The Toms

Hung Chee and Peggy Tom now live in Huntsville, Alabama. Hung Chee is Apo’s older sister Yen Lun Tom’s third son. Hung Chee came to Huntsville from Birmingham in 1960 and Peggy moved down from New York City to marry him in 1964.

Going even farther back, Hung Chee was a classmate of Dad’s Uncle George at Kalakaua Intermediate and Farrington High until he transferred to Mid-Pac. Peggy (Kainuma) is a Nisei (second-generation Japanese-American) from Haiku, Maui.

Peggy was a friend of Sonny and Muriel when she worked in New York City in the early 1960s. Little did she know that she would end up marrying Sonny’s second cousin!

Hung Chee wrote to my Dad and said that they have gone over the Website at least three times and each time they find something new. The story about Raimi Ishikawa and Jacie Hamai finding out that they were related through Grandma and Grandpa reminded him of how he and Sonny found out that they were related.

Hung Chee met Sonny at a gathering of Peggy’s friends. Sonny started to tell Hung Chee of his mother’s aunt whose name was also Tom. “As he described her and where she lived, it sounded like my mother,” recalls Hung Chee, “which is how we realized that we were related. Before that, I had not seen him since he was a boy.”

Hung Chee worked for NASA and the Army Missile Command until he retired in 1982. They visited Hawaii in August 2001 to visit their sisters and brothers and to attend Peggy’s 60th reunion at Maui High School.

Hung Chee at computer

Hung Chee at his computer. Fortunately, in this Internet age, he and Peggy have been able to keep in touch with Sonny and Muriel all these years.

Muriel told them about this family Website and also made it possible to get in touch with us.

Hung Chee had never seen the picture of his mother with Apo and their siblings on the previous page although, he says the Chinese outfit she is wearing in the picture appears to be one that she wore for her wedding portraits.

They also enjoyed the pictures of Timmy (Stanley Loo) and Willa, since Timmy and Aunty Ah Chin once visited them in Huntsville on their way to a medical conference in Washington, D.C.

Hung Chee has written to his brother and two of his nieces about this Website so, hopefully, more and more of our family will be able to enjoy our common bond and share in what we’re all doing and where we are.


Peggy with Community Watch.

Peggy on walking trail

Peggy on walking trail at the Wellness Center, Redstone Arsenal.

Hung Chee on walking trail

Hung Chee on walking trail. He wrote that he was surprised to learn that Ken Kashiwahara was my Dad’s cousin. He enjoyed reading the article about him (click on the “Sakamoto” button at left, then “Kashiwahara” at the top), since he thought a lot of Ken as a reporter.

In June, 2002, Hung Chee wrote that in May they went to Holland, Michigan, to see the Tulip Festival, Mackinac Island, Henry Ford Museum and the Air Force Museum near Dayton, Ohio.

“The tour actually started from Knoxville, Tennessee. The Knoxville Tour Co. serves an area about 200 mile radius from Knoxville. Our first stop was near Dearborn where we visited the Henry Ford Museum and Greenville Village next door. Then we went to Grand Rapids to visit the Gerald Ford Museum. It was rainy and colder than expected.

Fortunately, when we went to Holland the weather was clear and warmer. The tulips were in bloom and, of course, the women folks loved it. We also enjoyed seeing about 300 kids in Dutch costumes and wood shoes dancing in the streets. We also got to see the Osmond Brothers perform.

Then off to the top of the Lower Peninsula to Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island where we had a huge buffet lunch — I must have put on a few pounds especially since it was the second big buffet dinner in 2 days. Peggy and I pigged out on the seafood.

On the way south we stopped at Lansing for a look-around and then to Dayton, Ohio, to visit the Air Force Museum. To me that was the best part of the trip since during 6 years in the old Army Air Force and the new Air Force I worked on many of the planes we saw. After the better part of a day there I still did not see all that was to see. Maybe we’ll drive up there someday, about 400 miles.”

Way Out of Line Dancers

As you can see, they stay very active and healthy and enjoy such activities as line dancing with a group at the Senior Center called the “Way Out of Line Dancers.” Below, Hung Chee poses with a familiar character during a December 2003 line-dancing performance by their group at a Target store.

Hung Chee & Santa

In August, 2002, Hung Chee wrote, “My brother, Hung Kee, is visiting us for a couple of weeks before he goes to Maryland to see his daughter and then to Connecticut to see his son. He told me that our cousin, your uncle, George Au has passed away. I am really sorry to hear that expecially since, in their family, he was the closest to me.” …

… “We drove Hung Kee to Nashville last weekend to see the Grand Ole Opry and attend a show. Nashville is straight north 100 miles and 2 hours away. He enjoys Country Music. I like listening to that kind of music on tapes or CDs, but not going to a theater performance. You get blasted out of your seat and get your ear drums split as all the speakers are up full volume, it seems.”

In December 2002, Hung Chee wrote, “My brother, Hung Kee, visited us in September for a couple of weeks while on his way to visit his son in Connecticut and daughter in Maryland. He comes by every couple of years. On his way home he stopped in Las Vegas, like many Hawaiians, to help the Nevada economy.

Our son, Richard, came home for a week for Thanksgiving from Vermont. Again, as in the last two years, he will spend three months on the Big Island with a bicycle tour company conducting and supervising tours. While there he will get to see his aunts, uncles and cousins on Oahu.

In October we took a bus and train tour to Copper Canyon in the Sierra Madres mountains of northern Mexico. The Copper Canyon system is supposed to be deeper and greater in area than the Grand Canyon system. I especially enjoyed the train ride.

At Copper Canyon

Attaching a picture of Peggy and me taken at a hotel at the Canyon. We were having a fun night — maybe one too many margaritas?”