February 24, 1934 - December 10, 2020. Peter Su Huo passed away peacefully at his daughter’s home in Los Angeles after a long struggle with heart disease. He was 86 years old. Peter was born in Tianjin China, the second of six surviving children and firstborn son of George Tsan-Po Huo, a customs officer, and his wife Chu Hua Huo (née Hu). He grew up in Japanese-occupied Manchuria. With food scarce and the future uncertain, he found solace in quiet days at the beaches of Qinhuangdao and in singing songs he learned from teachers at the missionary school he attended. He was gifted with a sonorous voice and the ability to master a wide-ranging repertoire from folk songs to spirituals and operas.
In the waning days of China’s Civil War, he and his family boarded one of the last ships out of Shanghai Harbor and began a new life in Taiwan where they lived in Kaohsiung and then Keelung. He attended the Republic of China’s Naval Academy and graduated at the top of his class. He was proud to be selected to serve as an aide to the Secretary of the Navy. After retiring from the navy, he worked at the Port of Keelung Shipyard as a marine engineer supervising the repair of ocean liners. He married Shue Fen Ku in 1966.
At the age of 38, he took a leap of faith and immigrated to the United States to join his siblings. In one of several career changes, he trained to make eyeglass lenses and worked for American Optics in Detroit, Michigan. When his young family joined him two years later, he re-trained again - this time to learn to cook Chinese cuisine. In 1975 Peter settled his family in the San Francisco Bay Area where he learned the restaurant business. Peter and Shue became proprietors of Ku’s Garden, a small family run Chinese restaurant that was beloved in the community. Later in life, he worked alternately as a chef, baker, and gardening advisor.
He was a resident of Millbrae California for 45 years. There he and his wife raised two children, one who went on to become an environmental planner and the other a university professor. He was immensely proud of them. Peter showed his love through food. Gatherings with family and friends over the years always included a table full of his dishes together with retellings of stories about the old country and his escapades in the navy patrolling the Taiwan Strait. In retirement, he read widely, traveled, and pursued his love of gardening. Neighbors often stopped at his house to admire his roses. He treasured summers and holidays spent with his granddaughters passing on his culinary and gardening skills to the next generation.
He was predeceased by his parents and his sister, Wei-en Huo. His spirit lives on through his devoted wife of 54 years Shue Fen Huo, son Lee Chien Huo, daughter Yuen Huo, son-in-law Brian Foley, granddaughters Mia and Julia Foley Huo, sisters Helen (Larry) Ting and Margaret (Andrew) Huang, brothers Robert (Anne) Huo and Donald T.C. (Candy) Huo, and many nieces and nephews. Peter Huo began his life on one side of the Pacific Ocean and completed his journey on the other side. As was his wish, his family will immerse his ashes into this vast body of water. When they look upon the ocean, they will be comforted by memories of his love and devotion. If you wish to make a memorial donation, the family suggests the San Francisco Bay Trail Project: https://baytrail.org/donate/.