Barbara Lee Chew was born in Sacramento, California to parents Ah Wah and Jean Hon Yee Lee on January 7, 1935. She was the second youngest of six siblings consisting of 5 sisters and 1 brother. She grew up on V Street and graduated from Lincoln Junior High School and Sacramento High School. The highlights of her High School years included lifelong friends, playing on one of the only Chinese girls basketball teams, bowling, attending a Chinese Christian Youth Conference at Lake Tahoe, and swept to victory for the office of senator. She worked as a clerk for the Department of Motor Vehicles and then for the State of California in the Department of Water Resources.
Friends introduced Barbara to James Chew who later married at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Sacramento on August 21, 1960. 400 guests attended their reception at the China Palace Restaurant, followed by a dinner at the Hong King Lum Restaurant. They honeymooned at Crater Lake. They had a son, Michael and a daughter, Deborah.
Barbara volunteered at the ACC. She was an active and loving member of the Chinese Grace Bible Church. She loved her Bible Study group of friends and Knitting group for the past 15 to 16 years. Besides knitting blankets, she knitted hats for seniors and for residents of senior homes.
Matthew 15:18 says “But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart.” Barbara talked a lot about her childhood friends who she’s kept for over 60 years, family members and church friends all of the time with a smile on her face and love from her heart. She kept everyone in her life close to her heart as long as she lived.
Barbara is survived by her son, Michael Chew (Alison) and daughter, Debbie Joe (Kevin); grandchildren Matthew and Amanda Joe and Emma Chew; and brother, Sooky Lee (Rose); as well as numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, James Chew with whom she was married to for 47 years. She was also preceded in death by her four sisters Doris Leong, Lily Chinn, Maryanne Yee and Sylvia Yuke.
In loving memory of Barbara, a memorial service will be held Saturday, June 10, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. at the East Lawn Cemetery Chapel.
Memorial donations are greatly appreciated to the ACC Care Center of Sacramento who cared for Barbara in her final days, or to the Chinese Grace Bible Church of Sacramento where Barbara loved to worship our LORD and fellowship with her brothers and sisters in Christ.