Fay June (Jones) Eng, 97, passed peacefully on January 10, 2023. Born June 13, 1925, in Bangor, ME, she was the only daughter of Chinese immigrants Dong (Huang) Jack June (aka Wong Jack Jones) and Chin Ngan-Gee’s six children. She graduated from the University of Maine. In 1947, Fay married Gin Shiang Eng and moved to Jacksonville, FL. The following year they settled in Gainesville, FL, and opened the Canton Restaurant on University Avenue, which remained a mainstay in the city’s restaurant scene until their retirement in 1980.
Fay greeted each day with a big smile and a happy heart. She was a caring and giving woman with a strong spirit, playful sense of humor, and warm smile. Food and baking were central to her life, as she was inventive in the kitchen and enjoyed sharing her techniques and recipes with family members and others through cooking demonstrations. She knew customers at the Canton by what they ate and prepared unique treats, including special cupcakes every Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Fay was a go-getter, even in retirement. She volunteered at the public library, the Florida Museum of Natural History, and the Supervisor of Elections Office where she was known for her egg rolls, banana cake, fudge, gingerbread boys—and a jar of almond cookies for voters on election days. The yard at her house on University Avenue was also a source of pride for Fay. She gladly shared her Chinese fruits and vegetables, as well as packaged seeds and potted seedlings from her flowering Tabebuia (Trumpet) tree for anyone who asked or stopped to admire its beautiful yellow blooms. She also enjoyed calligraphy, knitting sweaters, and jigsaw puzzles. In recent years, Fay added “Be good” to her goodbyes. So it is with admiration, thanks, and love that we say, “Goodbye, be good,” to one so special and dear to our hearts.
Fay was preceded in death by her parents, husband, and brothers (Huang) Raymond, Donald, and Wade. She is survived by her brothers Edmund and Almond of Orlando, FL; her daughters, Sharlan L. Eng-Wilmot (Larry) of Winter Park, FL, and Fancy Gap, VA, and Robena S. Eng Cornwell (Gary) of Gainesville; her two grandchildren, Graham L. Eng-Wilmot (Michelle Dezember) of St. Louis, MO, and Kira Eng-Wilmot (Tom Pavlich) of Brooklyn, NY; and nieces, nephews, and grand-nieces and nephews of FL, CA, and NY.
The family especially thanks Fay’s doctors, Julie Zhu and Cynthia Preston, for their great care and compassion. A very special thanks to our friends Chris and Katie, who have been with us for every operation, question, move, and change.
Fay requested no service. In her memory please consider donations to the Florida Camp for Children and Youth with Diabetes, Inc. (Florida Diabetes Camp), PO Box 14136, Gainesville, FL 32604; or to Haven Hospice E.T. York Care Center, 4200 NW 90 Blvd, Gainesville, FL 32606-3809.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Forest Meadows Funeral Home 725 NW 23rd Avenue Gainesville, Florida 32609