Cover photo for Mong Chun Gee "Helen"'s Obituary
Mong Chun Gee "Helen" Profile Photo
1934 Mong 2022

Mong Chun Gee "Helen"

July 19, 1934 — December 12, 2022

Davenport Crystal Lake

Mong Chun Gee “Helen” (nee Lee), age 88, passed away peacefully on Monday December 12, 2022 after a courageous battle with dementia for nearly 10 years. Helen was born on July 19, 1934 in Taishan, Guangdong Province of China. Helen was the youngest daughter to Yook Yor Yung and Shee Cheung Lee. Her father, Shee Cheung, gave her first name Mong, which means dream in Chinese and her middle name Chun which means truth,   after a dream of her before she was born. Mong Chun was Yook’s and Shee’s dream come true.

Helen was a dreamer as well yet lived her life in accordance to exceed all cultural, gender, and social expectations.  She moved to Hong Kong in her early twenties, learned Cantonese, and became a teacher of written and spoken Chinese, including Chinese script, to thousands of students for a decade.

Around 1962, Helen followed her only sister, Wai Kwan Yee, to the United States to pursue the promise of her own “American Dream” and a life of personal happiness and comfort.  After coming to Chicago, she met and married Hui Fong Gee in 1963.  From this new beginning, Helen and Hui would always lead their lives grounded in entrepreneurial spirit and healthy doses of hard work. They worked at Hui’s family business, Young Sing Restaurant in Chicago, and eventually opened their own first restaurant, Ah Fong, in Skokie. In 1975, Helen and Hui sold Ah Fong and moved to Fox River Grove to purchase property and start New China restaurant, eventually serving Fox River Grove residents and the McHenry County community for 48 years.

For the next four plus decades, Helen became a teacher to herself.  She learned how to speak and read English, pursued certifications in food safety, and earned a bartender’s license to lead the family and the business. Nothing stopped Helen from flourishing, not her choice to never drive a car nor being widowed in 1993. Helen was blessed with know-how and resourcefulness.  She learned Metra train schedules, CTA bus routes, and the local cab service.  Helen also had supportive, adoring friends who would transport her to important business meetings and would often join in her shopping and lunching outings.

Helen was a life-long learner and teacher and adored traveling.  Helen loved her family deeply with fierce loyalty and leadership. She was the happiest when we were together at the restaurant eating and celebrating special life events.  Helen’s proudest achievement is providing for her family and raising her wonderful caring two sons and one daughter by imparting traditional cultural values along with the importance of saving vs. spending, hard work, resiliency, loyalty, and community.

Helen is survived by her loving children, William (Xiao Lan “Sue”) Gee, Wilkin Gee, and Lisa (Matt) Synek; and treasured grandchildren, Clarissa (Tanner) Hamilton, Daniel Gee, Brandi Gee, Joseph Synek, and Owen Synek.

Preceded in death by her beloved husband of 59 years, Hui Fong Gee; parents Shee Cheung Lee and Yook Yor Yung; and sister, Wai Yee.

A visitation for Helen will be held on Sunday, December 18, 2022, from 4pm until 8pm at Davenport Family Funeral Home and Crematory, 419 E. Terra Cotta Ave. (Rte. 176), Crystal Lake, IL 60014. A second visitation will be held the following morning at the funeral home from 10am until the time of service at 11am. Burial to follow at Windridge Memorial Park in Cary, IL.

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Sunday, December 18, 2022

4:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Davenport Family Funeral Home and Crematory

419 East Terra Cotta Avenue, Crystal Lake, IL 60014

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Second Visitation

Monday, December 19, 2022

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Davenport Family Funeral Home and Crematory

419 East Terra Cotta Avenue, Crystal Lake, IL 60014

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Monday, December 19, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Davenport Family Funeral Home and Crematory

419 East Terra Cotta Avenue, Crystal Lake, IL 60014

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Burial

Monday, December 19, 2022

Starts at 12:00 pm (Central time)

Windridge Memorial Park, Cary

915 Crystal Lake Road, Cary, IL 60013

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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