Nelson Cheng, age 67, of Hamilton, NJ, passed away on February 10, 2021 at Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton, NJ. Born in Hsinchu, Taiwan, he met his future wife, Leslie, in Taipei where they married in 1978 and immigrated to the United States soon after, with dreams of a better life for themselves and the family they would have. They first settled in White Plains, NY with his sister Julie and her husband Louis, and began working in restaurants. They eventually moved to Parsippany, NJ and began working at Banzai Restaurant in Denville, NJ, where Nelson thrived, excelled, and became a sought-after hibachi chef. This success of Banzai in Denville led to the opening of the Banzai Restaurant on Quakerbridge Road in Hamilton, NJ in 1985.
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Nelson moved his family (by then, he and his wife had two children, Nicholas and Jessica) to Hamilton, NJ where they have happily lived since. Nelson became a part-owner of the new Banzai Restaurant, and continued to cook as head chef. His jovial personality and generous spirit made him highly requested. In 1989, Nelson was offered a new business opportunity, which he valiantly and fervently entered: the Carvel Ice Cream store at Dover Park Plaza in Yardville, NJ. As the owner of his own business, he quickly turned it into a business that gave him so much pride for the last 32 years. He realized his American Dream. He became a respected and noted member of the community. Nothing pleased him more than to see his regular customers day in and day out.
Devoted to his work, he was a man of few hobbies, but he did love Japanese beer, WWE wrestling, Chinese and Japanese movies and television shows, watching MLB and NFL games, pastrami from Katz’s Deli in New York City, Dunkin’ Donuts, sesame bagels, croissants, gin & tonics made by his daughter, and chocolate chip cookies; most of all he loved his family, he loved his work, he loved his store, he loved his customers, he loved all the employees that worked with him through the last decades, and he loved the community he served. Nelson was a kind, caring, and devoted husband, father, brother, uncle, and dear friend to so many.
He was predeceased by his mother, Shoyin Huang Cheng, and father, Yanglu Cheng, both of Hsinchu, Taiwan. He is survived by his beloved wife of 43 years, Leslie Cheng of Hamilton, NJ; his two loving children, Nicholas Cheng of Hamilton, NJ, and Jessica Cheng of New York, NY; his brother Yichao George Cheng and wife Jen Mei of Hamilton, NJ and their children, Kathy Cheng of Hamilton, NJ, Kevin Cheng and his wife Irene of Cliffside Park, NJ, and Eric Cheng and wife Jeanneri, and their daughters Mya and Zoe of Hamilton, NJ; his sister Julie Lo of New York, NY and her children Aki Lo of Pasadena, CA, Logan Lowe and his son Nate of New York, NY, and Glennis Shih, her husband Sunny, and their sons Liam and Ewan of New York, NY; his sister Chiumon Cheng, her husband Yaokuang Lin, and their children Jackey Lin, his wife Lisa Lee, and their children Cindy and Emma, and Yikai Lin, his wife Huiping Sheng, and their children Peini and Yuanhao, all of Taiwan; as well as many other family and friends all over New Jersey, Taiwan, and beyond.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Hamilton Brenna-Cellini Funeral Home, 2365 Whitehorse-Mercerville Rd., Hamilton, NJ 08619. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, family services and internment will be held privately. The period of mourning will be private. The family respectfully requests any memorial contributions be made to a charity of the donor’s choice. To send condolences, please visit brennacellinifuneralhomes.com