Mei-Huei Pan, age 81, passed away December 2, 2022, in Boulder, Colorado due to cancer. Born January 9, 1941 in Puzi, Chiayi County, Taiwan to Yuan-Po Pan and Chu-Chi (Tang) Pan, she married Denny Wu-Hsiung Tu in 1959.
In 1971, with six young children in tow, she moved to Taipei, where she sequentially owned and operated three successful restaurants. The last of these restaurants featured her famous “Pork chop with rice” dish, which was especially popular with the staff at the nearby hospital. After selling her restaurant in Taipei, Mei-Huei immigrated to the U.S. in 1983, initially landing in Maryland to 19 inches of snow, her first experience with such cold weather. A few months later she moved to Colorado and eventually settled in Boulder.
With two of her daughters and another business partner, in 1986 she invested to start up Tra-Ling’s Oriental Café, a popular student hangout near the University of Colorado campus, and frequent winner of “Best of Boulder” awards until 1995, when they sold the business. Later, three of her daughters started up Sisters’ Pantry, an award-winning gourmet Asian dumplings and sauce business. Although she was retired by then, you would frequently find Mei-Huei helping her daughters prepare and sell dumplings at the Boulder farmer’s market and other events.
She was well-known at the Boulder North Recreation center, where she volunteered for over 20 years and was awarded the 2017 Barbara Magill Volunteer Recognition. She also served at the Boulder Senior Center each Friday, sewing quilts for donation to women’s shelters.
Mei-Huei was preceded in death by her former husband Denny Wu-Hsiung Tu. She is the mother of six beloved children: Tami Meichuan Tu (Stephen) Dyer of Shanghai, China, Tracy Tu (John) Ingold of Boulder, Colorado, Tra-Ling Tu (Jeff Kless) of Boulder, Colorado, Nancy Meiwen Tu, of Lyons, Colorado, Mark Wenyao Tu (Ginny Lee) of Boulder, Colorado, and Tinglin Tu (Ben Johnson), of Lyons, Colorado. She has five grandchildren to whom she loved to devote her time and energy: Ashley, Jacob, Sydney, Karin, and Aiden. She is also survived by brothers Mingcheng Pan, Mingtang Pan, and Mingch’in Pan, and sister Sujen Pan Li. She was preceded in death by sister Chinho Pan and brother Mingchen Pan.
A private family memorial service will be held. Mei-Huei and her family wish to thank the family, friends, nurses, and doctors who provided kind support and care during her illness.