L. Meiling Yen

L. Meiling Yen affectionately known as Grandma Yen passed away at her Mattapoisett home. She was 97 yrs old. Mrs. Yen came to the US at the age of seven from Canton China where upon she settled in Attleboro MA. Meiling graduated from Attleboro High then attended Sargent College at Boston University.  She was the daughter of the late SluHu Moon Shang and Yee Shee Shang and of Attleboro, MA and the wife of the late George Yen of Mattapoisett MA. In 1950 they opened up the five star popular Meiling’s Restaurant in Mattapoisett then closed in 1979. She liked to note that they were the first to bring the Chinese style buffet to this area. Meiling has enjoyed a good life. Much of it is attributed to living each day to the fullness. When asked what her secret for a long life is, Mrs. Yen is quick to say “eat right, as you eat to live, exercise everyday and help at least one person every day!” Her philosophy on life is simple, treat people with respect, kindness and try to make at least one person happy everyday. She will be quick to tell you that education is the key to a successful life, without it you will have a hard time succeeding.  Meiling enjoyed in the later years gardening, reading, swimming, shopping, eating out and visiting friends. Her favorite book was the Good Earth by Pearl Buck. Mrs. Yen would be seen delivering fortune cookies to the police dept, town officials, doctors, neighbors and their children. She called it good clean fun. She always said, never say good-by, say “Enjoy Life!” Meiling is survived by her three daughters Gloria Besthoff of Greenwich Conn, Victoria Williams of Chantilly VA, and Ameia Yen-Patton of Mattapoisett MA., five grandchildren, Barton Chin, Eric Chin, C.J. Williams, Keri Williams, Peter Yen Patton and four great grand children. She is also survived by seven sisters Mai Shang Woo of Elmhurst NY, Mary Shang Chin of Dedham MA, Lily Shang Mooncai of Fort Meyers, FL, Olive Shang Manoli of Las Vegas NV, Nancy Shang Hsi of Estero, FL, Evelyn Shang of Mililani, HI, and Joan Shang Wong of Woodbridge VA. She was predeceased by brothers Kai Q Seeto, Kai Pak Seeto, Kai Ong Shang, former mayor of Attleboro MA and sister Virginia Shang Chang of Hawaii. A memorial service will be held at the cemetery site in North Attleboro, MA.

One Response to “L. Meiling Yen”

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  1. Tom D. says:

    I have very fond memories of visiting Meiling’s between its opening in 1950 and 1955. We lived outside NYC but visited friends every year in Fairhaven and Meiling’s was always on our eating out schedule. I remember Meiling very fondly.

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