Ming Yee Chen, beloved teacher and long-time resident of Beltsville, Maryland passed away peacefully on May 17, 2021 at age 86. Mrs. Chen, as her former students still fondly called her, touched the hearts and minds of generations of community members as a second and third grade teacher in Beltsville for 24 years. Ming Yee Chen radiated positive energy to everyone around her, she loved to laugh, and she had a gift for encouraging and making others happy. We remember her small presents and notes decorated with her trademark sm... more
Ms. Teresa Chen Ming Yee Wang was born in Shanghai, China in 1935 and experienced a childhood directly affected by this difficult and turbulent period of Chinese history. Her father, a senator in the Nationalist government headed by Chiang Kai-Shek moved the family to southern China to avoid the Japanese occupation during World War II.
Ms. Teresa Chen On the Eve of the Communist Revolution, the entire Wang Family moves to Hong Kong.
Ms. Teresa Chen Life and Family in Hong Kong.
Ms. Teresa Chen Ming Yee Wang studies business economics at New Asia College and graduates in 1955.
Ms. Teresa Chen At the end of 1955, Ming Yee Wang has the chance to go to USA. She travels by boat from Hong Kong to Washington State via Hawaii.
Ms. Teresa Chen Ming Yee Wang receives a "Form of Affidavit in Lieu of a Passport."
Ms. Teresa Chen Ming Yee Wang lives in Tacoma and is a companion to Mrs. Pratt.
Ms. Teresa Chen Ming Yee Wang attends Pacific Lutheran University and graduates with a B.A. in Education in 1959.
Ms. Teresa Chen Ming Yee Wang becomes a U.S. Citizen.
Terra Chen Visiting the 1962 World's Fair in Seattle.
Ms. Teresa Chen Ming Yee Wang marries John Hou-Shi Chen.
Ms. Teresa Chen Birth of first daughter, Teresa Tien-Huei Chen.
Ms. Teresa Chen Ming Yee's mother and sister Grace come visit.
Terra Chen Birth of second daughter, Terra Tien-Ming Chen.
Ms. Teresa Chen Family photos in our house in Beltsville, Maryland in the late 1960s and 1970s.
Ms. Teresa Chen Mrs. Chen begins teaching in Beltsville at Chestnut Hills Elementary in 1968. She continues teaching there as Chestnut Hills becomes Beltsville Elementary and then later Beltsville Academic Center. She always emphasized positivity and instilled a joy and love of learning in all her students.
Terra Chen Wang family visits and trips in the 1970s.
Terra Chen Wang family weddings (nephew Stanley with Frieda and niece Jeannie with Tom) and other celebrations in the 1980s and 1990s.
Ms. Teresa Chen Mrs. Chen always integrated her Chinese heritage, customs, and language into the school curriculum. In this way, her students received a rich, cultural education and appreciation of the world that went further than any textbook. An extraordinarily generous teacher, her commitment, enthusiasm, and dedication reached far beyond the walls of her classroom.
Terra Chen Family trip to mainland China.
Terra Chen 25th Wedding Anniversary!
Ms. Teresa Chen Mrs. Chen's students often excelled and won awards for their accomplishments.
Ms. Teresa Chen When Mrs. Chen retires in 1992, more than 300 people in the Beltsville community show up to honor her. Her reputation was legendary. Certificates honoring Mrs. Chen’s teaching career were presented by various local and state government officials. Numerous tributes were given by families whose children had had the good fortune and privilege of having Mrs. Chen as their teacher.
Ms. Teresa Chen After Ming Yee and John retire, they take up ballroom dancing and discover polka dancing, a European, predominantly Polish and German traditional dance. Without children or work, they developed a passion for polka dancing and related social activities. They became regulars at Blobs Park in Jessup, Maryland, often dancing every Friday, Saturday and Sunday to a live polka band. They also travelled extensively throughout USA to various polka festivals. Due to John’s dancing skills and Ming Yee’s friendly and social nature, they became well-known in the polka dancing circuit and were often photographed for the monthly polka newspapers.
Ms. Teresa Chen Ming Yee and John enjoy travelling on cruise ships and take many different trips.
Terra Chen Wang family wedding (niece Ruth with Donald).
Ms. Teresa Chen Polka Event in Zurich, Switzerland celebrating the publication of the book "Polkamotion with Ma and Pa Chen." Ma & Pa Chen show off their dancing skills and then Ma Chen gives a polka dance lesson. Of course, Ma Chen was the hit! (See for yourself, watch the video.)
Ms. Teresa Chen 40th Wedding Anniversary!
Ms. Teresa Chen Birth of first grandchild, Kira Kai-Ling Chen Bertsch.
Ms. Teresa Chen Birth of first (and only!) grandson, Leo Kai-Wei Chen McClintock.
Ms. Teresa Chen Birth of twin granddaughters: Klea Kai-Ping Chen Bertsch and Kiana Kai-Ying Chen Bertsch.
Ms. Teresa Chen John Hou-Shi Chen passes away peacefully in his home. Ming Yee and John were married nearly 50 years.
Ms. Teresa Chen Ming Yee visits her big brother "Big Uncle" and an old family friend "Uncle Bob" in San Francisco.
Ms. Teresa Chen Singing in the Choir of Abiding Presence Lutheran Church and at Riderwood was a passion.
Ms. Teresa Chen 80th Birthday Celebration!
Ms. Teresa Chen Celebrating the birthday of special former student and close friend Lori at Riderwood. With Chip and Cathy.
Ms. Teresa Chen Teresa & Terra with all the grandkids visit Grandma for Easter.
Ms. Teresa Chen Ming Yee is visited by her sister Grace's family, including husband I-Chung, daughter Jeannie & husband Tom and grandsons, Zachary (& wife), and Eric. Jay, the grandchild of older brother "Big Uncle" is also there.
Ms. Teresa Chen 83rd Birthday Celebration with friends at Riderwood. Standing: Lori Campanella, Keisun Na, Darrel Neily, Pastor Na, Margaret Neily Seated: Ming Yee Chen, Bette Deller, Eileen Nolan, “Superman” Greg Nolan
Ms. Teresa Chen Teresa & family come visit Grandma.
Honey sesame candy, and Silent Night in Chinese for the Christmas pageant - she was the best! She made all of the students feel like stars, not just the naturally gifted ones. She truly made the world better by lifting everyone she came in contact with. God bless her!
When I think of Ming, I think of all the thoughtful gifts she would bestow just out of the blue, addressed in her beautiful handwriting. I will always be incredibly grateful for the care she and John gave my mother after Dad passed, taking her out to lunch at their favorite restaurant. She was so kind and energetic - we were blessed to have her ...
Melvin Whitehead Of all the educators I’ve had in my 24+ years of schooling, I credit Mrs. Chen with being the most transformational for me. After I had Mrs. Chen for 2nd grade at Beltsville Academic Center, my mom convinced the principal (Mr. Veater) to assign Mrs. Chen to teaching 3rd grade and to then put me in her class again the following year. That’s how powerful an impression she left on students and parents. I’m thankful I had her for two years in a row. I largely attribute my love for reading and writing to Mrs. Chen. I remember her assignments where we had to write stories based on a topic she assigned to us. I remember always rushing home— looking forward to writing my stories and drawing accompanying pictures in my black & white composition notebook. I remember looking forward to the characteristic smiley faces she would draw to commend me on my work. The photo here was taken after me and another student won second place in a state-wide competition for a story we wrote in Mrs. Chen’s class. Last year I completed my PhD and became a Dr. I am now an educator myself. I thought about Mrs. Chen a lot during my PhD process and thanked her in my dissertation acknowledgments. Here is what I wrote: “Thank you for instilling within me and nurturing a love for learning, reading, and writing. I wrote my first stories in your classes and it was then that I felt the power of the written word in opening up new worlds and new ways of understanding. You encouraged creativity in your classroom and I remember looking forward to getting home from school to write a story about a topic you assigned us. Learning should always be exciting and that is exactly what I took away from your classes. You also introduced me to journaling—a practice that contributed much to this dissertation work. Thank you for being among the most phenomenal educators I have ever known. I continue to take your spirit with me into each new learning endeavor.”