'A Celebration of an Amazing Person': San Francisco Powerhouse Rose Pak's Wake Draws Hundreds - NBC Bay Area
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'A Celebration of an Amazing Person': San Francisco Powerhouse Rose Pak's Wake Draws Hundreds

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    A Chinatown icon was fondly remembered Friday night by San Francisco residents and elected leaders. Rick Boone reports. (Published Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016)

    A Chinatown icon was fondly remembered Friday night by San Francisco residents and elected leaders.

    Rose Pak, who never held political office, was known for being a powerhouse, who never held back her opinions.

    "She was a lot more than anyone can ever be able to express," said former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown.

    Hundreds flocked to a wake at the Green Street Mortuary in North Beach Friday to say thanks to Mama Rose, as she was called.

    Pak, 68, died Sunday of natural causes following a kidney transplant.

    "It was a very sad night but it was a celebration of an amazing person," said city Supervisor David Campos.

    Many neighbors say she built political careers and brought citywide growth after moving from China to the Bay Area in the 1960s.

    "She had the biggest thorn than anyone would know. All the politicians they were scared of her in some way," Rev. Norman Fong of the Chinatown CDC said.

    Pak is applauded for a long list of accomplishments, including helping to develop the Central Subway which will connect to Chinatown in three years.

    Now that Pak is gone, there's a push to grow new community leadership, but those in Chinatown believe that Pak is irreplaceable.

    "No words can match what she meant to me and what I think she meant to the city," says Willie Brown.

    Pak's funeral is scheduled at 10 a.m. Saturday at Old Saint Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco.

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