Duc Phuoc Huynh Profile Photo
1946 Duc 2023

Duc Phuoc Huynh

March 1, 1946 — December 11, 2023



Duc Phuoc Huynh peacefully entered the gates of heaven on December 11, 2023, surrounded by family;  he was born in Bac Lieu, Vietnam on March 1, 1946 to Binh Huynh and Bay Nguyen.  He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Giau Tran, sons and daughters-in-law:  Thanh Huynh and Chinh Tran & Hai Huynh and Phuong Nguyen.  His daughter, Van Dawkins and son-in-law, Michael Dawkins. Grandchildren:  Anthony, Kayla,  David, Sophie, Vinh, and Khoi.  During his final vacation days on earth, Duc was embraced with immense love by family members who called him:  Anh, Ba, Ong Noi, Ong Ngoai, Anh Tam, Chu Tam, Bac Tam,  Cau Tam, and Duong Ba. 


Duc was a helicopter captain pilot for the South Vietnamese Air Force, piloting a UH-1, “Huey” gunship. He served in the squadrons, Phi Doan AC Dieu 215 & 225 from 1967 - 1975.  


During the Fall of Saigon in 1975, Duc flew his helicopter into Saigon and miraculously rescued 12 family members from the chaos of war.  His family had no prior knowledge or preparation that Duc was coming to get them; hence, his wife and children were almost left behind.  In a February 21, 2016 newspaper article from the Daily News, Duc credited God for his family’s rescue, “Something happened to my life.  God set up just like that.  I didn’t plan to pick up my family.  One thing happened after another thing.”


Arriving to Kelso in the summer of 1975, Duc provided for his family; he picked cucumbers at Tsugawa’s Nursery, pulled lumber at the local mill,  and worked at the International Paper Company as an assembly worker up to its closing in 1979.  Duc worked during the day and attended Lower Columbia College at night to become an auto mechanic.  After receiving his Associates Degree, he continued to seek whatever employment that he could to support his family of five and the relatives that he rescued.  In 1981, a gas station on North Pacific Avenue came up for sale.  Duc took the opportunity to become his own boss and bought the shop.  He became a self-employed business owner, Pacific Auto Store & Service.  


Duc lived a life of honor and his legacy will continue with his children, grandchildren, family, and friends that he touched over his lifetime.  He was always generous with what he had; whether it was a tool in his garage or an extra bowl of rice for guests, Duc loved his family and friends with all his heart.  His light may have dimmed, but it will continue to shine through us.  


“So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.” John 16:22


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Duc Phuoc Huynh, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, December 22, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Pacific time)

Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church

2200 Allen Street, Kelso, WA 98626

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