CHINATOWN, Ohio (WOIO) - The Cleveland community lost an icon on Thursday.
Donna Hom was a prominent local figure, not just in the Asian community, but for anyone who has big dreams.
Hom immigrated to Ohio in 1960 from Guangzhou, China.
She was the owner of Cleveland’s famous Li Wah restaurant. She and her husband actually helped develop the Asia Plaza Mall.
Johnny Wu, Hom’s longtime friend, said she’s inspired him since he knew her as his landlord in 1990.
“She wanted Asia Town to be vibrant,” he said. “A place where people of Asian American descent could go there, get together and have a great time.”
Hom opened Ho Wah in Beachwood and King Wah in Rocky River as well.
She was inducted into the Cleveland International Hall of Fame in 2014.
Mandy Wang, of the Asia Plaza Pharmacy, was at a loss for words.
“I’m shocked,” she said.
The OCA Greater Cleveland Chapter wrote the following statement below:
Wu remembers Hom as someone who set a benchmark for what one can accomplish with hard work.
“She has taught me to be respectful to everybody and to listen to what everyone has to say and understand it from different angles,” he said.
Read Hom’s obituary here.