Memories of Sweet Caroline,
and of Oakland’s Chinatown
by Ben Fong-Torres
Caroline Chin was a neighbor and classmate of mine when we grew up in Chinatown, Oakland, in the ‘50s. We went to Lincoln Elementary, Westlake Jr High, and Chinese school together.
She went on to become a teacher, an administrator and, finally, principal at (full circle) Lincoln School, in the early 2000’s, just before retiring. Under her leadership, it became a California Distinguished School, and would go on to become a National Blue Ribbon School. At her various stops, she encouraged kids and teachers alike to "work hard; learn a lot."
A large, overflow crowd--maybe 750 or 800--learned a lot about Caroline Chin Yee, who passed away last month, at her services at the First Presbyterian Church in Berkeley.
Caroline had what appeared to have been a full and perfectly balanced life. She and her husband since 1968, Gary Yee, were devoted to their church – and to traveling the world. She even combined globetrotting with teaching, once in Zhongshan; another time, in Edinburgh, Scotland. She had wonderful siblings, two children, grandkids and in-laws. One niece, Terri Lee, introduced herself as “the oldest of her nieces. So I’m guessing I was her favorite.”
She and others, family and friends, told of Caroline’s dedication to them, and to children in general, and to the wider community.
Caroline passed away on February 21; her memorial was...