Beloved wife, mother, grandmother and friend Mei Yun “Jeanie” Henry passed away Saturday, September 26, 2009, a day before her 70th birthday, at La Jolla Scripps Memorial Hospital following a short but brave battle with liver cancer.
The second of three children, Mei Yun Lee was born on September 27, 1939, in I’Lan, Taiwan, Republic of China, to Yan Tsao and Jin Tzao Lee. Surviving the Japanese occupation of her country during WWII, Mei Yun endured a difficult and impoverished childhood as Taiwan transitioned from Japanese to Chinese nationalist rule.
Despite only completing six years of primary school, she educated herself to learn to read, write and speak Mandarin Chinese fluently as her second language. In 1967, she met and married Sgt. Wesley Henry of the US Marine Corps and moved to the United States.
She then studied English as a third language and became fluent so that she could assimilate herself into her adopted country. After living in North Carolina, Michigan and Iwakuni, Japan, Wesley became stationed at Camp Pendleton in 1971.
The couple settled in Vista, where they raised three children. In 1986, the family moved to Fallbrook. Mei Yun opened the Bonsall Barber Shop in 1988.
With more than 20 years of cutting literally thousands of haircuts, many from loyal customers for years, Mei Yun, known to all of her customers as “Jeanie,” became an endearing and popular friend to all within the Bonsall community. She was most remembered for her infectious energy, lively conversations, unfailing graciousness and, of course, outstanding haircuts!
Mei Yun is survived by her husband of 42 years, Wesley; their three children, Robert and wife Barbara of El Cajon, Maria of Fallbrook and Maxine and husband Jose of Ridgecrest; and niece Christina (Wen Huei), husband Ben and their children, Eddie and Katy of Rowland Heights.
Mei Yun also leaves behind three grandchildren, Josephine, Travis and Carmela. Back in her native Taiwan, she is also survived by her 92-year-old father, Yan Tsao, two brothers and many loving aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews, in addition to her many friends there.
A memorial service will be held at Berry-Bell and Hall Mortuary at 333 North Vine Street in Fallbrook on Saturday, October 3, at 3 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to be made in her honor to the American Cancer Society or the San Diego Taiwanese American Cultural Association, 7838 Wilkerson Ct., San Diego, CA 92111.