In Oak Park, for many years the Woo family operated the city's most popular Chinese restaurant, Hoa Kow. It was a place where many Oak Parkers, including members of the city's sizable immigrant population, were first exposed to Chinese food, with one of the favorite dishes being almond boneless chicken.
The family eventually sold the restaurant on 9 Mile Road, in the heart of the city's commercial district, and opened other restaurants in Southeast Michigan, where Victor Woo, worked as a chef. His parents, Gene and Ruby eventually retired and Woo soon planned to open his own restaurant, a friend told Deadline Detroit.
Last Thursday around 6:40 p.m., Woo, 54, of Novi, was killed after being hit by a motorist while crossing a busy road on West Huron Street near Johnson Street, in downtown Pontiac, reports The Oakland Press.
The driver — a 46-year-old West Bloomfield Township resident, said said Woo wasn’t visible in the road, the paper reports. The driver stayed on-scene and cooperated with sheriff’s deputies.
Woo, a father of two daughters, graduated from Oak Park High School in 1980.
"The whole Oak Park community was shocked and saddened to lose Victor," Wendy Adler Bass, a former Oak Parker, tells Deadline Detroit. "Prayers and strength go out to his family and all who loved him."
Friend Dennis Kearns says: "Victor was a talented guy who made everyone he met his friend."
May Denha, who went to high school with Woo, tells The Oakland Press that he was "just a joy, an optimist, and kind of like a magnet. Everyone gravitated towards him.”