Song Wong Bourbeau
Song Wong Bourbeau was born in Santa Rosa, California in 1909. Growing up, she worked at her family’s Chinese restaurant, Jam Kee, and eventually became owner in 1960, making her among the first Chinese women to own and operate a Chinese restaurant. Bourbeau attended Fremont Elementary School and, as the only student of Chinese descent, regularly faced taunts and bullying. Bourbeau continued her education at Santa Rosa Junior College and went on to attend Stanford. She later married Charles Bourbeau.
Bourbeau accomplished much in her life, was beloved by many citizens of Santa Rosa and was well known for her community work. In 1929 she joined the Santa Rosa Business and Professional Women organization, and was designated Business Woman of the Year in 1971. Bourbeau was a lifetime member of Theodore Roosevelt’s American Legion Auxiliary Unit #21 and was recognized by Santa Rosa’s American Legion Auxiliary as a nominee for Woman of the Year in 1990. Bourbeau passed away in 1996 but is fondly remembered and considered “Keeper of the Flame” for Santa Rosa’s Chinese history.