Lien was born in Long Xuyen, Vietnam to Hoan Van Tong and Hue Thi Nguyen on May 1, 1948. She graduated in 1967 from Thoai Ngoc Hau high school in Long Xuyen. She escaped Vietnam with her sisters following the war and arrived in the U.S. in 1975. In 1976, she and her sisters opened Gainesville’s first ever Vietnamese restaurant, Inn of the White Lotus, to help the sisters get through college. She earned a B.S. in Computer Engineering from the University of Florida in 1984 and started a career as a Computer/I.T. Analyst for the Gainesville Sun and the UF’s Infirmary. She retired from UF in 2015.
Her passions included cooking Vietnamese cuisine and helping to develop the Vietnamese community in Gainesville. Lien was part of a team that created and taught UF’s first Vietnamese language course. She also spearheaded the annual Pho Fundraiser in support of UF’s Vietnamese Student Organization for over 30 years. In her last few years, Lien’s final legacy would be to help establish the Amitabha Buddhist Association, a Buddhist temple in Gainesville.
She was preceded in death by her mother Hue Thi Nguyen (1957), her father Hoan Van Tong (1995) and her stepmother Huong Tho Ngo (2004).
Lien is survived by her husband Dr. Anh Hoang Duong, son Long Hoang Duong (Isabel), of Gainesville, daughter Huong Duong (Vince) of Marina CA, sisters Thuy Tong Carroll (Edward), Lan Tong Barlow (Donald) of Gainesville, Am NgocNguyen (Hoang) of High Springs, Duyen My Tong (Thanh) ofAustin, TX, Oanh Hoang Nguyen (Sieu) of Santa Ana, CA, brother Liem Hieu Tong of Gainesville, and three grandchildren, Andre Vincent (15), Belen Thanh (9) and Paz Maria Lien (5).
Funeral service will be held on April 14, 2021 from 9:00am to 1:00pm at Forest Meadows Funeral Home, 725 NW 23rd Ave, Gainesville, FL. Burial will immediately follow at Forest Meadows Cemetery at 3700 SE Hawthorne Rd, Gainesville, FL.
In lieu of flowers, collected donations will be forwarded to not-for-profits that she favored. Condolences may be left in Bach Lien Tong Duong’s guestbook www.forestmeadowsfh.com
Arrangements are under the care of Forest Meadows FuneralHome, 725 NW 23rd Ave, Gainesville, Fl. 32609 352-378-2528.