Johnny died Sept. 9, 2009, in Bangkok, Thailand.
Born in Hong Kong and brought up in Bangkok, Johnny prepped at Worcester Academy before coming to Princeton. He wrote in his yearbook that he “switched to chemical engineering after majoring in dishwashing at Commons his first year,” where he also “gained valuable experience in mopping floors and wiping tables. He would like to thank his many friends for making his four years at Princeton so unforgettable.”
One of Johnny’s freshman roommates from Hamilton Hall, Bruce Jordan, continues the friendship by filling in as a local “uncle” to Johnny’s children while they are in high school or college in the United States. Two Princeton classmates, Teddy Chung and Ray Wong, flew to Bangkok to attend Johnny’s traditional Buddhist funeral and kindly served as our class representatives.
After Princeton, Johnny earned a master’s degree at MIT and an M.B.A. at Harvard Business School. He returned to Thailand in the 1980s and was one of the founders of Thai Alliance Textile Co. Ltd., where he eventually became managing director and president. Thai Alliance grew from a small yarn-spinning mill to a global company with more than 1,000 employees. Johnny was especially interested in environmental issues and brought new ideas about organic cotton to his management team. This led to a successful collaboration in the mid-1990s with Patagonia sportswear, and his company mills provided the organic cotton-polyester blend yarn for many Patagonia shirts. He was also founding director of the international Organic Exchange, a group of manufacturers of organic textiles, and gave presentations on the topic worldwide.
In addition to Thai Alliance, Johnny also was involved in other businesses and was a director of Mandarin Clothing, Thai Garment Export, Thai Petrochemical Industries, TPI Polene, and TPI Concrete. In his spare time, he loved to spend time with his family.
The class extends deepest sympathy to Johnny’s wife, Nara; his son, Thomas ’09; and his daughters, Christina and Lisa.
The Class of 1976 will long remember, with honor and affection, the name of Johnny Chung-Ngai Yeung.