Rio L. Shew, 93, of Watsonville, CA passed away peacefully at home on Sept. 11, 2017 in the company of her daughter.
Rio was born and raised in Shanghai, China. During World War II, she met George P. Wong, a US Army soldier from Watsonville, stationed in China. After marrying, they moved to Watsonville where Rio helped George with his real estate business. Later she worked for many years as a cannery worker for local apple processors. After George passed away in 1967, Rio married Elmer Shew, a butcher and grocer at Shew’s Market in Pajaro, in 1972.
Rio enjoyed playing mahjong with friends, tending to her orchids and begonias, and viewing the beauty of oceans, rivers and waterfalls. Rio was tiny but strong, being a two-time breast cancer survivor. She will be remembered for her positive outlook and sweet personality. She valued and stressed education, and was a proud and devoted mother and grandmother.
Rio is survived by her daughter Patricia Wong Hahn (Douglas), and grandson Adam Hahn. She was preceded in death by first husband George Wong in 1967 and by second husband Elmer Shew in 1996, as well as her siblings in China.
Her family would like to thank Dr. Marylou Romo-Gritewsky and Dr. Andrea Edwards for their compassionate healthcare over the years. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Rio’s favorite charities: Red Cross and The Salvation Army. These two agencies helped Rio during wartime in China.
A celebration of her life will be held on Friday Sept. 22 at 11:00 am at Mehl’s Colonial Chapel in Watsonville.