Mei-Huei Pan

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.


17 thoughts on “Mei-Huei Pan”

  1. Hi Tami, Tracy, TraLing, Nancy, Mark and Ting – I am sincerely sorry re:your mom’s passing. My fondest memory of anywhere in Colorado was visiting your home in Fort Collins with Little Aunt and my mom, and all I can remembered is how kind, loving your mom is. While I can’t recalled what your home look like, your mom’s smile and warmth easily comes to mind. In reading Ah-geem’s story, it’s clear she live a full and wonderful life. And will certainly continue to do so in Heaven, where there’s lots of love. I wish all of you well. regards, Larry

  2. What a joy to read about “mom” and all the wonderful things she did to better this world. She will always lovingly be called “mom” as she was a mother to us all during and after our time working at Tra-Lings. She had the sweetest smile and most adorable laugh! And we all laughed plenty as it was a fun job with great people! And great food! Especially, the after hours food that mom cooked of authentic Taiwanese cuisine. Or when we traveled to the British Virgin Islands and she cooked every meal in our catamaran to our many hungry mouths while we sun bathed! A generous heart and a beautiful soul who will truly be missed. My deepest condolences to all of you.

  3. Mei and I began talking to each other while waiting at our bus stop on Broadway for the Skip to take us to the North Boulder Recreation Center. We participated in a dance/movement class together every week for several years before COVID interrupted us. Mei expressed her interest and affection for life with broad smiles and dancing eyes each time we saw each other. Her positive attitude always gave me a lift.

    1. What a nice note and story to know that our mom met friendly people like you on her adventures on the Skip and to classes!f

  4. Please accept our deepest condolensces at the passing of your mom. Aunt Mei-Huei was a kind gentle soul who will be dearly missed. One of my favorite memories of her include: When I visited Boulder the very first time in my early 20 twenties, she treated me like her own daughter and my cousins spoiled me like their youngest sister. I am forever grateful for her and for the amazing people she has brought into this world.

    She will continue to live in our hearts.

    Ed and Melissa

    1. Melissa, it’s good to hear from you and I hope things are well for you. Thank you for your kind words about our mom.

  5. “Mom” was an exceptionall person. I remember when I was in college and she said she wanted to adopt me. I felt very flattered. She opened her home to me when I was a lost college graduate trying to figure out life. Decades later with my young daughter in tow, we visited Boulder and stayed with Mom. She told my daughter she could call her grandma which warmed my heart.

    Thank you Mom for your kindness, warmth and generosity. I will miss and celebrate you.

    1. Ramses, Thank you for taking the time to share your memories. I know our mom thought of you like a son and a brother to Mark. I remember when our father died in Taiwan and mom took care of our son Jacob in his first month while I went to Taiwan for the funeral. You helped take care of Jacob and even called to get info on how to get him to not throw up the soybean milk. Thank you for that. Jacob is now 27 years old and was just married this summer.

  6. So sorry to hear about Mei Huei’s passing. I worked at Tra Ling’s during college. She was Mom to me! I truly enjoyed working there and so grateful I got to know the whole family. One of my favorite memories was a Labor Day weekend where Tracy decided to close the restaurant and we all went out to Boulder Reservoir to enjoy the day with a picnic and time on the water. Also when we closed for Chinese New Year and then had a celebration dinner at the restaurant. Who can forget the all night poker games? I had so much fun and made really great memories. So blessed to know Mom and the whole family. My heart goes out to you all.

    1. Thanks Callie for your warm memories. Thank you for helping our family during that hectic time of running the restaurant.

  7. I can’t remember a time “mom” didn’t greet me with a warm smile. Her bright eyes always radiating a genuine kindness. I’m sad she has left us but will be forever grateful to have been given the opportunity to work at the restaurant and share time with your incredible family. She is very much a part of some of my fondest memories of Boulder.

  8. Dear Tra Ling,
    I’m writing to say I’m sad to read of your mother’s death. I’m sending good thoughts to her and you and to all in your family.
    So much love.

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