‘Dave’ Cho-Wei Yen was born October 10, 1970 in Taiwan. His family moved to the US when he was a young boy. The family then moved from New Orleans to Springfield to Joplin where Dave began building a legacy of great food, outstanding customer service and most importantly, friendship and community.
During his school years he acquired many honors, medals and accolades. He graduated from Joplin High School where he was adored by students and faculty alike. Growing up, when he was not working, you could often find him tinkering on his latest car projects, cruising the old iconic Main Street, organizing bonfires and other fun shenanigans to bring together his magnitude of friends and hanging out with his “brothers” (with whom he remained close until his passing).
Throughout his life, Dave could often be found at one of the many Joplin and Springfield area restaurants that he was associated with. He was known to go above and beyond, ensuring that you always had a great experience at any of his or his family’s establishments. Many customers became friends, Dave considered those friends extended family. This extended family was vast.
In his most recent years, he enjoyed dining out-especially at places owned locally as he liked to support his fellow entrepreneurs, shopping although he usually was buying gifts for others, going to the lake and traveling (most often with his “brothers from another mother”) and hanging out with his friends. He loved to share stories of his larger than life experiences and enjoyed talking about his family and did so with great pride and admiration. He simply enjoyed the people around him and the feeling was always mutual. Dave was the epitome of what a friend should be, he would drop everything to help a friend in need. He always offered a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, a big bear hug, a gentle hand to wipe a tear and simple, yet profound words of encouragement. Although his stature commanded respect, it was superfluous and contradictory to his demeanor. He was often teased by his aforementioned brothers, dubbing him the Big Asian Teddy Bear. A name of which Dave would be secretly proud.
The vast respect for Dave by his peers was earned and warranted by his strong work ethic, his generous heart, his fiercely protective nature, his nurturing spirit and his desire for everyone to simply “be happy”. You rarely saw Dave without a smile and if he saw you without one, he would immediately remedy that.
Dave is survived by his mother Li Chen, sister Jennifer, numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and a number of friends and their children who wholeheartedly loved their dedicated, attentive Uncle Dave.
Dave has always been and will always be remembered and treasured in our family and community. We can honor Dave by living with good intentions for everyone around us and simply living by his motto “I just want everyone to be happy!”
Dave loved his family and his friends irrevocably with no limits, no judgement and when you expressed gratitude for his friendship he would say, “We are family.. family for LIFE!”, little did he know that the example and standards he set for friendship and love would transcend all bounds of his earthly life.