He chose to die in his own way, in his own time, with his family by his side.
Paul was born in Low Gong Village, Hoi Ping County, Guangdong China on October 25, 1925.
He fled China in 1950 after being labeled a counterrevolutionary by the communist leaders of the People’s Republic of China.
In 1951, Paul arrived in Seattle, Washington where he worked in a laundry in Chinatown.
Several months later, he moved to Yakima, Washington, to work as a dishwasher in the Golden Wheel restaurant.
He quickly realized that cooks made more money than dishwashers, so he learned how to cook.
He moved to Spokane, Washington, in 1953 where he worked as a cook for the Noodle Grill and later he worked many years at the Oriental Restaurant in Pullman, Washington.
In 1966, Paul started the Gung Ho Restaurant on 3rd and Maple in Spokane.
He married his wife, Carol, in 1969, and together they built a second Gung Ho Restaurant on Division and Sharp, where he worked until his retirement in 1998.
Paul loved the Gung Ho-working 16 hours a day, 362 days a year, taking off only the 4th of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
His true mission in life, however, was to bring his entire family from China to the United States, and he worked tirelessly toward that end.
Ultimately, he and Carol brought Paul’s two brothers and two sisters and their entire families to Spokane.
Paul was a sports enthusiast.
He especially loved football and basketball, both college and pro, and he watched and bet on every game.
After retiring in 1998, Paul became a tennis fan.
Even more than sports, Paul loved his family.
He and Carol had four children, Gary Cooper (Jo Ann), Craig Cooper (Heather) Mai Li Lee (Engel) and Kim Eng Youngquist (Matt) and six grandchildren, Allyson Cooper, Nick Cooper, Xavier Lee, Maddox Lee, Michael Cooper, and Dane Youngquist.
Their entire family took vacations together and spent at least one week each year at the family cabin on Coeur d’ Alene Lake.
Paul always looked forward to family times, and he loved to cook for his large family.
This gentle man will be missed by all who knew him.
The family would like to thank all of the friends and family who visited with Paul and brought him special food during his illness.
A special thank you to his nephew, Rui Eng, who cooked Paul’s favorite jook every week and who frequently took him to his favorite restaurant.
We are grateful to Paul’s dialysis nurse, Amy, Dr. Laura Chow at SCCA in Seattle, and Hospice House in Spokane for their care and support through this difficult time.
A celebration of Paul’s life will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 21, at Hennessey Smith Funeral Home, 2203 N. North Division, reception to follow at Best China Buffet on Lincoln Road and Division.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice of Spokane, PO Box 2215, Spokane, WA 99210-2215 or Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, 1354 Aloha St., Seattle, WA 98109.
Please visit Paul’s on-line memorial page at www.hennesseyfuneralhomes.com to leave a message of remembrance.
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