Kalyn Duome Obituary
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In Memory of

Kalyn Boey Duome

November 13, 1948 - August 24, 2014
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Kalyn DUOME nee BOEY Ai Li November 13, 1948 - August 24, 2014 Born Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia Called home Las Vegas, Nevada, USA Wealthy in Spirit KALYN DUOME was an exceptional human being whose big heart and incomparable giving nature touched the lives of all the people around her, with extraordinary outcomes. Born Ai Li, into the family of a police officer, the youngest of four siblings, the naturalized American who settled in Las Vegas in 1972 should have had all the comforts and pampering due most youngest siblings, from their parents, and their other siblings. It was not to be for Ai Li. The family broke up when Ai Li was 11, with the children taken into the care of the extended family. Eldest sibling, a girl, ended up with one household; two middle boys with another; Ai Li with a third. After high school, Ai Li went to work for her first and only employer in Malaysia, A&W, the American franchise, which had just come to town in 1963, the first to sell hamburgers to Malaysians. Ai Li went to work for the Lieboffs, who owned the A&W franchise in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. As the popularity of American fast food grew in Malaysia, A&W introduced another first – the drive-in. Kalyn was among the pioneering carhops, gaining many friends along the way. From these came George Devan, a lifelong friend who now resides in Costa Mesa, California. Eldest sibling Girlie remembers the Ai Li of the time, the “vulnerable” young lady alone in the world, who by then had...
Kalyn DUOME
nee BOEY Ai Li
November 13, 1948 - August 24, 2014
Born Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Called home Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Wealthy in Spirit

KALYN DUOME was an exceptional human being whose big heart and incomparable giving nature touched the lives of all the people around her, with extraordinary outcomes.

Born Ai Li, into the family of a police officer, the youngest of four siblings, the naturalized American who settled in Las Vegas in 1972 should have had all the comforts and pampering due most youngest siblings, from their parents, and their other siblings. It was not to be for Ai Li. The family broke up when Ai Li was 11, with the children taken into the care of the extended family. Eldest sibling, a girl, ended up with one household; two middle boys with another; Ai Li with a third.

After high school, Ai Li went to work for her first and only employer in Malaysia, A&W, the American franchise, which had just come to town in 1963, the first to sell hamburgers to Malaysians. Ai Li went to work for the Lieboffs, who owned the A&W franchise in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

As the popularity of American fast food grew in Malaysia, A&W introduced another first – the drive-in. Kalyn was among the pioneering carhops, gaining many friends along the way. From these came George Devan, a lifelong friend who now resides in Costa Mesa, California.

Eldest sibling Girlie remembers the Ai Li of the time, the “vulnerable” young lady alone in the world, who by then had taken the name of Kalyn. It was May 1969, when Kuala Lumpur experienced social turmoil. A citywide curfew was enacted. “Kalyn was a natural when it came to making friends,” says Girlie. “Among them were policemen that frequented the A&W. During the curfew, we were worried for Kalyn’s safety. She did better. She sent her police friends to come check on our well-being!”

The Lieboffs’ next big move was to expand to Singapore. Once again, they drew on “veteran” Kalyn. She remembered her time in Singapore fondly, often recalling her lavish apartment, tailored clothing, and personal maid. Though she made sure to spoil others as much as she spoiled herself. Sister Girlie remembers as fondly Kalyn’s generosity with gifts. “She made lots of money working as a carhop,” says Girlie. “She bought (brother-in-law) Cheng Hoe a shirt, a pretty expensive one, too. He appreciated it, and loved her very much. The shirt is still in his keeping! Unfortunately there’s no way he can wear it. Probably one day a grandson will inherit it.”

By the time the Lieboffs thought it was time to head home to America and leave the business to their sons, mama Gerry had grown accustomed to having Kalyn by her side. So the humble young lady from Ipoh – one-time tin-mining capital of the world – left with the Lieboffs for Las Vegas.

Kalyn started off in Las Vegas like many new transplants do, working at a casino in Downtown Las Vegas as a cocktail waitress. While working at the El Cortez Casino, she met Paul Duome, whom she married and had one daughter, Samantha (Samii) Duome.

After Samii was born in 1983, Kalyn wanted the freedom to be able to spend time raising her daughter while still providing for her family. So she decided to start her own business making food for the hotels to put in their restaurants. Her most humble beginning as an entrepreneur started with her renting a small table and some freezer space at a food wholesale company called West Best Food. Her very first order was to single handedly make 20 cases (5000 pieces!) of pork wontons for Caesars Palace.

By 1986, Kalyn had built up her business enough to establish her own shop across the street from West Best Food, where both businesses remain to this day. Over the years Kalyn employed many people, most of whom were immigrants, fresh to America and looking for a place to start. They all eventually moved on to bigger and better things, but they always returned to visit Kalyn, update her about their lives, invite her to weddings and children’s birthdays; never forgetting the kindness and generosity she had shown them when they needed it most.

After her divorce in 1987, Kalyn’s sole purpose was to provide the best life possible for Samii. Kalyn always made sure Samii had everything she needed, as well as everything she wanted. She also knew the value of a well-rounded education, so she always made time to take Samii to violin lessons, dance classes, karate, ice skating, etc.

Being a single mother with all of her family half a world away, Kalyn created her own family here with Nina Yuan, whom she met while working at the Flamingo Hotel over 30 years ago. Kalyn and Nina had their respective single children Samantha and Crystal only four months apart. Crystal, Samii, and Vickie (Crystal’s cousin) were raised like sisters; spending every holiday, birthday, and vacation together.

Kalyn also became a close friend and confidant to Nina’s father, Martin “Grandpa” Yang. Kalyn shall rest in the vaults of the Yang family plot at the Palm Eastern Mortuary, final testament to how this extraordinary person touches people. It was at the intimation of Grandpa that Kalyn shall remain with the family for posterity.

Though Kalyn did not actively participate organized religion, she is the most kind and giving person anyone could ever have the pleasure of meeting. She expressed her faith in the two Great Commandments and Great Commission in her generosity to neighbor – her family and friends. There were no strangers in her books, only friends she had yet to meet. Countless impromptu gatherings where often held at her store on Wynn Road, where she always provided more food than anyone could possibly eat in an evening.

Generosity and charity thread through Kalyn’s life. Siblings, cousins, nephews, nieces and grand-nephews and grand-nieces, friends, bear testimony to a gentle soul, distant by geography, bosom buddy in recall.

Nephew Kong Soon in Toronto remembers: “Auntie Kalyn, or Moy Ku as I call her, is always dropping in and out, as I recall, and when she visits, she always remembers the little ones. This is huge in those days (the ’60s) when kids are like wall decorations; sit in the corner, don’t interrupt when the adults are speaking. She always engages the kids at their level, and it is always fun with her. That caring nature is her gift to us. When (eldest sibling) Auntie Girlie visited us in Canada, Auntie Kalyn gave her a huge jar of Jelly Belly (jellybeans) for my boys. I remember Auntie Girlie saying: ‘I don’t know about this but Auntie Kalyn said your boys will love these’. Well, the boys did. Even when I was on holidays in Kuala Lumpur when I was seven, she would have a gift for me when she visits.

“Auntie Kalyn, thanks for showing us how to make others happy, and not leaving the little ones out.”

Nephew Darren in Hong Kong regrets not having had the opportunity to make amends on an aunt he barely knew. “I remember an unusually feisty aunt. Gifted with a fighting spirit – and a funny accent. But a loving and curious nature. She seemed to want to know us – but separated by the miles. She gifted me a graduation ring – an American tradition unappreciated by a distant curious nephew.

“I always wished I visited her – if nothing else, to learn a bit more about my family. That is the loss I feel – like that of my (paternal) grandmother – another piece of the Boey puzzle gone. I remember thinking she wasn’t a stuffy relative – and wishing she was around a bit more.”

One memory stands out for niece Sara in Adelaide, Australia. That was when Aunt Kalyn visited Kuala Lumpur with a then four-year-old Samii. “She was vivacious and beautiful … full of life, and I remember her having the biggest laugh,” says Sara. “She found out that we’d never had spaghetti meatballs before and proceeded to make the biggest and best spaghetti meatballs I have ever had!”

Brother-in-law Cheng Hoe in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, fondly remembers a visit to Las Vegas: “She loves kite flying”, a hobby of hers that she and Grandpa enjoyed every weekend for many years.

Brother Philip in Adelaide recalls the “tomboy” of their childhood, when the three youngest of the children would be thrown into the “wrestling pit” for the entertainment of the adults. Kalyn, the youngest, reveled in the contests, more than holding her own. In “piggyback” races, the tables would be turned; Kalyn would be the horse and older brother K.C. the rider.

Niece Clarissa in Hong Kong ventures that the two people most responsible for making Kalyn the person she was, are Kalyn’s parents. “The two things that are soooo much the fabric of (the siblings’) souls are love for animals (especially dogs) and looking beautiful. Por-por (Grandmother) always told me no matter how poor you guys were when young, she always wanted you guys to have the best-looking outfits! So being sure to always wear lipstick was of the utmost importance to Aunt Kalyn. And her father imparted love of animals and dogs.”
Thus this conversation during a recent visit of Clarissa to Vegas:

Clarissa: What is that ... furball?

Kalyn: [taken aback] What is wrong with you? How can you be my family and not like animals? How can you not love my Momo? Just look at her ...”

Kalyn was a truly beautiful person; smart, funny, hard-working, diligent, meticulous, opinionated, and generous to a fault. She prided herself on her ability to persevere and overcome all obstacles in her life while politely refusing any assistance from others, yet at the same time she insisted on helping anyone in need. Her passing is a great loss to the innumerable lives she touched, and she will be missed more than words can say.

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