Paul Louie (September 10, 1918 - October 18, 2009)
Was born and raised in Seattle, WA, one of 11 children of a pioneering Chinese American family. Home was at 4 Canton Alley, a part of the historic Kong Yick Building, now the home of Wing Luke Museum; where he grew up is now part of the Museum's theater.
After high school, Paul received a scholarship to attend the American Baptist affiliated Linfield College in Oregon. From there he went on to earn a Science of Theology Master's degree from Harvard University Divinity School in 1945.
Paul arrived in San Francisco in 1947 to work at the Chinese YMCA as Young Adults Program Director. From 1950 to 1955, although ordained by the American Baptist church, Paul became the minister of the Chinese Presbyterian Church in Oakland's Chinatown.
In those days Chinese American ministers often switched denominations because of the limited number of Chinese churches in any one denomination. Opportunity to serve in a Caucasian church came in the late 1950s.
For the next 15 years, Paul was the Minister of Christian Education in several Presbyterian mainstream churches in northern and southern California. From 1971, until retiring in 1986, he was a consultant on the staff of the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission.
These were the years of doing work he loved best: helping people to organize for the good of a
Paul had a lifelong love of helping others. While still in Divinity School, he and a few friends founded the Silver Bay Chinese Christian Youth Conference to address particular concerns, such as self-identity and racism. The conferences,
existing from 1943 to 1960, attracted young people from mainly East Coast and Midwestern states. Paul's interest in social concerns led him to form a Public Affairs Committee at the Chinese YMCA; former members still hold annual lunch
In Los Angeles, Paul was one of the three founders of the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California, formed in 1975. He was involved when the Chinatown Service Center, Chinatown Teen Post, and Chinatown Branch Library were established. He organized help for
newly arrived Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees, and for the Armenian community in Glendale troubled by ethnic conflicts in the public schools. He was an advisor for the founding of the Asian Pacific Family Center in Rosemead. He helped organize the Asian Presbyterian Caucus,
recognizing the dramatic growth in the Asian Pacific American population and increase in the number of new ethnic churches.
In his spare time, Paul worked on his family tree, listing 5 generations of descendants of his father, Louie Loy, who came to America in 1882. As a tribute to his parents, he wrote a book about his father titled My Father's Rice Bowl and established the Louie Loy and
Leong Shee Scholarship Fund at San Francisco State University. Remembering how he was helped to obtain a college education, the fund is aimed at helping children of needy immigrants to obtain a college education.
Paul leaves behind his family that includes his wife, Emma; sons Steve (Mary), David (Johanna), Alan (Annamarie) and daughter Lisa; 9 grandchildren: Joelle (Ryan), Brian, Ryan, Jenna, Scott, Joshua, Michelle, Daniel, and Marissa. He leaves behind his sister, Marjorie Watt,
and younger brother, James Louie, and numerous nephews, nieces, grand and great-grand nephews and nieces.
The Memorial Luncheon Celebrating the Life of
January 9, 2010 • Los Angeles
Munson Kwok Stephen Louie
Ruby Ling Louie
Grace by Rev. Franklin Woo
Marshall Wong, Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission
Gilbert Hom, Chinese Historical Society of Southern California
Gladys Lee Platt, Founding Director of the Asian Pacific Family Center
Mary Wong, Chinatown Teen Post
Susan Totaro, Community Redevelopment Agency
Rev. Franklin Woo, Presbyterian Church