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West Valley Community Sevices (WVCS) is honored to host this memorial page in honor of WVCS's Gin-Lu Tommy Shwe, who was actively involved during 1986-1992 as a member of the Board of Directors of West Valley Community Services (fka Cupertino Community Services) and as Board President in 1990, when the organization launched a full service food pantry. We have lost a great friend, leader and community member who supported the West Valley community throughout his life. We are extremely grateful to Tommy's family for choosing West Valley Community Services as the beneficiary in his memory.


Gin-Lu Tommy Shwe was born in the Yunnan Province of China in 1946 (with his ancestral heritage tracing back to Shandong, China).  He was the eldest son born to Yin Lin Shwe and Yu Sin May in a family that also consisted of 5 younger brothers, 1 older sister and 2 younger sisters.  His family moved to Burma in 1949.  When he was eight years old, he left home and entered boarding school at St. Albert’s English Catholic School where he also finished his middle and high school education.  In his final year of high school, Gin-Lu made up his mind to study engineering.  He started his engineering studies at the Rangoon Institute of Technology and after 1 year transferred to National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan where he earned his BS and MS in Electrical Engineering.  It was during this time in Taiwan that he met and married his wife, Chin-Hsia Lee.


In 1974, shortly after completing his MS in Computer Science from the University of Oregon, he moved to Santa Clara County and got his first job at Measurex. While working at Measurex, in addition to birth of his son, he enjoyed the addition of his daughter to their young family.  He also earned his third MS degree in Engineering Management from Santa Clara University.  After Measurex, he would go on to have numerous other careers in real estate, small business ownership, and corporate executive positions, but it was his passion for community service and involvement that really drove him.


In 1985, Gin-Lu was elected to the Cupertino Union School District Board of Trustees.  He was the first Chinese American elected to public office in the South Bay/Silicon Valley Area and was a pioneer and trailblazer for the numerous others that would follow.  He is most well-known for his involvement in Community Organizations which included:


  • Cupertino Union School District – Board of Trustees (1985-1993), Board President (1989)

  • Cupertino Community Services – Board of Directors (1986-1992), Board President (1990)

  • Cupertino Chamber of Commerce – Board of Directors (1988-1992), Vice President (1991)

  • Foothill/De Anza College Foundation – Board of Directors (1988-1992)

  • Silicon Valley Chinese School in Cupertino – Founder and Board President (1978-1981)

  • Asian Business League of Silicon Valley – Board of Directors (1988-1992)

  • Chinese Historical and Cultural Project – Founding Board of Directors (1986-1989), Advisory Board (1989-1992)

  • SF Bay Area San Dong Benevolent Assoc. – Founding Board of Directors (1980-1996), President (1990-1992)

  • Northern CA National Cheng Kung University Alumni Association – President (1982), Global Website development committee chair (2001-2012)

  • NCKU North America Alumni Foundation – President (2009-2017) Board Member (2006-2017)

  • Community Service Awards included:

  • Cupertino Rotary Paul Harris Fellow Recipient (1999)

  • North America National Cheng Kung University Alumni Association Unsung Hero Award Recipient (2001)

  • Confucius Ceremony outstanding community contribution award recipient (2000)

  • Organization of Chinese American, Community Service award recipient (1991)

  • SF Bay Area Sertoman of the year award (1990)

  • City of Cupertino Civic Service award for education (1989)


In his spare time, Gin-Lu had numerous hobbies. He was a top level badminton player and loved playing Go and Chinese Chess. Mr. Shwe is survived by his wife (Chin-Hsia), his son (Huei-Saint), his daughter (Diana), son-in-law (Robert), daughter-in-law (Julia), 2 granddaughters (Kiana and Kylee), and his grandson (Justin). Per the Shwe family's and Mr. Shwe's generous request, we are celebrating his life and are accepting donations on this page in his memory.


The entire WVCS family sincerely thanks you for your contribution honoring Mr. Shwe's memory and we would like to express our sincere condolences to his beautiful family and loved ones.

If you prefer to contribute by check, please make it payable to "West Valley Community Services" and mail it out to 10104 Vista Drive, Cupertino, CA 95014. If you have any questions please contact our development team at

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