Obituary of Dr. Samuel D.J. Yeh
February 15, 2022
Samuel D. J. Yeh, 95, died on Tuesday, February 15, 2022, at his home. Born in Kunming, Yunnan, China to a devout Christian family, he was the eldest of fourteen children. His father, Yeh Chong Ji, was the secretary of the YMCA and principal of the YMCA schools in Kunming. His mother, Rui Wan Zhen was a kindergarten teacher.
After graduating from the National Defense Medical Center in Shanghai, China in 1948, he became a Chief Resident in Taipei, Taiwan. Seeking greater educational opportunities, he applied to study in the United States, eventually earning a doctorate in biochemistry from the School of Public Health at the Johns Hopkins University in 1960.
Following a ten year courtship, he married Marion Huang in 1959 in Baltimore. They moved to New York in 1963 where he began his longterm career at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Until his retirement in 2007, he was a physician in Nuclear Medicine, Endocrinology and Clinical Medicine at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center as well as an Associate Professor of Medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell University.
He was also one of the three cofounding physicians at the Chinatown Health Clinic where he served as a volunteer physician for thirty eight years and later, on its board and foundation. A strong believer in community, he served as President of the Chinese American Medical Society, the Chinese American Society of Nuclear Medicine, the National Defense Medical Center Alumni Association and as Secretary of the US China Medical Exchange Committee, China Institute. For almost sixty years, he was a devoted parishioner at the Church of the Epiphany where he served in the Vestry.
He was the recipient of numerous lifetime achievement awards in addition to the Servant Healing Award from the New York Episcopal Diocese (2000); the Berson and Yalow Award from the Society of Nuclear Medicine, New York chapter (2002); and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the John Hopkins University Alumni Association (2016).
A life long learner, even in retirement, he continued to take notes on the latest research in nuclear medicine and cancer research and was a daily reader of the Bible and morning devotions, the New York Times and various Chinese daily newspapers and periodicals. A resident of Morningside Gardens, Building 5 for seventeen years, he was an enthusiastic student in Spanish class (hoping to add to Chinese, English, German, French and Russian language acquisition) and a member of the Men's Club. Of paramount importance to him were the college educations of his three grandchildren.
He is survived by his beloved wife of sixty two years, Marion Huang Yeh, his daughters Vivan Wen-Han Yeh of Doylestown, PA and Phoebe Wen-Chan Yeh of New York City; son-in-laws, Brendan Greer of Doylestown, PA and Richard Manzi of New York City; three grandchildren, Sam Yeh Manzi, Aidan Li Ping Greer and Nora Li Dan Greer.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 23, 2022 (his birthday) at 2 PM at the Church of the Epiphany, 1393 York Ave at East 74th Street, New York City.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Chinatown Health Clinic Foundation, New York City; the Church of the Epiphany, New York City or the organization of your choice.
April 23, 2022
Church of the Epiphany
1393 York Avenue (at E. 74th Street)
New York, NY 10021Get Directions
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Dear Marion, Vivian and Phoebe and your families:
I was so sad to see that Dr. Yeh passed. I still remember the most recent time I saw Marion and Dr. Yeh waiting for the bus to take to the Health Clinic dinner (he came to all the events). Instead of continuing to wait, he decided to walk with me.
He always came to events that I sponsored at my firm; he told me "We want to show our support." He was always so cheerful and full of encouragement. Recognizing that I went to Stuy with Vivian and Pheobe, he would fill me in on your lives whenever he saw me.
I'm really going to miss him. He was a great man and a great friend. Please be well and take good care of Marion!
With great affection,
Kenny & Lisa Chin
Posted by: Kenny & Lisa Chin - NEW YORK, NY - February 21, 2022
I will always remember Dr Yeh, a wonderful man and a great teacher, I was a young student when I started at MSKCC and when I met Dr. Yeh I was surprised by his simplicity and natural empathy with me. I had an immediate feeling with this great person and every time that I go back to NYC I remember the wonderful time spent with him and a memorable dinner that we had at Chinatown. He was for me great a mentor and I am honoured to have met him. Thank you Dr Yeh.
Posted by: Massimo Imbriaco - Napoli, Italy - Student November 11, 2023