Peter Bi-Teh Chan

December 14, 1988 - June 27, 2024

When we all look back on our lives and the people we have encountered we may ask ourselves, who was that one person that could make us laugh, make us feel inspired, and help us when we needed it the most?

To many, that person was Peter Chan. Sadly, Peter made the decision to leave behind his suffering on Thursday June 27th, 2024. He will be missed by all who knew him.

Peter was born on December 14th, 1988 in Taipei, Taiwan. Peter spent much of his early life between Taiwan and France before his family finally decided to settle in Charlottesville, Virginia.

It was in Charlottesville where Peter met most of the people that would later call him friend, family, and inspiration. Peter had a wide group of friends, and was always welcoming of new people to hang out. Peter was active in many clubs and sports, running for his High School Cross Country and Track teams, and even had a band he led called, “Peter Chan and the Chantastic 5”, playing the flute and piccolo.

After High School, Peter went on to attend James Madison University majoring in Business Administration, International Business and Computer Information Systems, with a minor in Chinese Business Studies and Asian Studies. The many majors and minors may sound overwhelming but not for Peter’s brilliant mind. School and academics came naturally to Peter. He learned the concepts and lessons as quickly as the Professors could teach them. But more importantly and in true-Peter fashion, he was always willing to study with and teach others so they would do well. In addition to strong academics, Peter took an active role in many student organizations like CSA, VSA, KSA, and ASU where he was able to spread his love for performance arts and music. What resulted was something that has already and will continue to make an impact for many years to come. He met many lifelong friends, inspired others to open their minds and hearts, and gave birth to his stage name, “Chan Ge.” The name has three-folds. It means 1) “Brother Chan”, 2) “Sing-a-long” (Chang Ge), and 3) “Change.” Peter was always about making positive changes and to be the inspiration to inspire others.

Once Peter had completed his schooling, he went to work for Freddie Mac before deciding to leave behind the corporate world to pursue his lifelong dream of owning his own Bubble Tea Shop, bringing his Taiwanese heritage to the Harrisonburg area. He even created his own brand supply of boba products called “Bobadachi.” He inspired many others in this journey to start a business while grooming and empowering employees. Peter left a lasting impression on many of his professors during this time at JMU who frequently invited him to make several guest speaking appearances in the classroom over the last couple of years, where Peter once sat as a student. His professors had hoped that Peter could help them teach and inspire the next generation of brilliant minds.

While managing his own businesses, Peter was always wanting to better himself, and after a number of years decided to pursue an advanced degree in Information Systems from George Mason University. And from there, he graduated with another degree while working full-time, opening new stores, training franchisees, helping other bubble tea shop owners, while continuing to pursue his interest in sports and performance arts, such as Ultimate Frisbee and Lion Dance.

During his moments of free time, Peter would always check-in on those lifelong friends from high school and college, never forgetting how they helped him in his journey. Whether it was a brief text message, a quick phone call, or taking them out for their birthday, Peter always made time for his family and friends.

Throughout his life, Peter had always loved traveling, art, and music. He could always be seen in a new country sitting on a sunny beach or visiting a bustling city. For many, Peter’s art was where the essence of his soul could be found. Whether it was through his doodles portraying his friends and family, or using his music to connect with others from around the globe. Peter was always trying to inspire others through his creations. Aside from singing and songwriting, Peter could play many musical instruments such as the flute, guitar, bass, ukulele, drums, piano, and many more. He had a knack to master any instrument he could get his hands on. Besides his art, Peter was always active in the community through Lion Dancing and Martial Arts. He has performed in hundreds of performances and has always loved every minute of it. He was an avid Lakers fan, listener of all music, but a lover of K-Pop, and a video game enthusiast.

One of Peter’s most admirable qualities was his courage. He was never afraid to try new activities, but rather often used it as an opportunity to learn and better himself. Peter put himself out there to perform and inspire others which is something that many of us are often too shy or embarrassed about. Earlier this year, Peter went to a cafe that had an open mic night for stand-up. Peter came to the event ready to sing not realizing the event was for stand up comedy. When his name was called to the stage, he let the audience know that he was there to sing and asked if they wanted to hear him perform. They roared with excitement and encouragement and Peter nailed the performance. He had been back almost every other week to continue singing at this cafe. Peter’s courage brought joy to so many people and others were inspired seeing that it was fun to be different.

Peter is survived by his father Jimmy Chan, mother Rosa Wan, brother William Chan, and sister Kathleen Chan.

There will be a memorial to celebrate Peter’s life on Saturday July 6th, 2024 at Teague Funeral Home located at 2260 Ivy Rd, Charlottesville VA at 10:00 am.

Flowers can be ordered through the funeral home and any donations should be made to the National Association on Mental Illness in memory of Peter (see Donation section below for the link).

We thank everyone for their support, and please never forget Peter’s saying “Be Your Inspiration to Inspire Others!”