January 24, 1930 – May 21, 2019
Dr. Kai Hip Eng, 89, died peacefully on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend. He will always be remembered as a humble, kind and hardworking man who put family first.
Kai was born on January 24, 1930, in Toisan, China. Kai lived a winding, colorful journey full of life’s challenges and accomplishments. At the tender age of 10, Kai came to the United States with his father. His first stop was in New York City starting in Harlem, then Brooklyn and finally Seattle all by the young age of 17. While in Seattle, his family owned a laundry business on 3rd Avenue and Pine Street.
Kai attended Garfield High School and continued on to the University of Washington for his freshman year of college. In order to save money for college, Kai transferred to Seattle University to accommodate his work schedule. To pay for his undergraduate schooling, Kai held three jobs. He was a riveter at Boeing, a bartender at the Flying Tiger Restaurant and a bus driver for the Seattle Chinese School.
Kai pursued a career in dentistry after taking his friend to a dentist, who suggested the idea. He attended the University of Oregon Dental School from 1953 to 1957. In 1955, Kai married Nina L Huie, the love of his life. After graduating from dental school, Kai and Nina moved to Seattle, where Kai started his dental practice in the Wedgewood neighborhood of Seattle. His son, Duane, currently runs the practice. Kai and Nina started a family in Seattle and eventually built a house on Mercer Island in 1967. There they raised their son, Duane, and daughter, Diane. For the last six years, they enjoyed living among the community at Aljoya Mercer Island. Kai loved spending time with family, traveling, gardening and watching all kinds of sporting events. He not only became a successful dentist, but he also enjoyed the fruits of his labor. Kai got to see his four grandchildren mature into responsible young adults along the way. Despite life’s many challenges, Kai managed to get ahead in life, giving his family an opportunity for a better life. Kai rarely spoke about how hard he worked or the struggles along the way to his success. He lived a humble lifestyle and truly resembled the American Dream.
Kai is survived by his wife of 63 years, Nina Lynn Eng; his son, Duane Eng and his wife, Christine Kim; his daughter, Diane Salisbury and her husband, Jess Salisbury; his grandchildren, Derek Eng, Lauren Eng Weber, Brendan Weber, Jack Salisbury and Sarah Salisbury; and close friends. He will be dearly missed by many family and friends.
A Celebration of Kai’s Life will be held on Saturday, June 15 at 4:00 pm, with viewing and visitation from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, at Sunset Hills Memorial Park and Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, please kindly make donations in Kai’s honor to the Kin On Nursing Home in Seattle.