfortable to talk with.  Being an immigrant to the US at age 14 and going to high school and college in the US, I had quite a different background from her since she grew up and was educated in Taiwan.  I could barely converse with her in Mandarin, however, she made me quite at ease.



We met up with Gracia’s brother in Philadelphia, and I said good-bye to her.  When I got home, I discovered she left $20 in my jacket pocket, and there was also her lipstick she “dropped” on the floor.  $20 was a large sum back in the 60’s and it showed her generous personality even as a poor student working in the summer to support her own graduate education.



One week later I called her insisting that I must return her money and lipstick.  She finally agreed to meet me, and we spent the money for dinner together.  And, the rest was history.

Share a story

 
Illustrate your story with a picture, music or video (optional):