June 6, 1925 July 21, 2018 It is with great sadness that the family of Yuan-Fu (Peter) Kuo, 93, of Roanoke, announces his peaceful passing on July 21, 2018. Yuan-Fu was born on June 6, 1925, in Honan, China. From a background of limited means, he struggled and surpassed many hardships to pursue an education from Taiwan Normal University. In 1961, he earned a Master's degree at Gallaudet University for the deaf in Washington, DC. Thereafter, he was blessed with this country's freedoms and opportunities, which allows those willing to work hard to better their lives. In 1966, he married Li-Tzu (Lily), and in 1972, he moved with his young family to Roanoke, Virginia. He established Pagoda Chinese Restaurant, pioneering Chinese food in the Valley. He was extremely proud of his self-made business with his wife as partner and being part of the Roanoke community. During retirement, Peter spent his time gardening, fixing cars, and watching his grandchildren develop. He is survived by his spouse of 52 years, Lily; his daughters, Ellen Kuo and Elsa (Ken) Malcolm; and two grandsons, Kai and Reed Malcolm. The family expresses sincere thanks to Heartland Hospice Care for their compassionate support, especially to Deborah Hart and Melissa Dooley. Condolences for the family may be left at Simpson Funeral Home and Crematory or by visiting www.simpsonfuneral.com. There will be no visitation or funeral service. Arrangements by Simpson Funeral Home & Crematory, 540-366-0707.


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My heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Kuo and family. I first met Peter in the early 1970’s after he moved his restaurant to Williamson Rd. Before that, I had only had takeout from his former location in downtown. He was so nice and so much fun! I ate there dozens and dozens of times. The food was ALWAYS great and the atmosphere was fun and welcoming. He was certainly an asset to Roanoke and he is missed. Thank you all for sharing him with us.

Paula Springer Wolfe

Peter, as I knew him, was such a nice man & the consummate restauranteur. My first date with my future husband was at the Pagoda in 1974. Peter made me feel so welcome, as he guided me through making menu selections. It was a lovely evening, and the food was great, but it was Peter’s attentiveness to customer care that made the difference. Prayers for the family.


I was sorry to learn of Peter's passing, before moving to Kentucky in 1986 my late wife, Jeanie, our daughter ,Dawn, and myself ate in his restaurant once a week, We were friends with him and Lily for many years. Peter always treated his customers like family. His story of leaving China forever on a one hour window of opportunity and riding a train for three days without a ticket by walking to the last car climbing on top and walking back to the front car repeatedly, with noting to eat but one piece of bread. When he got to the USA years later he was wearing shoes that didn't match and was grateful to have them. He worked for everything and was happy that you could do that here. He will be missed.

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