Peter T. Lau (1951 – 2017)
Beloved husband and father, pharmacist and community leader
Peter Tak-Leung Lau passed away at his home in Springfield, New Jersey on March 14, 2017 after a brief illness.
Peter was born in 1951 in Hong Kong to Man Kin Lau and Yi Man Wong. He attended Salesian Primary School and Wah Yan College, a Jesuit high school, before immigrating to the United States in 1971 to attend Rutgers College of Pharmacy in Piscataway, New Jersey. Upon earning his pharmacy degree in 1975, he was proud to receive the Ernest Little Award, recognizing the graduate most outstanding in leadership, scholastic achievement and co-curricular activities. Just before graduation, he met his soulmate, Lisa (née Liem), also a Rutgers pharmacy student. They married in 1979 and had two daughters, Jessica and Allison.
Together with his business partner, Anne Kong, Peter built a successful business, Confucius/Mannings Pharmacies & Surgical Supplies, serving Chinese-American communities in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn since 1989. In addition to being a registered pharmacist, Peter was a diabetes educator and certified orthotic fitter and pedorthist.
Peter was passionate about community service. He volunteered countless hours of his time to conduct healthcare education seminars and radio programs for local hospitals, health clinics, senior citizen centers and other organizations. He was also a strong advocate for senior citizens, personally helping many of his customers navigate their complex prescription plans to obtain necessary medications, and lobbying on their behalf with government legislators. Under his stewardship, Confucius/Mannings Pharmacies supported many community outreach initiatives, including an annual college scholarship program, health fairs, street cleaning projects, cancer walkathons and regular donations of wheelchairs and other supplies to area hospitals.
As the past President of the Chinese-American Voters Federation, a non-profit, non-partisan organization, Peter helped to educate new immigrants on the importance of voting. He served on the boards of the Chinatown Health Clinic Foundation and the New York City Pharmacist Society, and as Honorary President of the Chinese-American Planning Council’s Project Open Door Senior Center, Treasurer of Hamilton-Madison House, President of the Wah Yan College Alumni Association and a Trustee of the First Presbyterian Church of Springfield, New Jersey. He was also a member of OCA – New Jersey and the Springfield Lions Club.
Over the years, Peter was recognized and honored by many organizations including St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center, Gouverneur Hospital, the Chinese-American Planning Council, the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, the Visiting Nurse Association, the American Cancer Society and the New York City Council. In 2011, he received the Bowl of Hygeia Community Service Award from the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York, the highest award in the pharmacy profession. He was the first Chinese-American recipient in the award’s 52-year history.
More than anything, Peter treasured spending time with his family. He traveled around the world with his wife and daughters, and especially loved swimming in the ocean, learning about history and nature and visiting family and friends near and far. He also loved playing tennis.
Peter is survived by his beloved wife of 37 years, Lisa, his cherished daughters, Jessica and Allison, and son-in-law, Dan. He is also survived by his mother, his siblings, Dominic, Paul, Stephen and Miranda, and loving extended family. He will be dearly missed.
A service in celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 210 Morris Avenue, Springfield, New Jersey.
The Lau family requests that no flowers be sent. For those who wish, donations in memory of Peter can be made to the Chinatown Health Clinic Foundation, WYCA Scholarship Foundation or the First Presbyterian Church of Springfield, New Jersey.