Mae Chan was a founding member of the Chinese Women’s Golf Club here in Sacramento and a fixture at our city courses for nearly 70 years.
March 5, 1924 – September 15, 2023
Sacramento, California – Mae Chan, beloved wife, mother and grandmother passed away on September 15, 2023.
Born on March 5, 1924, in Menlo Park, California to immigrant parents from Guangdong, China, Mae (May Su) was sixth of eight children (Wing, Kin, John, Sue, Lai, Yeng & Robert). Her father was a cook for the President of Stanford University and her mother worked in the nearby canneries and flower farms. Mae graduated from Sequoia High School in Redwood City, attended secretarial school and worked in San Francisco as a secretary. In 1947, she married Tom Chan, whose family owned General Produce Company, and moved to Sacramento to start her own family.
Mae was a devoted wife and mother. In addition to her busy life supporting her husband and raising four children, Mae was a single digit handicap golfer. In 1948, Mae took her first golf lesson. She excelled and discovered her passion, often squeezing in practice by chipping balls in the backyard or putting in the living room while cooking and taking care of kids and home.
In the early 50’s Mae was a founding member of the Chinese Women’s Golf Club, then joined the Pacific Women’s Golf Association (previously inaccessible to Chinese). Over the years, Mae won numerous city and statewide tournaments with the Chinese Golf Club, and at Bing Maloney and Haggin Oaks golf courses. Many of her achievements were written up in sports pages of the Sacramento Bee and Sacramento Union. The highlight of her golf career was playing in the California State Women’s Amateur Championship at Pebble Beach in 1974.
In the mid 80’s Mae and Tom began vacationing in Maui at their family condo. After Tom’s passing in 1998, Mae continued to visit Maui, often with her eldest daughter Mimi. She kept up her golf game and athleticism. At age 72, Mae began fitness training and continued working out weekly until age 98. Her guiding philosophy was, “I can do anything if I put my mind to it.”
Mae was gracious, kind and loving. She had a strong will and competitive spirit, and always maintained a sense of humor. Most of all, she loved her family.
Memories of Mae and her spirit will live forever in our hearts. She is survived by her four children (Mimi, Marcia, Tom & Adrienne), four grandchildren (Blake, Alexandra, Nicole & Olivia), brother Robert Chuck and many nieces and nephews.
There will be a private internment. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Maui Strong Fund: https://www.hawaiicommunityfoundation.org/strengthening/maui-strong-fund
Published by The Sacramento Bee on Oct. 1, 2023.
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