George Yen, 101, engineer, member of Republic of China's assembly

May 02, 2006

George Yen, a retired engineer who served in the Republic of China's National Assembly for more than four decades, died of pneumonia April 23 at Mercy Medical Center. The Towson resident was 101.

Family members said he was born in Imperial China and counted the philosopher Confucius among his ancestors.

Mr. Yen graduated from what was then called Peiping University and earned a graduate engineering degree at the University of Ghent in Belgium.

A civil engineer, he oversaw transportation in 10 of 35 Chinese provinces before and during World War II. He was a founder and former president of the regional carrier Far East Airlines, according to the family and a friend.

Mr. Yen was elected in 1947 to the Republic of China's National Assembly, and held office for more than 40 years in the government that moved to Taiwan because of political change in mainland China.

After the old guard of the assembly stepped down, he moved to Maryland in 1991, obtained U.S. citizenship and voted in every election for which he was eligible, the family said.

His wife, Jun-Yu Yeh, an educator, died in 1997.

Services were held Saturday in Timonium.

Survivors include a son, Ben T. Yen of Allentown, Pa.; a daughter, B.Y. Wu of Towson; seven grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren. A daughter, B.Z. Yen, died in 1996. A son, Ben-Chie Yen, died in 2001.

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