SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- A funeral mass was held Monday at Sacramento's Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in honor of restaurateur and civic leader Lina Fat.
Fat passed away two weeks ago at the age of 81.
Mourners from all walks of life paid their last respects to a woman who made a name for herself shaping the Frank Fat's brand and bringing it to a new level of Asian cuisine.
Strong-willed, Fat had a flamboyant fashion sense and was generous with her support of civic causes.
She was an American success story that is relevant today.
“Coming from Hong Kong, getting here to California, eventually marrying into this family and help build it, that takes perseverance,” said former California Governor Jerry Brown. “There's something real here and in our particular time in history, that's really noteworthy.”
Throughout her success in business and volunteer work, she raised a family to whom she was devoted.
"An indisputable titan of business, a culinary innovator, and a devoted wife, mother and family member,” said Rep. Doris Matsui.
Fat employed and inspired a new generation of Sacramento chefs. Fellow celebrity chef Martin Yan was a colleague she inspired.
"Lina bring Chinese cuisine to another level. Innovation, new ingredients, new flavors,” he said Monday.
The sometimes somber mass contrasted with a celebration of life that took place at the old China Camp restaurant and Fat City restaurant in Old Sacramento, places that ignited her career.
Fat touched lives in all walks of life.
“We didn't know whether she was doing restaurant stuff, community stuff, friends, social, she did it all,” said her husband, Ken.
Family members said her spirit was present as friends, colleagues and loved ones celebrated her life in a way she would have approved of.