Shui Ping Gee obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Shui Ping Gee

April 27, 1927 - October 13, 2016

Obituary


Shui-Ping "Shirley" Lee Gee
April 27, 1927 to October 13, 2016

Shui-Ping "Shirley" Lee Gee was born in Taishan in the Guangdong province of China on April 27, 1927.

Shirley was the third oldest of five children. She was a spirited, enthusiastic child who liked to sing and play sports. She enjoyed basketball, short-distance track events, and the long jump. Like many growing up in Southern China during the 1930's, her education was affected by the Japanese military actions just before World War II. To increase the chances of personal...

Shui-Ping "Shirley" Lee Gee
April 27, 1927 to October 13, 2016

Shui-Ping "Shirley" Lee Gee was born in Taishan in the Guangdong province of China on April 27, 1927.

Shirley was the third oldest of five children. She was a spirited, enthusiastic child who liked to sing and play sports. She enjoyed basketball, short-distance track events, and the long jump. Like many growing up in Southern China during the 1930's, her education was affected by the Japanese military actions just before World War II. To increase the chances of personal safety, Shirley moved between the cities of Taishan, Hong Kong, and Guangzhou as needed to complete her education.

Shirley attended the Taishan Normal Girls School and trained to be a teacher. She began actively teaching elementary students at the age of nineteen. The eventual placement of the Communist government in China during the late 1940's had an impact on Shirley's life. For a while, she was able to travel easily between Hong Kong and her parents' home in Taishan. However, Shirley chose to live in Hong Kong as travel in and out of China became more problematic. During her time in Hong Kong she continued to work as a teacher.

Shirley finally had the opportunity to immigrate to the US in 1958. She settled in San Jose, CA and lived with her sister, Eva. She supported herself by working as a factory seamstress while attending night school to learn English and American government. She had a goal of passing the exams that assessed her ability to read, write and speak English. Passing these exams was a requirement to become a US citizen at the time. Shirley successfully completed the tests and became a naturalized US citizen in 1964.

While living in San Francisco, Shirley met Ton Seung "Johnny" Gee, a handsome bachelor who had travelled from Houston, TX to socialize and perhaps find a suitable wife. As a result of this trip, Johnny and Shirley married in June 1960.

After marrying, Shirley moved to Houston where she worked alongside her husband at Y & G Food Market, Johnny's grocery store business. The next twenty-five years were busy for Shirley with the everyday things of life. Assisted by her mother-in-law, Shirley raised her five children and continued to help her husband in the family grocery store business. As the children became older, she went into semi-retirement by becoming a part owner
and worker at Golden Palace Restaurant in the Sharpstown area of Houston. Shirley finally went into complete retirement in 1989.

After retiring, Shirley and Johnny enjoyed their time as regular members of a leisure ballroom dance class that met weekly in Chinatown, Additionally, she attended and participated in tai-chi classes. Shirley and Johnny were able to spend more time watching televised team sports, especially the Houston Rockets, as both played and enjoyed basketball during their youth. They also had a chance to travel within the US as well as internationally to Canada, Europe and to the Far East. Shirley was an active member of Ascension Chinese Catholic Mission of Houston, TX where she was on the church council and taught Chinese as a second language classes. Additionally, she was an active member in the Houston chapter of the Taishan Normal Girls' School Alumni group.

In April of 2015, Shirley had a severe, life-threatening infection that required hospitalization and greatly sapped her physical strength. She became vulnerable to other medical problems and this started her journey from this earthly world to the heavenly realms. Finally, on October 13, 2016, Shirley left this world to be with God.

Shirley leaves behind many family and friends. In Houston, Texas, Shirley is survived by Ton Seung "Johnny" Gee, her husband of fifty-six years. She also leaves behind a brother and a sister: Kam Lee and his wife, Alice Lee of Houston, TX and Eva Chin and her husband James Chin of Sacramento, CA.

Shirley leaves behind three daughters and two sons:
Nancy Y. Jones née Lee and her husband Samuel Morgan Jones of Houston, TX; Annie L. Gee of Houston, TX; Sandra Burkhead Gee, MD and her husband James "Mack" Burkhead III, MD of Bellaire, TX; Tony L. Gee of Austin, TX; and Wilbert L. Gee and his wife Catharine Joyce Gee née Van Sickle of Rochester, MN.

Shirley also leaves behind two grandsons, four granddaughters and one great-grandson:
Samuel Lee Jones and his wife Micah Gayle Jones née McCombs of Spring, TX; Caleb Thomas Gee from Rochester, MN; Jessica Morgan Neufeld née Jones and her husband, Derek Neufeld of Kansas City, MO; Deborah Michele Burkhead of Bellaire, TX; Abby Nicole Gee of Rochester, MN; Mikayla Amber Gee of Rochester, MN; and great-grandson Samuel Fox Jones of Spring, TX.

The funeral is scheduled for Saturday, October 22, 2016 at 10am with visitation the night before from 5-8pm at the Memorial Oaks Cemetery, 13001 Katy Freeway, Houston, TX 77079.