Tai Hiep Hong, 62, of Lakeland, Florida passed away on Sept 12, 2019. Tai was born on March 21,1957 in Cholon Vietnam. His parents immigrated from China to Vietnam before he was born.
His childhood consisted of war and poverty, but he held inside his heart the hope and desire for a better life. He was one of the boat people who fled Vietnam with his siblings in 1978. Robbed by pirates and stranded at sea, enduring fierce storms in Thailand. They were rescued and taken to a refugee camp in Malaysia, where they spent 8 months in harsh conditions before being relocated to St. Petersburg, Florida. There he obtained a job, married and had children and grandchildren. Tai loved living in America and truly considered it a blessing to be here. He arranged for his parents and remaining siblings to come to the USA. He obtained his citizenship in 2007. He was self-employed as a bird toy manufacturer, traveling to Florida bird shows. He enjoyed working with his hands and building things out of wood, especially toys and furniture for his children and grandchildren. His favorite hobbies were watching wrestling, cooking, and spending time with his family. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and uncle. A loyal friend and a blessing to this world. He was very much loved and will be greatly missed.
He was preceded in death by his parents. Thuan Thai and Anh Hong. He is survived by wife, Cheryl (Rottger); daughter, Le Le (Caleb) Collins; son, Michael Tai; Grandchildren, Liam and Cian Collins. Sisters Muoi La, Tam Muoi, Julie, and Hoa. Brothers Duog, Duc and Tommy. Many nieces and nephews. Services will be held Friday, Sept, 20 at 2:00 pm at Lakeland Funeral Home and Memorial Gardens.
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