SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – A visionary. That’s how long time restaurateur Andy Yee is being remembered by the Western Massachusetts community.
Those who knew him closely say he was a loving father and husband.
“He was such a family man,” said Emily Cruz, a close friend of Yee’s daughter, and of the Yee family. “He was always there for them, no matter what. He would do anything for them. He will be dearly missed a lot.”
A wake was held for Yee at the Beers and Story Funeral Home in South Hadley where his loved ones gathered to pay their respects. Friends of the Yee Family told 22News that they will remember Yee as a kind and compassionate person.
“Andy was just the sweetest guy,” said James Mazzaferro, a friend of Yee’s. “Big heart, always wanted to help, and he just helped a lot of people, and he was a great person.”
Yee passed away at the age of 59-years-old. The son of Johnny Yee, founder of the Hu-Ke-Lau, Andy had a long career in the local restaurant industry. Among his career achievements, he partnered with Peter Picknelly of Peter Pan Bus Lines to reopen the iconic Student Prince/The Fort restaurant in downtown Springfield. Yee also helped revive the White Hut in West Springfield.
As friends and family prepare to say goodbye, they’ll remember the great legacy Yee left behind.
“I think most people know Andy,” said Lynn Baker, a childhood friend of Yee. “And everyone has fond memories of him. Everybody loved Andy because Andy loved everyone.”
A funeral mass for Yee will be held Thursday morning and will also be streamed by the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Sister Caritas Cancer Center in Springfield, or the Andy Yee Memorial Scholarship fund.