Last Thursday morning, hundreds of people everywhere went into mourning, as news broke of the disastrous Malaysia flight MH17 that went down in Ukraine. Some 298 innocent lives were taken, among them well-respected AIDS activists, scientists and engineers.
Among the people who lost family members on the flight is Kevin Fan, who lost his 60-year-old Hong Kong-born father, Fan Shun Po, Malaysian mother, Jenny Loh Yan-hwa, and his grandmother, Tan Siew Po. According to Shanghaiist, Fan had been accompanying his wife and mother-in-law back to Malaysia when tragedy struck.
Fan, who friends knew as a great father and husband, was also a celebrated chef in Rotterdam, owner of his own Asian restaurant called Asian Glories. The restaurant ranks among the top 10 best restaurants in Rotterdam. Pang Tai, one of Fan’s longtime friends of 30 years, told reporters that Fan and his wife had worked really hard in building a name for themselves in the restaurant industry. Fan had immigrated to the Netherlands and opened the restaurant just shortly after becoming a Netherlands citizen, while his wife worked as a waitress at another local restaurant at the time.
Despite having experienced somewhat of a bumpy road before achieving success at Asian Glories, Fan, say friends and family, was extremely involved in philanthropy work. Fan and his wife would regularly volunteer at the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation in the Netherlands, an organization that was dedicated to helping the poor.
His involvement in charity work didn’t just end there. In 2011, Fan volunteered to go to Japan on a mission to help with the earthquake disaster relief. He also worked on a donation campaign for an 8-year-old cancer patient to raise money for his treatment. In fact, Fan donated 20,000 euros (26,916 USD) of his own money to the campaign.
Now a talented chef himself, Kevin Fan is determined to continue his parents’ legacy at Asian Glories, despite the recent loss. According to South China Morning Post, he posted on the Asian Glories Facebook page, “As my mom Jenny always said, ‘We can get through anything; it is the feelings that we cannot get over’,” he wrote. “If you can manage yourself, everything will pass. I will carry on this lesson throughout my life.”
In dedication to his parents, Kevin also wrote on the page, “Jenny and Popo have lived their life to the fullest, a life in which they have worked hard to build up something that has made me proud. … I know that my parents are watching upon us from heaven. So let us be strong and face this with a smile.”