Michael Yung-An Yu
Michael Yung-An Yu
  • October 20, 1921 - June 24, 2016
  • Highland, Maryland

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Michael Yung-An Yu, Senior Gold Medalist Olympian and
Aeronautical Import-Export Entrepreneur, Dies

Highland MD -- Michael Yung-An Yu, 94, of Highland, MD, passed away at home on June 24, 2016, surrounded by family. He had suffered from heart disease and cancer.

Yu was born in a small farming community in Hangzhou, China, and never had an opportunity to complete his secondary education coming from a poor Chinese village. Yet, later he was enrolled and commissioned into the Chinese Air Force where he grew through the ranks to captain, where he served and provided technical support to the infamous Flying Tigers during World War II.

In 1946, he came to the U.S., and worked in conjunction with the U.S. Air Force. He never forgot his roots and decades later financially supported the building of a footbridge and rest stop in Hangzhou to aid weary travelers.

Yu was a successful importer-exporter of military, aerospace and aeronautical hardware and supplies, co-founding Tomike Corporation in 1958 as well as Universal Manufacturing and Supply Corporation in 1952. He also held two jointly owned United States patents for a method of treating solar cells and traffic detection and control. He was listed in Who's Who in the East and Who's Who in Aviation.

An avid fisherman who could play a mean harmonica, Yu also dedicated his senior years to athletic competition at the state Senior Olympics held in Towson, MD. For 10 years straight he competed in basketball, triple and long jumps, table tennis, shot put and the 100 meter run. He walked away proudly with 70 medals all told, the majority were gold, as well as with friendships and fellowship.

Said his family in an email, "Even though he grew up very poor without the opportunity for an education, he was the smartest man we ever knew. He was determined and succeeded in seeing his six children go on to receive undergraduate and graduate degrees. He was extremely patriotic and proud to be an American."

For more than 50 years he resided in Beltsville, MD where he was the first Chinese American inducted as a member of the Knights of Columbus. Further, he was an active parishioner at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Beltsville. Five years ago, Yu moved to Highland, MD to be closer to family members in Howard County.

Yu was pre deceased by two sons: Dr. Gerard V. Yu of Strongsville, OH and John F. Yu of Knoxville, TN. Yu leaves his wife of 63 years, Maria Chang Yu of Highland, MD; James V. and Bobbie Yu, son and daughter-in-law of Avon, CT; daughter Pattie Yu of Potomac, MD; Bernadette Yu Kaiser and Richard Kaiser, daughter and son-in-law of Highland, MD; Dr. Angelita Yu-Crowley and Jim Crowley Jr., daughter and son-in-law of Abingdon, MD; daughter-in-law Barbara Yu of Strongsville, OH; and 15 loving grandchildren including Christina Yu of Connecticut; Jason, Ashley, Nicole, Cheryl and Sandra Yu of Ohio; Wesley Yu of Tennessee; Tarek and Yasmina Hussein of Maryland; Matthew, David and Danny Kaiser of Maryland; and Brittany, Jimmy and Hunter Crowley of Maryland. He is survived by an older brother, Dr. Yu ShanDe, a well-known Chinese medicine doctor in Hangzhou.

He also leaves behind an additional legacy, built of the more than 20 Chinese friends and relatives who he sponsored to enter the United States to seek a better education and quality of life.

Witzke Funeral Home of Columbia, MD is handling funeral arrangements. A Catholic mass is scheduled for 11:00 am, Tuesday, June 28, 2016 at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 8300 Old Columbia Road, in Fulton, MD, 20759. Interment will follow at 2:00pm, Gate of Heaven Cemetery, 13801 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20906. No viewing is planned.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to: Maryland National Capital Parks and Planning Commission (MNCPPC) c/o 13021 Deanmar Drive, Highland, MD 20777. Donations will go towards the Beltsville Community Center where Yu had worked out daily, training for the Maryland Senior Olympics.