Tributes to "hardworking and dedicated" Preston takeaway boss who died on family reunion

Thomas with wife Karen
Thomas with wife Karen
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Tributes have been paid to a well-known former takeaway owner, who has died on holiday with his family.

Thomas Wah Yam Pang, who ran Sui Wah in Floyd Road, Ribbleton, for 20 years, and New Sui Wah in Hesketh Bank until three years ago, died aged 67 after contracting pneumonia just days into a planned five-week return trip to his birthplace in Hong Kong with wife Karen.

They had planned to reunite with both sets of their siblings they had not seen for several years. But Thomas failed to make a recovery from his illness and died in hospital on November 29.

Daughters Mandy and Melissa flew out to be with their mum, and together they travelled back to the UK with Thomas’ remains ahead of a funeral in Preston.

Daughter Sarah Ali, 37, said: “Dad was very dedicated, he had a huge work ethic - often working six days a week while still being there for his family.”

Away from work, he supported Preston North End and played at Fulwood Golf Club.

Sarah added: “Everyone knew the takeaway. Quite often he’d have people come up to him in the street to say hello.

“Quite a few people said he was a man of few words, who spoke only when he needed to, but he also loved karaoke, doing the likes of Elton John and Rick Astley. He also loved spending time with his grandchildren, especially at the swings in Moor Park.”

Thomas followed his father to England aged 15 in 1967 and moved around the country, working in various restaurants, before finally settling in Preston in 1986 with his family.

His funeral will be held at Preston Crematorium on January 20 at 12.15pm.

He leaves wife Karen (Sui Ping), three daughters, son-in-law Ayaz, and two grandaughters, Maariyah and Madinah.

A Go Fund Me Page in Thomas' memory has been set up by family friend Sabina Holden Appiah. Visit by clicking here