December 31, 1957 - June 25, 2021
Dr. James Shen, D.D.S., born December 31, 1957 in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, passed away peacefully on Friday, June 25, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Born to Ti-Ke and Yu-Hwa Shen, James was a caring older brother to his siblings Joan, John, and Jane. In addition to playing with his siblings, he loved swimming, caring for the family chickens and Peking ducks, and drawing. When James was 13, he and his family moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he fell in love with architecture (a la Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater) and music. His parents opened a Chinese restaurant where James worked throughout high school and college, washing dishes, cooking, and doing anything he saw necessary to prepare the restaurant for the next day. James double majored in biology and chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh and then graduated from Northwestern University Dental School. After moving to California, he met the love of his life, Dr. Rily Young, D.D.S. They married on January 2, 1985 and had four children: James Thomas, Jacqueline, Caroline, and John. For over 20 years, James and Rily ran their dental clinic together, helping thousands of patients smile with confidence and heal from long-term illnesses. Ever seeking to improve their craft, they invented and were awarded patents for novel dental tool designs. They instilled in their children their work ethic, attention to detail, and the mindset to serve others to the best of one’s abilities. Visionaries who constantly encouraged their children to develop and express their highest potential, James and Rily enrolled their kids in math and reading programs, piano, swimming, karate, aikido, badminton, tennis, art class, cross country, wrestling, Chinese language class, and even motorcycle riding lessons. Despite their busy schedules, James and Rily prioritized family togetherness, eating meals together as a family and teaching their children how to cook. After a long battle with breast cancer, Rily passed away in 2006, leaving James heartbroken but determined to carry on for his children. He retired from dentistry, pursuing his interests in architecture, design, and gardening. James amazed everyone with his creativity, craftsmanship, and modern taste as exemplified by the wooden furniture and home decor that he made himself. He routinely surprised family members in different states by mailing care packages of homegrown avocados and lemons. James also road-tripped from coast to coast to visit family, exploring the vast, varied landscapes of the United States. An avid photographer, James loved to share hundreds of photos of his and his children’s endeavors, documenting every moment so loved ones and neighbors alike could partake in their adventures and celebrations. James was extremely proud to guide his children along their own paths of service: James Thomas as a U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command flight surgeon and family medicine physician, Jacqueline and Caroline as academic and college advisors, and John as a commissioned Army officer of West Point. James pampered his beloved Maltese poodle, whom he named “Love” as a symbol of the emotion that drove his selfless nature. Expressing his light-hearted and goofy sense of humor, he endearingly nicknamed Love “Her Royal Highness,” “Nana Banana,” and “Poopie”. He personally grilled and hand-fed her medium-rare ribeye steak. James last saw his four grown children and spouses together on Father’s Day 2021, five days before he passed away. As he took photos, he told them that he was “proud and happy to see all Shen children and their spouses work and cook together to have a fabulous breakfast for everyone.” We remember James as a tireless, generous, selfless father, husband, and friend. He is survived by his son James Thomas, daughter Jacqueline and son-in-law Ethan, daughter Caroline, and son John and daughter-in-law Stefanie. The visitation for James will be held on Friday, July 9, 2021 between 5-8 PM. The funeral service will be held on Saturday, July 10, 2021 at 10 AM. Both the visitation and funeral will be hosted at McCormick & Son Mortuaries at 25000 Moulton Parkway, Laguna Hill, CA 92637. A Celebration of Life reception will follow the service on Saturday in Irvine, CA. Flowers may be sent to McCormick & Son Mortuaries. Cards and memorial contributions may be sent to 8681 Luss Drive, Huntington Beach, CA 92646. Please contact Caroline at (714) 642-4816 with any questions.
Dr. James Shen, D.D.S., born December 31, 1957 in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, passed away peacefully on Friday, June 25, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Born to Ti-Ke and Yu-Hwa Shen, James was a caring older brother to his siblings Joan, John, and Jane.... View Obituary & Service Information
Obituary & Service
Dr. James Shen, D.D.S., born December 31, 1957 in Kaohsiung City,...View More
Flowers & Gifts
Send flowers to the Shen family.Send Flowers