NEW HARTFORD, NY – With a heavy heart, we here at AWITP are saddened to report that Lu Chen, a.k.a. the Irrepressible Mr. Lu, has died. He was killed when his Cessna C210 crashed in Northern New Jersey as he was flying on work-related business. He was 59.
Mr. Lu’s plane went down on May 16th in a wooded area in Sussex County near a town called Wantage. The plane was found inverted, and both wings were torn off. Search and rescue teams could not find the plane until May 19 and could not identify Mr. Lu until June 1st because of difficulty in locating his next of kin. You can read more about the crash here.
Besides managing Chinese restaurants in upstate New York and Central New Jersey, Mr. Lu was a diehard golfer and an excellent photographer, riding shotgun for AWITP on two occasions. He even appeared in a Golf News Net piece last October. Discussions were begun last winter towards having Mr. Lu pilot AWITP correspondents and himself for golf, but no concrete plans were made despite preliminary plans for a trip to North Carolina being sketched out. During those talks, (sometime in March), Mr. Lu first made mention of maintenance issues with the plane, and we never got around to taking any further about planning a trip until I returned from Winged Foot on Monday, went to his place, (Peking Tokyo), and learned the sad news of his passing.
Mr. Lu was known for his ineffable joy when it came to golf; if there was ever a player at peace with bad golf shots, it was Mr. Lu. His jocular and affable demeanor was engaging and his wonderfully positive attitude was infectious. Every shot was like discovering something new to him, and never lost that child-like innocence of being wide-eyed with wonder at golf.
Mr. Lu’s comically horrific golf always made being with him more enjoyable, and were he here right now, he’d be laughing with us, prompting us with, “Remember that shot I hit at ________________?” Left trees, right trees, water hazards, bunkers: he never met a hazard he didn’t like or wouldn’t hit into. You can read about some of his hair-raising escapades here.
Mr. Lu considered his home courses to be Crestwood Golf Club in Marcy, New York and Kaluhyut at Turning Stone Casino. Details of why the plane went down, as well as other irregularities will be released as soon as more information will be available.