Natale Lee Kuey was born in Huntington, New York on December 29,1940. One of six, and the
eldest male; he was the son of Leung Ben Kuey, a Chinese immigrant and Dominica Irene
Capalbo of English, Irish and Italian heritage. Both parents predeceased him in the 1970s.
Natale often stated that “Farming was the hardest job one could ever do,” a reflection of his
upbringing on a Chinese produce farm in Englishtown NJ. In his youth, Natale would labor
tirelessly from sunrise to sundown, working in the fields and then distributing the harvested
produce up and down the East Coast.
No matter the challenge, Natale would continually look for new opportunities to better himself
and to be the master of his craft, which led him to acquire a diverse set of skills from various
jobs. Natale always had an entrepreneurial spirit; this was evident at a young age, when he sold
egg rolls to the locals for some extra pocket change.
Natale met his wife, Charlotte, through a mutual friend. “I could never forget that white suit,”
Charlotte happily reflects. Natale often stated that life didn’t begin until he met Charlotte. He
knew from the moment he laid eyes on her that she was the one. They dated for two years
before getting married in 1978.
Charlotte and Natale built a beautiful life together over their 41 years of marriage. Charlotte
urged Natale to get his Bachelor’s degree, and they both completed their degrees at Mercy
College, NY, while working full-time. With Charlotte by his side, Natale would build a moving
and storage company that thrived for over 40 years, construct and own a fitness & tennis club,
and become a nationally ranked poker player.
Charlotte and Natale were blessed with twins, Gabrielle (Gabo) and Anthony (Ant). As a dad,
Natale poured his heart and soul into raising his children. He taught them the value of a strong
work ethic, humility, and, most importantly, love. He took pride in being a present father. He was
known as & "Coach"; to many of his children's friends due to his constant dedication and
involvement in coaching softball, baseball, and golf. To his children, Natale was the most loving
father; he set a strong example and taught them that anything was possible with hard work.
Once his children went off to college, Natale sought a new passion: poker. After reading more
than twenty books, consistent studying and playing, he became a nationally ranked poker
player. One of the most impressive traits about Natale was that there seemed to be nothing he
couldn’t master. His prowess as a poker player was exemplified by the nicknames given to him
by his poker-playing peers, known as the "Professor"; and "Zen Master";
Natale also spent time traveling with his family. Although he loathed getting to and from his
travel destination, once he arrived, he was ready for any adventure. One of his favorite family
trips was to Kenya, exploring the Masai Mara and Amboseli. In Kenya, experiencing nature
firsthand, watching elephants visit a watering hole during meals, brought him joy. Natale loved
wildlife so much that his children created a tradition of gifting nature films to him every holiday
Golf, on the other hand, was his ultimate pastime love. The sport brought him particular joy
through the special bonds it brought him with his family. From teaching and watching his son
grow in the sport, to enjoying a casual round of 18-holes with his wife a few times a week, golf
was always more than just a sport; it was a time to bond with his family in peace. His last trip
was his favorite, golfing at the ‘Teeth of the Dog’ in the Dominican Republic, a top 50 golf
course in the world.
Meticulous, and single-minded in his drive to provide stability for his family, Natale became a
self-made success. He always remained humble and unaffected by his success. Known for his
loyalty, integrity, and generosity, he routinely offered employment opportunities to some whom
others might have turned away. Natale led by example; he was never too proud to get his hands
dirty and believed that most people would rise to the occasion if given a chance.
In 2016, Natale was diagnosed with and treated for salivary gland cancer. In 2019, not long after
defeating his first bout of cancer, he was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma: a rare and
aggressive bile duct cancer with limited treatment options. With his family’s loving support, he
put up a valiant fight and throughout his illness, he continued to fully embrace his life -- traveling
and enjoying his passions, all the while encouraging his loved ones to do the same. “The Kuey’s
never give up,” was his family motto, and he never did.
On November 14, 2019, Natale transitioned peacefully at home, surrounded by the love of his
family. Leaving those to cherish his memory: wife Charlotte, children Anthony and Gabrielle,
sisters-in-law Gwen and Mae, brothers-in-law Randy and James, and a host of nieces and
nephews. He is also survived by his daughter Kimberly, sister Geraldine Kuey Hayden, and
brothers Leon Kuey and George Kuey. He will be forever missed. May he rest in eternal peace.
Family and friends are invited to Pleasant Manor Funeral Home, Inc. 575 Columbus Avenue Thornwood, New York 10594 on Saturday, November 23, 2019 from 10:00 - 12:00 PM for visitation. Religious services will begin at 12:15 PM. Interment will follow at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York at 2:15 PM.
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