I’m not the only one at the Weekly with fond memories of Vu. “He had a great sense of humor, a sharp nose for BS and an open-minded attitude that made him a joy to work with,” staff writer Nick Schou says. “He was an amazing guy.”

Vu officially passed on a week after his collapse, after doctors took him off artificial life support early on May 17. (They’d planned to do it two days previous, but they delayed the move to honor Vu’s wish to be an organ donor.) Because of the length of time his brain had gone without oxygen after his collapse (perhaps as long as 20 minutes), doctors advised the family, he’d be “a vegetable” if he regained any form of consciousness. The loss touched so many people that LA news stations reported from outside the Kaiser Permanente hospital.

“We are so thankful that we had him for 34 years,” Vu’s dad told me.

Vu at his 2008 wedding to Heather Hua
Courtesy Chuyen Nguyen
Vu at his 2008 wedding to Heather Hua
Vu with his father, Chuyen Nguyen
Courtesy Chuyen Nguyen
Vu with his father, Chuyen Nguyen

A few hours after the Los Angeles County coroner took Vu’s body’s for an autopsy, his mother carefully placed white candles in a portable drink cooler inside her Little Saigon grocery store on Brookhurst Street. The family was headed to that Santa Monica soccer field.

“I think Vu died there on that field,” his mother assured me before leaving. “Vu always loved a party, and so we are going there to party for him today.”

He is survived by his parents; grandmother; brother, Viet; and wife, Deputy Attorney General Heather Hua.

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