Chinatown Remembers the Legendary Helen Moy “Tomatoes”

February 10, 2020

Helen Moy, a significant figure in Chicago’s Chinatown passed away on February 6, 2020 at the age of 71. She was part of various civic organizations, including serving as President of the Chinese American Civic Council (CACC), the Chicago Chinese Women’s League, and the Girl Scouts. She played a big role in the community where she contributed in events such as the National Day and New Year parades, Chicago Marathon, and the Chinatown Reunion.

People have counted on her for a lot of community projects no matter how big it is. She never complained nor demanded any unnecessary attention. She was an epitome of a good community leader.

Her legacy is not of a mover and shaker, but that of the ultimate “girl next-door” with a highly-relatable and friendly personality. She ultimately acquired a legend status in Chinatown, dearly called by people with her nickname “Tomatoes”. She has brought people and organizations of diverse backgrounds ever closer together.

Moy was an aboveboard American Chinatown girl for having graduated from Haines School in Chinatown and attended Senn High in the Uptown area. She was able to testify before the School Board about that unique Chinatown experience of having to travel far for Secondary Education while she was advocating for a neighborhood high school.

For 34 years, Helen served as a Public School teacher in Chicago until her retirement right after she finished her education from the Northern Illinois University where she majored in education. She was well loved and respected by her students, parents and colleagues for being a passionate educator.

She understood Chinatown by heart. She loved it like no other and contributed to its vibrant culture. All of Chinatown loves her in return and now looks back at her beautiful, impactful life.

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Lakhi Siap
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