Minh Vinh Lam, longtime Pullman restauranteur, passed away unexpectedly Monday, Nov. 9, 2020, at Holy Family Hospital in Spokane. He was 59.

Viewing for the public will be Friday from 3-6 p.m. at Kimball Funeral Home in Pullman with social distancing and masks required. The funeral service for family will be 9 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home. Burial will follow in the Pullman City Cemetery.

Minh was born Sept. 1, 1961, in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to Thanh Lam and Soai Chau. He escaped Vietnam as a teenager and found refuge in Malaysia in 1979. He was in a refugee camp for about six months before a sponsor brought him to Pullman in the United States. He attended school in Pullman, and graduated from Pullman High School. Minh attended Washington State University for a time before graduating from the University of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry.

He traveled to China for a visit and while there, he met and married Mindy Kuang on July 9, 1988. They have celebrated 32 years of marriage together. They returned to Pullman in November 1988 and started their family here, raising two daughters, Megan and Melonie.

Minh owned and operated The Emerald Restaurant for about 15 years before opening Minh’s Restaurant in the same neighborhood. He kept very busy with his restaurant and often brought the girls to work with him in the mornings as he prepped for the day. He liked to experiment with new recipes, watch cooking shows for ideas, and create new menus. He was still running the restaurant at the time of his death.

Minh is survived by his wife, Mindy, at their home; his two daughters, Megan Lam (engaged to Michael Bray), of Spokane, and Melonie Lam, of Wenatchee; his mother, Soai Chau; two brothers, Dinh and Tony Lam, and his sister, Ngoc Thai, all living in Pullman; as well as several nieces and nephews and extended family. He was preceded in death by his father and his brother, Loi Lam. Online condolences for the family may be left at www.kimballfh.com.

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